Content and editorial calendars are efficient tools that can be used for planning and monitoring your online content that you produce for your digital audience. You can make your content calendar as full-bodied and broad as you need to, but there is something to be said for the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle.
There is absolutely no need to over-complicate your content calendar! Especially because it is more ideal to have it shared with other teams within your company. Here is what we consider to be the essential elements of a content calendar.
Note: The difference you might notice here is the focus on the built-in optimization of the content.
Topic – this is the “concept” of an actual content. Some may refer to this as the headline, or simply title.
Type of content – What type of content to produce. There are various formats that your content can be created in, including:
Identify the type of content that you want produced because resources requirements are required to create, publish and promote effective content.
Due date- date when the content is to be created and approved for publishing.
Publish date– the expected launch date of your content. Keep in mind that it is best to get your content out in a timely manner especially when preparing content around a specific event or date.
Accountable – name of the resource/person assigned to prepare, optimize and publish the content. This is useful if you need them to produce additional, similar or follow up content in the future.
Proposed URL– the URL for the web property where the content will reside. Follow SEO best practices and ensure that the URL is both Search engine and user friendly.
Primary Key Phrase– the main semantically relevant term that you wish to position the piece of content for. This is the core topic that your content is focusing on. Your primary key phrase may be included in your title/headline, with your page copy, in your URL or other areas related to your content piece. You will want to target keywords/topics that are semantically relevant to your audience, ideally have historical search activity and are term that you are able to build content themes around.
Title Tag – as part of the optimization of your piece of content, follow SEO best practices and include the title tag that you want to use for your piece of content (170 characters or less).
Meta Description – include a column for the meta description to ensure that this element is populated for each piece of content you create. Some Content Management Systems (CMS) will auto-populate the meta tags for you, but if you are able to dictate what the description reads do it. This can help entice clicks from the Search Results pages when the page is indexed and ranking in Google and other search engines.
Status– this should be limited in its options. Consider:
Call to action– It can be a link, a CTA button, a form, email signup, or downloadable content. Each piece of content that you create should satisfy the need of the user, but it should also entice the user to perform a follow up action.
Promotion– this column is reserved for how you will promote the content as it goes live and once it has been published. Are there specific social media channels that will be used (twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc)? Are there any offline channels that will be promoting this content?
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