Time to get your editorial calendar together?
Build a calendar
You need a calendar that all your team members can access and edit or take action from. We like the Edit Flow plugin for WordPress websites. It automatically builds an editorial calendar and populates it as you add posts.You can record social media posts, ads, and IRL actions on the calendar, too, though it wasn’t designed with that in mind.
Edit Flow also provides easy communication about the calendar within the admin area of your website. It’s easy, robust, and offers great control.
However, if you don’t use WordPress, it’s not an option for you. And you may want to use something outside your website if some parts of your marketing team aren’t comfortable in your website.
If you prefer, you can download our Social Media Editorial Calendar for Excel. This gives you a simple calendar you can work with either on your computer or as a printed physical document, as you prefer.
Make your plan
What do you want your content campaign to achieve? Do you want to establish thought leadership in your field? Are you hoping to encourage your patients to refer their friends by sharing your posts? Do you want to reach a new segment of your target market? Is it time to get the word out about a new service you’re offering? Do you want to give your e-commerce operation some oomph?
Knowing what you want to accomplish makes it much more likely that you’ll succeed. So identify some measurable, realistic (SMART) goals. Determine the strategies and tactics you’ll use to reach those goals. List the keywords your target market will use.
Consider your resources and decide on the platforms and the kind of content you’ll use. For example, if you have a beautiful facility and lots of happy photos with signed model releases, you can look toward highly visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. If you have a graphic artist in house or on your web team and people with research skills, infographics are a natural for you. Does one of your doctors have an inspiring personal story? Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as local news outlets, are a good place for you to start.
Notice that we’re starting with your assets and choosing platforms on that basis. That’s usually the most successful approach.
Fill the calendar
You may want to produce a big-picture structure, whether that’s Throwback Thursdays, a minimum number of news posts per day, or a hub-and-spoke approach to a weekly long-form blog post and press release followed up with segmented newsletters.
You might want to fill in every piece of content, gain approval from a compliance team, and schedule out into the future. You can also share your editorial calendar with your office team so they can point out posts that will interest your patients, or with your sales staff so they can approach sponsors who’ll be interested in having their ads appear next to a particular post.
The key is to make sure that your editorial calendar helps you reach your goals, making best use of your team’s assets and your company’s resources. This way, your editorial calendar helps you and your whole team make best use of your blog. That extends the value of your investment, no matter what the size or composition of your team may be.