EDITORIAL PLAN

What it is and how to create it

The editorial plan is the foundation of Content Marketing, for without this tool, a content strategy would not be effective. But what exactly is an editorial plan? How to create and structure an editorial plan?

How do you organize an editorial calendar? We have created and updated this page to help you develop and improve the implementation of an editorial plan for your blog, website or social channels.

Let me give you a little hint: the editorial plan is a very important document for your communication because it contains information and methods for publishing online content on your channels. Want to know more? Read on!

What is an editorial plan?

What is an editorial plan? It is a document that allows you to plan the content to be published online in order to achieve a specific objective by measuring it over time. It is an important marketing tool that, if properly planned, helps companies gain visibility on the Internet and achieve their business goals. The editorial plan allows you to keep all your communication channels under control and integrate them seamlessly into your marketing strategy.

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How to create an editorial plan

The creation of an editorial plan (which is one of the parts of a company’s communication plan) and the subsequent development of content for publication requires an analysis of the objectives one wishes to pursue. In order to develop a winning strategic plan for one’s company, it is necessary to ask oneself the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of the products or services I offer?
  • To which audience are the products or services I offer addressed?
  • What are the strengths of my company?
  • What are the weaknesses of my company?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • What are the differences between the competitors and my company?
  • What is the added value I bring compared to my competitors?

Doing a competitor analysis and answering these questions will help you draw up the basic principles of your editorial plan. In addition, defining at least five keywords that tell, or encapsulate, the meaning of the brand will allow you to have specific references for the next phase of content creation that the editorial plan will convey via social media or the company blog.

editorial plan smart phone graphics

Contents to be included

The following steps must be followed to create an effective editorial plan:

  1. Delineate your target audience, i.e. the market niche to which you want to address your message
  2. Defining the type of content
  3. Tone of Voice of the Message.

The contents of the editorial plan must be consistent with your target audience and the company’s mission, be well focused on the differentiated product you are dealing with, it is recommended to also focus on macro-topics to talk about your brand and communicate the company’s values, so as to give users and customers a clearer idea of the company’s identity.

Of course, the originality of the content proposed should not be overlooked. It is a good idea to use graphic and multimedia content, such as images, graphics, videos, long-form articles, etc., for all publications, especially on social media. In this way, you can further differentiate yourself from your competitors.

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Tools for an Editorial Plan

Fundamental when analyzing one’s targets is the use of tools such as Google Analytics (go to site) and Facebook Insights (read more here). These platforms collect all the data relating to a campaign or a site: the number of views of a published content, demographic data for your target audience, the number of conversions, etc.

This data helps to understand which elements are working and which are not, whether there are aspects of the campaign that need to be improved or, on the contrary, abandoned.

Other useful tools for creating an editorial plan can be Answer The Public, which is excellent for content analysis and the study of long tails. Thanks to this tool, it is possible to implement a more in-depth and articulate choice of content to be used on one’s own site or blog.

Also worth using are SEOZoom and Semrush, which are indispensable for a clear overview of keyword analysis, cost per click, trends and search volumes. Last but not least and equally important is Google Trends, which helps you study search trends in detail. Let us now see how to create and organize an editorial calendar, the next step after the editorial plan.

In addition to tools like Google Analytics, understanding KPIs is fundamental for analyzing and achieving your targets.

How to create and organize an editorial calendar

Once the editorial plan has been defined, one can move on to the creation of the editorial calendar, i.e. the time organization of the publication of the content chosen in the editorial plan.

The editorial calendar has the task of organizing in a schematic manner and with precise deadlines, the dates of publication of content, which may be daily, weekly or monthly. In this case, the advice is to publish your content uniformly and consistently in order to accustom your users and emphasize the strengths of your company.

Defining goals to be achieved each week is a great way to monitor your goals and determine the next steps to be taken. If your goal is to increase the number of subscribers to your newsletter, this week’s editorial calendar should include a pattern of actions for this purpose.

Examples might be: a 10 per cent discount on your next purchase for everyone who is subscribed to your newsletter, a Call to Action on your company’s social profiles, or an Opt-In with a contact form on the main page of your site. It is also possible to set micro-goals, achievable
over the course of a month for example, and aim to achieve these step by step.

