Communication is an essential marketing lever to boost your notoriety, multiply your sales, increase your turnover, and accomplish a variety of other goals for your ecommerce business. However, to be effective on social networks and all communication media, it’s better to know how to organize yourself and have an overall vision of the tasks to be completed and the content to be prepared over the year.
This is precisely why I strongly recommend that you create an editorial calendar.
Frequently used by brands but also by bloggers, it allows you and/or your team to prepare the topics to be covered and the publications to be published on all types of media in advance.
In other words, the editorial calendar is one of the essential keys to active and efficient communication!
What is an editorial calendar?
First of all, let me explain what an editorial calendar is.
Also known as a content calendar, it’s an essential tool to improve the efficiency of your communication and marketing strategy.
It’s crucial to help you to avoid blank page syndrome and allows you to plan all your communication work and the content that you want to create and post on social media and elsewhere.
Organized on an annual basis, or at least quarterly, an editorial calendar distributes the work to be done on different types of media, by establishing themes to be addressed and precise distribution dates.
Widely used in the marketing world, it provides a global vision of the content to be created, which allows you to anticipate and be more efficient in your use of content marketing to increase sales for your ecommerce business.
An editorial calendar gives you a head start and allows you to know each of the subjects to be covered in advance.
In this sense, editorial calendars also serve to anticipate the graphic and multimedia work to complete the purely editorial content.
For example, thanks to the editorial calendar, the team that manages communication can plan the setting up of videos or photo shoots that will then be necessary for the dissemination of information.
As you can see, an editorial calendar is an essential tool for carrying out an effective content strategy. It prevents you from being overwhelmed and allows you to maintain a frequent publication rhythm while distributing relevant content.
An editorial calendar is therefore an important quantitative and qualitative vector. It offers a long-term vision of your corporate communication, with the aim of preserving a certain coherence in your editorial line, in order to reach your long-term objectives.
However, to be effective, it must be well constructed.
Why create an editorial calendar?
You’ve probably understood by now that creating an editorial calendar offers many advantages. The most important of them is undoubtedly the fact of being able to plan publications and the broadcasting of contents in advance.
However, this is far from being the only advantage of an editorial calendar...
Maintain a regular rhythm of publication
An editorial calendar, as its name suggests, is a tool that allows you to plan your entire content marketing strategy. In other words, it’s used to keep a regular publication rhythm.
With the ups and downs of daily life and the many twists and turns of a company’s activity, it’s not uncommon to forget to communicate on social networks. In this context, it’s sometimes very easy to fall into oblivion and to be left behind by the competition.
In order not to be overwhelmed by the daily routine, to stay active even during your absence, or not to disappear during slower periods of activity, an editorial calendar is the tool you need!
Thanks to it, you can distribute the editorial tasks of each employee over time. This shared schedule allows everyone to know what they’ll have to do in the next few weeks, to allow for better planning.
The editorial calendar anticipates the content to be covered and the subjects to be dealt with. It generates greater regularity and increases the synergy between your marketing and sales actions.
Produce content without stress
Who’s never been overwhelmed by stress and adrenaline when a deadline approaches at some point? With an editorial calendar, this anxiety will become a distant memory!
With an editorial calendar, all the work to be done is orchestrated in advance. This tool offers long-term visibility, which makes it easier to get organized.
Because stress tends to reduce the efficiency of editors and lead to writer’s block, an editorial calendar is an excellent alternative to a lack of inspiration.
Better monitor each of your communication actions
Because the editorial plan offers a global view of your content strategy, it prevents you from being caught off guard with your posts. It allows you to better track your project in its entirety, which can be very useful in case of unforeseen events.
For example, if one of your editors fails you, this tool allows you to see immediately what tasks were assigned to them, to replace them immediately, while having a precise vision of the time allocated to the new editor to perform this mission.
Similarly, the editorial calendar provides an overview so that you know exactly where your communication strategy stands in real time.
Improve writing and publication quality
Finally, as an editorial calendar offers a complete vision of all the content to be processed, it also serves to standardize the entire editorial charter.
By allowing you to be better organized, an editorial calendar helps you establish content that’s more balanced, in various formats. In the long run, it ensures better quality on all your communication supports.
How do you feed your editorial calendar?
Just like your communication, the information contained in your editorial calendar must be relevant and organized to be effective. Here are a few tips on how to feed your editorial calendar, no matter what template you use.
Customer needs and expectations
To establish an effective communication strategy, it is essential to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Identifying their expectations and needs is a priority, as we’ve seen when looking at successful examples of content marketing.
To do this, start by identifying your personas and listing them in different segments. The idea here is to study your target with precision, to better understand and address it on your website, social media, and elsewhere.
Several filters can help you segment your customers. These can be social demographic criteria or other characteristics related to their aspirations, their consumption habits, or their information search methods.
You can also use this segmentation to define your priority buyer personas and secondary buyer personas.
When planning your editorial calendar, consider creating a column specifically dedicated to your target audience. Indicate the personas targeted by each content and the goals or objectives you want to reach with the content you post.
