Here we are in the fourth quarter of 2019 with holidays just around the corner. So, how’s your editorial planning for next year going? It’s probably underlined on your to-do list, but maybe you’re a little behind. Take a deep breath. This will help. We’ve compiled some editorial planning tips for content marketers to get you prepped and ready for 2020.
Why Do You Need an Editorial Calendar?
You may be thinking that your editorial calendar isn’t that important to your content efforts. After all, you already have your content calendar. However, you need both.
An editorial calendar is typically used to plan. Its purpose is to develop stories and assign resources. These calendars also usually define themes for months or quarters. Consider it a guiding framework for topics.
Whereas a content calendar is more granular and specific about each content project. It’s what you use to manage content daily. Content calendars are much more flexible, as well. You can insert one-off or ad-hoc content based on what’s happening in your industry that you can’t foresee.
Your editorial calendar will be the inspiration that drives the individual tasks documented in your content calendar. When developing your 2020 editorial calendar, there are many areas to revisit. Let’s look at where to start.
Your Editorial Calendar: How to Prepare for 2020
Each of these areas of content marketing needs to be included in your preparation for the coming year. From reevaluating keywords to ensuring you have the right tools in place, get started with these editorial planning tips.
Before you start 2020 planning, it’s important to perform a thorough review of your keywords. This includes evaluating current keywords and finding new ones. Reassess for volume and competition for each word, and document where you rank for those keywords and pages.
After that, it’s time to discover new keywords. You can use tools from Google to investigate. You can also look at keyword trends on Google Analytics. Scope out your competition as well and define what keywords they are using which you are not.
These keywords will often be the start of defining your themes and topics. You should also consider the intent of your target buyer when using these keywords. What buying stage are they most likely at when searching those phrases? This information can be practical when determining content for buying stages.
While you’re working on keyword analysis, you should also think about voice search. It’s becoming increasingly popular on mobile and digital assistants. Make sure you have a plan for this and how it may impact future content.
Buyer Persona Review
While putting together your 2020 editorial calendar, it’s a good idea to look back at how your audience has changed. Buyer preferences and motivations change based on many different factors. They may have a new challenge that needs a solution, or they could have become more price sensitive.
It’s time to revamp your buyer personas, and you can use your content analytics to extrapolate this. With this data, you’ll have insights about your audience’s preferences on topics, formats, and channels. Use this information to update their profiles so you can develop more relevant content for them.
Audit Your Content’s Performance
To plan for the future, you have to look to the past. It’s vital to understand how well your content from the past year has performed. If you are using a content marketing platform, then you’ll have easy access to reports that reveal interesting information.
Look through all your campaigns for the past 12 months and you’ll be able to see trends relating to the content that had the best results. Once you know this, you can use it in the next year. For example, if you saw high numbers of views for videos and YouTube as a large referrer to your site, you can assume that the 2020 editorial calendar should include video campaigns.
Include New Product or Service Launches
Your product team should already know what’s going to be new or changing related to your product or service lines for the next year. Each change or a new product will need a strategy for launch that includes content. Designate when these launches will occur and how far in advance you need to start telling the story.
The new or improved service or product your brand will debut likely solves a problem for your audience. That problem should be a major part of your editorial calendar, allowing you to build up to the release of your new solution.
Collaborate with Resources
Your content team has the knowledge, data, and the skillset to develop your editorial calendar; however, they aren’t the only resources you need to develop meaningful content. Your editorial planning should encompass content collaboration with other resources as well, including sales, product owners, and other subject matter experts.
Get ideas from them about the biggest trends in 2020 for your industry. When working with sales on topics, you’ll also want to know about their 2020 goals, as it’s marketing’s job to support them. If they plan on focusing on a specific product one quarter, your editorial calendar should include plenty of assets on the topic.
Reassess the Mechanics of Content Marketing
While our list of editorial planning tips covers many of the creative parts of the process, let’s not forget about the technical aspects of content creation. To organize the foundation of your content marketing—including your content strategy and content planning—you need the right technology and tools.
Otherwise, you’ll find it extremely difficult to execute your calendar and reach your goals in 2020. It’s time to look into your content workflows and determine how you can make improvements. Moving to an all-in-one platform can help your team be more productive and plan more effectively. With features that enable the ability to strategize, plan, execute, and analyze, you’ll immediately elevate your content marketing efforts.
When planning for 2020, see what DivvyHQ has to offer content marketers. You can try it for free. So, give it a test drive as you work on your editorial plan for next year.