But how to make a calendar? How to organize and manage it within your editorial plan? You can create a calendar either on an agenda or a weekly planner, but there are much more useful and versatile digital tools. The best method is to use Google Calendar (go to site)or even creating an Excel spreadsheet with Google Drive (go to the site) can be a great way to create your editorial calendar, as you have the possibility to customize, but above all share with your collaborators the publication file. The platform is free and extremely functional for these operations.

A valid alternative to Drive is Trello, a software born in 2011 and developed by the American Fog Creek Software, which allows you to create virtual notice boards that can be customized with tabs, checklists, labels, etc. Here too, it is possible to share one’s files with colleagues or friends.

If you have a company website built with WordPress, you can download and install a plug-in dedicated to the editorial calendar, called Editorial Calendar (read more). This plug-in is integrated with the WordPress noticeboard and allows you to create a calendar for the publication of your articles. You can change certain parameters such as the number of weeks to display at a time or which details to display for each post. It is also possible to quickly move and edit the content of publications.

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Editorial plan for a corporate blog

An editorial plan is necessary for any good marketing strategy: you must have clear objectives to be spread over time. The main objective that companies want to achieve through their corporate blog or social channels is to increase the number of their customers and, consequently, increase sales.

But there are other indirect objectives that serve to increase visibility on the web and thus sales, such as: generating brand awareness, i.e. increasing brand recognition among users, SEO, i.e. optimizing the pages of one’s site for search engines, and the use of company FAQs to answer users’ most frequently asked questions.

When drawing up an editorial plan for a corporate blog, it is necessary to take into account the needs of your readers. Frequenting groups or social pages dedicated to your company’s sector helps to intercept information about your users’ needs. The best way to define the behavioral characteristics of your readers is to ask yourself:

  • How do my readers express themselves?
  • What are their expectations in relation to my product or service?
  • What are their main concerns?
  • What are the main preferences?

In order to answer these questions, a Digital PR activity is essential, which, thanks to a transversal interaction with its users, is able to put in highlights the strengths and weaknesses that are perceived by the ‘typical reader’ of the blog, in relation to the brand.

the editorial plan tools

It is also important to offer varied content, whether visuals or informative articles. For example, effective corporate storytelling could be the story of what is happening in the company: how the company is organized, achievements, important partnerships, dedicated events, etc. You could also ask your audience questions to find out what kind of product or service, among those in your offer, they prefer and what novelties they expect to see in upcoming publications.

The most comprehensive opinions can be shared to give them greater relevance. Keeping these points in mind will make it possible to draw up an effective and consistent editorial plan for a successful corporate blog.

Editorial Plan for Social Media

How to make a social editorial plan? An editorial plan for Social Media must take into consideration all the peculiarities of the Social Networks to which it is addressed. In fact, each Social has its own characteristics as well as a specific user. It will therefore be necessary to adapt the message starting from elements such as:

  • The language with which users express themselves, whether, for example, confidential or formal
  • The type of content, whether primarily visual or textual
  • Length of the message: depending on the characteristics of the social the amount of characters changes.

For an effective social strategy, it is important to establish a direct dialogue with your fans. Focusing on the opinions of your users, responding to comments, not only the positive ones, but also the negative ones, is a great way to understand what worked and what did not in your editorial plan and thus define what needs revision.

When creating content for a social media editorial plan, the advice is to focus on visual content, especially images and videos. This type of content achieves greater engagement than text-only content and generates more shares.

Finally, it is essential, in order to reach a targeted user base, to use a keyword planning tool for the content to be published: this will allow you to understand what your users are searching for on Google and thus create content specifically to position your company site in the first search engine results and acquire organic traffic.

Editorial plan: how to do effective content marketing

We have seen how to create an editorial plan and how to organize an editorial calendar. To create quality content, it is essential to know and apply content marketing strategies. Digital Coach, leading training school in Digital Marketing, offers highly professional courses that will introduce you to all the features and possible strategic applications of content marketing.

With a practical-operational didactic slant, aimed at achieving business objectives and with professional digital marketing teachers specializing in different subject areas, Digital Coach’s Digital Marketing courses are the most comprehensive and professional in Italy.

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