Most corporate marketers understand that blogging is a leading content marketing activity for B2B brands. It’s perhaps the best tool for establishing thought leadership, driving website traffic, improving organic search engine rankings, and generating leads.
The key to effective corporate blogging is consistency and frequency. According to Hubspot, B2B companies that publish 16 monthly posts get 3.5x the website traffic as compared to companies that publish only occasionally.
This volume of content creation requires preparation and hard work. How do you make sure your blog is continually fed quality content? With an editorial calendar!
In simple terms, an editorial calendar is nothing more than a written schedule of the specific content you intend to write and publish for the upcoming month, quarter or year created in advance. The process of building an editorial calendar is called “ideation,” a fancy word for brainstorming.
Here are five reasons you need an editorial calendar for your corporate blog:
Roadmap for content production
It’s important for the blog manager to layout a roadmap for all writers. This roadmap – which includes a list of the specific post titles you intend to write — generally covers time periods ranging from monthly to quarterly or even yearly, depending on how much time you can devote in advance to ideation.
The vast majority of the content outlined in your editorial calendar should be entertaining or informational in nature. Ten to 15 percent of your blog posts, however, should be promotional with strong calls-to-action for other content (white papers, eBooks, webinars) that can take the prospect deeper down the sales funnel. The goal, however, is to not alienate your readers with too much blatant promotion.
Maintain corporate tone
Every organization has a somewhat unique voice – your corporate tone. An editorial calendar is the right tool for helping establish the corporate tone of your blog. In setting the tone, you should follow your company’s overall brand guidelines and identify the primary buyer personas to whom you want to appeal. Once that’s accomplished, the editorial calendar helps ensure you are writing about topics of interest to your buyer personas with a corporate tone that is consistent with the overall brand. In other words, if you work in an enterprise software company that serves the financial industry and appeals to VPs of technology, then the corporate tone you ultimately adopt should be professional and focused on the big-picture so the executives can see the value of your solution to their company as a whole, not for the network administrator’s daily work flow.
Delegation of tasks
An editorial calendar is as helpful to a small company with one blogger as it is for marketing managers with large teams and multiple contributors. One of the biggest challenges in working with a large team of writers, however, is in setting and enforcing multiple deadlines across a large team that could be staffed with both internal and external contributors. An editorial calendar allows you to specify the content to be created, manage writers and ensure deadlines are met.
Variety is the spice of life – and your corporate blog. As such, your editorial calendar should reflect content divided in various categories driven by what is of value to your primary buyer personas. Group your content ideas assigned to these categories and buyer personas, and if possible, keep a tally of how much content you are producing for each of them and what traffic each post generates.
To get and keep more readers, you need a few different types of content – news, opinion, surveys, promotions, infographics, etc. This ensures the content on your blog doesn’t become predictable and boring. A well-planned editorial calendar helps make sure you’re producing a steady-stream of diverse content, reaching as many people as possible in the process.
Transparency and accountability
Like most corporate activities, transparency is important to a successful blog. Every contributor should be able to see clearly what content is planned for the upcoming weeks and months and who is responsible for each piece of content. A well-maintained editorial calendar facilitates this level of transparency and helps your team stay focused on your blogging goals.
It’s important to remember that an editorial calendar is a fluid, living document. It is meant to be regularly updated to incorporate new content ideas as business circumstances change. But with a pre-planned calendar of content, you’ll work smarter, not harder, at building the long-term success of your corporate blog.