You know you need to create content. Even if you have an outside consultant helping you put it all together, a fair amount of the basic work needs to be done by you. It will remain an insurmountable pain in the you-know-what unless you take charge! We have found the easiest way to do this is to create an editorial calendar. After all, the old newspaper may be slowly dying, but that doesn’t mean journalism is. People are insatiable when it comes to gathering information they are interested in.
What do you need an editorial calendar for?
- Your blog
- In-house photography and video production
- Social media
When it comes to your blog, you are nearly guaranteed to fail without a plan. There is nothing worse than staring at a blank word document! Instead, start a brainstorming list of potential story ideas. From an SEO goal standpoint, it is very important to stay relevant to your business and not stray into generalities which will do you no good. Here is a short list of ideas to get you started on your blog:
- Events where you have a sale, special, holiday tie-in, etc ::: These will form the basis for your calendar because they have to be written and published within specific time periods. Generally, you want to publish event driven stories 4-6 weeks in advance of the event start.
- Your products and services ::: Each and every aspect of how you make money needs to be delivered as benefit driven articles. Remember, stories still sell! So, customer testimonials, real life case studies are all great ways to accomplish this.
- Your company ::: Let people get to know you and your staff. Create an air of familiarity. Obviously, the more awards and charitable things you can do as an organization, the more you can tie relevance to competence and causes.
- Your customers ::: Wherever and however possible create and involve customers in your stories.
- Your industry ::: A good source of unique story creation can come from industry developments and how they relate to you.
Photos and video are extremely important to your content library. There are three kinds of video that needs to be developed to cover your various needs for social distribution, SEO and on-site :
- Camera phone pictures are great for day in and day out “moments” but you should also plan and stage a variety of situations and have them either shot professionally or at least by someone with a digital SLR camera.
- 30-60 second phone video – This is short moments that convey your everyday business world or maybe funny moments, pets at work… snippets of humanity. These are used in social media and perhaps could have a blog story tied into them.
- 2 minute in-house productions – These would be still photography slide shows and, or, a variety of video shots, composed into a short non-professional production. They could be how-to’s, short seminars… something that shows off your expertise.
- 1-3 minute professional production – At least once a year, you need to hire a professional and have them shoot various advertising messages.
If you are publishing all the social media yourself, it will become tedious and lose favor if you have to start with a clean slate every day. Instead, make an overall plan for your social media. Creating a new blog post, triggers a social media post(s). Production of a new video or photo creates the opportunity for a social media post(s). Each component works to aid another. Much of the trick to good social media relations with your audience is to “soft sell” through all the imagery and story telling in all of your efforts. But 50% of your effort will be spent in curating interesting and unique info that your audience will engage in. They are not here to read your advertising. It’s why we recommend that you let a professional handle your day in and day out social media effort unless you have an hour a day to devote to content curation alone! But I guess that’s another story.