How An Editorial Calendar Can Benefit Your Social Media Marketing Content

Digital Marketing

Brands and marketers don’t always have the luxury to plan an editorial calendar a full year in advance. Sometimes they may be lucky to have even a week to create and execute a content plan.


As MediaPost noted, Nike aired a congratulatory commercial immediately following the final out of the Chicago Cubs’ victory in the 2016 World Series telecast, followed by Budweiser’s re-airing of a 1984 commercial featuring Harry Caray, the former announcer for the Cubs. These brands were able to capitalize on the Cubs’ historic victory and even make news in the process. How did they do it? According to Amy Duchene of Act-On, marketers can enhance their editorial planning by asking themselves the following questions. Our CEO Valerie Jennings also added some of our agency’s best practices to help fill the tips and tricks of editorial planning for clients.


Why do I need a plan?


One word: organization. A calendar can help you to better visualize your day, month or year ahead. It can also help you when you fall short on inspiration, acting as your roadmap to whatever content challenges you’re up against in the coming year.


Tip: Anyone can post random news articles. It’s up to you to make your brand stand out from the crowd with engaging and relevant content. We like to remind our agency clients that their content doesn’t have to be dull and boring text. It can entertain readers or fans with interesting trivia and fun quizzes, which will also allow them to better partake in the conversation and help increase the size of their online following.


When do I need an editorial calendar?


It’s critical to plan ahead in the creative process. Some people question whether it’s smart to create an editorial calendar for social media. The argument against it is that social media should be timely and spontaneous and planning posts months in advance is counterproductive to the real-time digital media environment.

While that’s a fair point, it’s just a little off-base. You‘ll likely make yourself frantic if your editorial plan is blank and you have to scour the web to come up with topics every day. That’s not to say that one needs to have a year’s worth of posts planned in advance, though.


Tip: Don’t fix what isn’t broken. By studying social media insights reports, you can see what your followers enjoy reading or seeing across your channels. Provide more types of those posts instead of reinventing the wheel.


What should I include in my editorial calendar?


Tip: Don’t feel pressured to have to include everything on your calendar right away. An easy way to get started is by studying what the trade press is talking about and incorporating their editorial calendars. The best way to compliment a journalist is by featuring their articles. See what the media feels is important and try to play into the discussion.

It’s also prudent to imbed some key messages and words within your calendar. You can accomplish this effectively by selecting topics that reinforce what you want people to know about your brand’s culture, business, tactics and employees.


Bonus Tip: After you’ve established some key messaging ideas, you can begin to populate your calendar with some basics: dates, topics or themes and important holidays. Be sure to include any occasions you may have missed, such as smaller holidays or national “days” (such as National Pie Day, National Popcorn Day and so forth). These can be fun ideas to leverage for creating engaging content.


By answering these questions, you should have a firm grasp on the basics on content organization and be more than well on your way to scheduling success.