How to create a content calendar you can't live without
We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about Legal Brand Journalism™ and content marketing strategies for your law firm. One of the first steps to executing a Legal Brand Journalism model is to develop content. But hang on a minute … don’t just start banging on your keyboard or calling a writer. First, you need to organize and plan your content tactically. You need a content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar in the publishing world. This will help you focus on the broader picture for your messaging and ensure that you are communicating on time and on target.
There are some good templates and tools online you can use: Here’s an example of a basic template to get you started.
And, for those of you who use WordPress, it has an excellent editorial calendar plugin. I prefer an Excel spreadsheet so I can customize the columns with information pertinent to my content marketing strategy. Depending on your quantity of content, you may choose to create separate spreadsheets for each type of content. But use multiple tabs in one file, so you can easily flip through them.
In addition to programming in publishing dates, here’s some other information you might want to gather in your content calendar:
- Content type (blog, announcement, white paper, infographic, etc.)
- Description or short summary
- Keywords to use
- Research/background info/links to include
- First draft due date
- Final version due date
- Proofreader due date
- Publishing date
- Graphics to include
- Social media distribution sites
- LinkedIn updates and/or Facebook and/or Google+ blurbs
- Related content
- Follow-up metrics (click-throughs, shares, etc.)
Tracking and scheduling these key elements in your communications will ensure that you’re providing a variety of content to your audience, flagging potential repurposing opportunities and maximizing your exposure across multiple distribution channels. And don’t forget to schedule weekly meetings with colleagues who contribute to the editorial calendar, to adjust it as necessary and stay ahead of the curve.
Let us know if you have any other helpful tricks or tactics to consider when developing a content calendar.