This will be a very important notion to take into account when writing each blog article or publishing posts on social media. It’s essential not to address all your targets in the same way, in order to offer them the most impactful and personalized message possible.
To identify the needs of your potential customers, don’t hesitate to ask them directly or to observe your main competitors. Studying the information they publish can sometimes be very useful and instructive when it comes time to brainstorm ideas for the kinds of content that your brand wants to create and post.
Events and holidays
In your editorial calendar, don’t forget to consider the specific events of the ecommerce calendar that take place throughout the year.
Some of them are general and affect all market segments. Others, on the other hand, may be more related to your specific business.
“General” events may include the following:
- sale periods
- school vacations
- religious or commercial holidays...
Events related to your activity are more likely to involve
- trade shows or conferences related to your activity or
- international days related to your sector.
Finally, there are also internal events within your company:
- the anniversary of your business
- the acquisition of another company
- the launch of a new product...
All of these events should be used to support your editorial calendar. In other words, they’re pretexts to create and publish new content.
SEO keyword opportunities
In addition to appearing on social networks and remembering your customers, an editorial calendar must also publish content to improve your SEO.
It’s therefore a matter of searching for precise keywords related to your theme to write appropriate content and position yourself in search engines’ top results. To help you in the process of searching for ideas regarding the various search queries, you can use the Ubersuggest tool, Answer The Public, Google Keyword Planner, or Semrush.
In your editorial calendar, remember to include a “target keyword” column as well as a “keywords to insert” column. Add the keywords to be integrated in the body of the blog article.
This is a very valuable concept for editors that will help you avoid having to optimize the content once the writing is completed.
What’s new in your ecommerce catalog/new products
Finally, keep in mind that the editorial calendar isn’t only used to compensate for your lack of inspiration. It’s also a more relevant way to anticipate the release of a new product.
For example, if you plan to launch a new product or service in the next few months, anticipate this event in your editorial planning.
So, a few months before the arrival of your new products, start to mention the subject in your publications.
Create content around this issue to promote your inbound marketing strategy. You’ll then gain notoriety with a qualified target, even before the product in question has yet seen the light of day.
Tools to efficiently manage an editorial calendar
Today, there are many content management tools. Among them, Google Sheets and Trello emerge as an excellent way to build editorial calendars.
To date, Google Sheets is the most widely used tool for creating an editorial calendar.
Simple and free, this online tool accessible via Google Drive offers its users great flexibility. With it, information is easily accessible and can be shared between different collaborators.
More readable than Google Sheets, Trello is described as an online notebook.
Perfect for adapting to any type of business, it has infinite flexibility and allows you to list
- tasks to be done,
- tasks in progress, and
- tasks already completed.
On the other hand, although Trello allows data to be shared between several users, it doesn’t have a feature to alert each of them in case of a change in schedule or the addition of new data.
Information to include in an editorial calendar
More concretely, here are some of the most important pieces of information to add to your editorial calendar.
Date of publication
Think about including a column with the publication date of each piece of content that you plan on publishing. With this, you’ll be able to prioritize, organize, and track each of your topics while defining a deadline for each task and for each member of your team.
The title column should include the overall title of each of your blog articles to be written. If this seems obvious, know that it’s a notion not to be taken lightly.
The title is the first element perceived by the readers. It must therefore be striking and must immediately make them want to continue reading.
Because it is essential to vary communication media, indicate precisely where all your content will be posted:
- on your website
- on social networks
- on your blog
- on other partner sites...
In addition, remember to specify what type of content will be posted for each article. Will you be happy with just text or are you thinking of adding images or even a video?
While it's important to vary the media and channels of communication, it’s also essential to deliver several types of content marketing. These allow you to vary your targets and increase your brand awareness.
Need an example? Opt for a blog article, newsletters, or a press release. You might also prefer to appear as an expert in your field through a white paper, an eBook, or infographics…the possibilities are endless!
If your team has several writers or even if you delegate this task to specialized platforms such as Textbroker.com, it’s a good idea to note this in your document.
It’s a file that you’ll share with your writers, so it’s beneficial to indicate the different types of content that they must write with instructions.
It’s important to think about SEO when writing content on your site. One of your goals should be that each page has a target query.
By filling in the main keyword, you give a relevant indication that will facilitate the organization of the content while effectively placing the target query in the text.
Keywords to insert
To enrich the semantics of your text and publish SEO optimized content that has every chance of ranking on search engines, you must fill in the keywords!
A dedicated box with the different important keywords to insert is a good indication for you or the writers on your team.
Finally, to know exactly where each task in your editorial calendar stands, include a “status” column, in which you’ll indicate whether it’s a scheduled task, awaiting acceptance, accepted, in progress, scheduled for publishing, or already published.
The editorial calendar is a precious tool to anticipate your publications and perfect your social media strategy, saving you time and effort in the process. It’s essential to maintain the rhythm all year long and in all circumstances. It allows you, in the long run, to increase the engagement of your subscribers, conquer new customers, and ensure the durability of your business.