How to design an editorial plan for your content (advantages and steps)
Planning is essential to obtain the closest possible results to what is desired, and this also applies to content marketing through the editorial plan
Every project, every campaign or every strategy (even every meeting) requires an initial planning that looks at the different stages and takes into account possible problems. It ranges from setting the general objective to analysing the results, as the aim is to optimise tasks, avoid delays and extract the maximum benefit. In this case, we talk about planning in content marketing through the editorial plan. Below, we will see what this concept means, what advantages it offers and a step-by-step guide to implement it in your strategy.
The editorial plan (also known more generically as editorial strategy) is a set of proposals and guidelines that directs the content created by a company. It is the reference guideline for developing a form of communication to be followed by all those involved. It can also be defined as the document detailing the programming.
Advantages of designing an editorial plan
You may wonder whether it is worth spending time on an editorial plan rather than investing it in creating content directly. At OCCAM we are convinced that it is worth the effort for the following six reasons:
- It creates a unified and coherent image of your content. In order to ensure that all writers and creators are on the same page, the editorial plan establishes standards of writing and style. This, together with a correction and revision of the content, will increase the quality, the satisfaction of the contacts of your inbound marketing strategy and, as a consequence, the SEO optimisation of your website.
- It takes into account the preferences of users. To create the plan, the topics to be covered in the content are established. In turn, this requires research work on the content preferred by Internet users and your potential customers by analysing the competition, as well as your successful content. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase the number of customers, but to do this it is necessary to attract their attention and satisfy their needs.
- It helps to determine the SEO positioning strategy. The editorial plan is closely related to the keywords that can position well the content created in search engines. In addition, the recommended techniques to improve SEO are taken into account when establishing the rules of writing. In this way, the writers can get used to this style and adapt their texts to facilitate the access of users to the website.
- Organise the project in time and form. The editorial plan sets out the delivery dates for the content and the deadlines established, as well as the format of the publications and the dissemination channels. In this way, you can check whether the pace is appropriate or whether it is moving away from the objectives set.
- Optimise the work of each agent: by determining each action of the content creation strategy, those responsible for content creation can organise themselves better and know in advance the topics to be dealt with.
- Itoffers a compilation of the published content. If you make a plan for each campaign, at the end you will have a complete history of the content created. This way, you avoid writing about the same topic and you can check which are the favourite materials for the users if you carry out a correct monitoring of the statistics.
Steps to create an editorial plan
If you choose to follow a pre-planned content marketing approach, then it's time to find out what steps you need to take to create an editorial plan. Let's look at them one by one:
- Set the objectives.The first action before launching a campaign is to ask yourself what you want to achieve with it.Decide what your general objective is and what the specific ones are, but always keep in mind that these should meet the SMART criteria.What do you expect from your content creation strategy? More web traffic? Increase the number of customers? Build loyalty with the ones you already have? Ask yourself these and all the questions you consider relevant to target the campaign as best as possible.
- Determine the editorial line of the company. Now is the time to establish the editorial guidelines that will give a collective image of the content. What SEO recommendations will you implement in your texts? How will the hierarchy of titles be? What images can be used? What is the tone of the company? Any issue that may appear in the creation process must be determined in the editorial line, so it is a process of constant updating.
- Calculate the duration of the campaign. The duration of the projects is necessary to check if the objectives are met and to monitor the results. Therefore, the editorial plan should reflect how long the project will be in force. The standard for content campaigns is between six and 12 months, but you can establish the duration that you consider most appropriate for your company. If it is the first time that you start a content marketing strategy, you can go for a shorter extension to check whether it fits your company or not. On the contrary, if you already have experience creating content, you can extend the term.
- Choose the people in charge of each task. To avoid conflicts and increase the efficiency of the work done, it is important to clarify the work to be carried out by each member with specific tasks. To do this, bear in mind that content creation requires a chain process.
- Design the intervention plan: in an Excel spreadsheet, organise all the content to be published by channel, format, author, date, time, topic, etc. You can also create a document for each type of content (article, video, ebook, etc.), as they have different needs.
- Develop a list of topics to be covered. Taking into account the work of your competitors, the business areas you are targeting or in which you are an expert and the interests of the users, establish a list of topics to cover the entire campaign.
- Just as all projects need to be guided by objectives, all projects should be analysed at the end to see if the expected results have been obtained, what has worked, what has not and what can be improved and maintained for the next campaign. For the final study to gather more complete data, remember to constantly monitor the project as part of the editorial plan.