Putting together an editorial content calendar can seem a daunting task. This is when you combine your blog posts and social media updates on a monthly, ongoing basis, to ensure you interact with your customers on a regular basis. By following this simple framework you can keep in control and create content that engages and inspires.
While I suggest planning and thinking about your posts in three-month chunks, it’s best to complete these editorial calendars each month. Start filling in the following month’s after you’ve reviewed and assessed how well the current month has worked. By regularly measuring your output you can decide which articles attract more attention and understand where others may need tweaking.
Remember when writing blog articles or social media updates it’s not about continually promoting your products or services. It’s about demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your field, building trust within your community that will lead to interaction and engagement. The following headings are all interchangeable between blog posts and social media updates, depending which ones you use. If you do use more than one social media channel, as many of us do, I suggest writing different words to get the same message across to appeal to all your readers.
5 ways to keep posts engaging and inspiring
1. Industry news
Despite the move into digital media every business sector continues to have some sort of publication or website to serve its community. Most offer a regular electronic newsletter of some variety, sharing the latest news and information which usually takes you back to their website. This provides an ideal opportunity to write brief details of the news (always crediting where the news story came from) and adding some analysis on the impact of the information or your viewpoint. News in the digital world comes thick and fast so these types of posts should be a regular feature within your content calendar.
2. Words of wisdom
Today there are plenty of quotes to choose from, whether it’s way back in history from famous people or in current times. Or if you see a prominent member of your industry speak at an event consider if it’s worth sharing their words. Alternatively think up your own. You can have great fun making up phrases that can reinforce your values and highlight your business’ message. With free software like Canva, it is easy to put together simple graphic images combining an inspirational quote.
3. What I learnt this week
This is brilliant for demonstrating what you’ve been doing, whether it’s working with clients and helping to find solutions to their issues or building up your knowledge. Networking meetings, or events such as exhibitions or conferences, are ideal places to gather new information to share with your customers, always providing your take on the subject matter to give added value. As only a limited number of people will be at these events this gives you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and boost your expert status. And you never know how many words of wisdom you make pick up along the way.
4. Customer solution
This is where you identify an issue that a customer has and you show how you resolved it. For example, one question I’m often asked at the moment is about the ideal length a blog should be. I recently wrote a short post on Facebook with my answer. For the record I suggest mixing up the word count of articles, as most subjects will find their natural length. Think about what questions your customers have asked you recently and see how you can write a quick post. If one customer is having difficulty with an issue it’s likely others will be too.
5. What’s bugging you today?
Sometimes there are issues that bug us and we need to get to share our views on the subject. This is a bit of rant style but don’t go too over the top or too negative and be prepared to face the consequences if it is controversial. Balance the post or article by suggesting possible solutions and a way forward. No one loves a whinger.
Once you have thought of different topics to write under these headings you can start filling in your editorial calendar. I use an Excel spread sheet for each month, inputting the detail within each day so it’s easy to see and refer back to. I include my weekly blog update and fill in the shorter social media updates around this. I tend to schedule my updates on a weekly basis as it fits in with my work, using Hootesuite and scheduling buttons within the social media channels but there’s nothing to stop you using a different method.
Don’t forget writing great posts is all about creativity, ensuring you are meeting your customers’ needs as well as providing super images or graphics. Once you’ve been doing this for a while completing the editorial calendar does become easier. Keep in mind the different headings when you’re with clients, networking or just out and about and you’ll often find different subjects that can be incorporated under them.
A few moments thinking every now and then makes all the difference and helps you keep on top of your updates.