Planning is the very basis of the work of a marketing professional. It is only natural that a good content strategy rests on thedevelopment of a solid and well-thought-out editorial plan. At all times, it is important to remember that the content you produce on your site, intended for your future customers, will generate leads, and therefore sales. Editorial planning is part of your content strategy. It is achieved in five key steps, which we present to you below.
What is an editorial plan?
Whether it's a blog or a website, an editorial schedule identifies the content to be published over a given period of time. It not only allows you to think ahead about the texts to be written, it above all contributes to ensuring that the topics covered are as homogeneous as possible.
At all times, an editorial plan must answer a set of questions, taking into account the audience (who is it aimed at? Which buyer persona?), the interest of the content published (why is it published do we have this content?), purpose of the content (what results can we achieve?), time of publication (when is the publication date?), form of the content (will the content be there an infographic, a text, a video?), the person responsible for generating the planned content (which writers to call on for this content?).
First step: who are we talking to?
Relevant content must necessarily address a target audience defined upstream. Here again, the importance of defining the buyer persona takes on its full meaning: you know its profile, expectations, socio-demographic characteristics, motivations... so much knowledge that allows you to create content to which your audience will be sensitive. .
Second step: what are the individuals who make up your audience aware of?
The aim here is to list all the questions asked by the men and women who make up your audience. Looking for information on the Internet, if they find answers to their questions and problems on your site, their interest will be all the greater.
To list all the questions that your prospects and future customers ask themselves, several techniques are at your disposal:
- A survey of your sales representatives, by telephone, face-to-face, by email
- A survey of your customers, face-to-face, at trade fairs, by telephone, or via a survey tool...
- A look at your competitors
Step Three: Prioritize Content Ideas
This step calls on your creativity, because it is quite possible that the amount of elements that you have available, at this precise moment, is very important. So it's all about categorizing ideas, while keeping your end goal in mind. Your ranking must therefore be both qualitative and quantitative.
Some tools, such as the Google Search Console, will give you quantitative information about the content to focus on. Others, meanwhile, will allow you to refine your ranking based on qualitative considerations. For this, it is important to know your audience, to refer to the buyer persona defined upstream and to the objectives of your company.
Fourth step: setting up the editorial schedule
An Excel file will do for creating your editorial schedule. If several people participate in the development of this schedule, do not hesitate to put it on a shared drive, so that everyone participates in the task.
Among the key elements of your editorial planning:
- The topic to be covered
- The proposed topic
- The title of the page, of the article
- The date of publication
- The editor / editor
- Possible sources of content
- The keywords to insert
- The date of submission of the text
In addition to Microsoft Excel, certain project management tools, such as monday.com, are quite interesting for developing an editorial schedule. In particular, they make it possible to assign easy-to-understand colors for certain tasks and to highlight dependencies between activities. These tools are particularly useful when there is a large amount of content to write.
Fifth step: update the editorial schedule
This fifth step has no start date or end date, since it is a permanent action. By studying the reports and the results obtained, some content will perform better than others, in terms of traffic, visitor engagement, clicks... in terms of content strategy, it is important to know constantly questioning. As such, the editorial schedule changes regularly.