The Editorial Plan is one of the pillars of any online project related to content marketing. Once much underestimated, the editorial calendar is now one of the first aspects to be structured for an effective communication and marketing strategy.
In this article, I will guide you towards creating an Editorial Plan for Blog, Social, Instagram, and Facebook.
Before starting, however, I want to briefly explain to you what the editorial plan is and why it is so important.
Editorial Plan What is it?
The editorial plan, or editorial calendar, is the operational strategy that allows you to plan the contents that will be published.
Some define it as a set of strategic actions that aim to acquire traffic, people potentially interested in your products/services (or the services you are talking about), contacts, sales.
If we want to use English terms we can talk about Prospect, Client, Customers, Followers, Fan.
The editorial plan is the tool within which you will go to collect ideas, analyzes, information and where these will be organized in a structured way. By creating an editorial plan you can in fact:
- Define one or more specific objectives (and consequently create one or more calendars)
- Define the resources necessary for the creation of certain content (photos, videos, texts, reviews, in-depth content, …)
- Organize and structure topics, days, and times of publication
- Scientifically establish the content marketing strategy and at the same time the contents that will have Call to Action (so as not to have too many promotional contents and balance the contents well;
- Organize the best, in the case of the publishing plan for a blog, the ‘ internal linking
The editorial plan will be your map, the map that will guide you towards achieving the results.
Strategic Publishing Plan
At this point I’m sure you understand why we often talk about a strategic editorial plan: this is where the entire communication strategy of your project will be contained.
Unlike the editorial calendar that simply reports publication dates and content that will be published, the editorial plan is a more structured document that starts from an internal analysis of the project, of the objectives to be achieved, of the target audience ( buyer personas or reader personas ).
There are those who, in the implementation of the editorial plan, also includes the definition of the communication style and the tone of voice to be used.
The strategic editorial plan, in particular, may also include a document in which the following is reported:
- Information architecture
- Structure and Organization of Pages and Categories (in the case of a site or a blog), of the type of content (in the case of social profiles)
- Creating categories
- Choice of the tone of voice
- Publication frequency
- Web Analysis Tools
Journalism Editorial Plan
The editorial plan of a newspaper or an online newspaper (by the way, I suggest you also read the interesting article How to open an online newspaper ) is a document shared with journalists through which they are outlined:
- Shared rules
- Tips for writing in the style of the newspaper
- Editorial line (and political inclination)
- Topic tree
- Types of content
- Times to be respected
Food Publishing Plan
The food sector is one of those sectors where creating a good editorial plan can make a difference.
Those who work in the world of food or catering often rely on some macro areas for the realization of their editorial plan, such as:
- Local events
- Events organized by the owner of the venue/restaurant
- Launch of new menus or new initiatives
- Sharing customer photos or customer reviews
- Publication of recipes and combinations
- Quotes about food
It is clear that this will not help the business to differentiate itself, and that the best way to get results is to have a more structured and less generic strategy.
First of all, it is necessary to organize topics and contents to have good planning that avoids the publication of the content late or worse still without a clear vision of the result to be achieved.
Each content should have a title and a specific topic, from which then go to structure the content, through the description and above all the multimedia part ( images and videos ).
Whatever the editorial plan you will have to create, it is of fundamental importance to know the project you will work on well: strengths and weaknesses, company values, exclusive or differentiating characteristics, products, and services available.
Weekly Editorial Plan
Some call it a weekly planner: after creating the editorial plan with short-medium and long-term goals, you can divide that plan by organizing it into monthly editorial plans and weekly editorial plans.
It will be from here that you will have to start to organize your content and your publications, having clear not only what content to publish but at what time of year you are publishing (and consequently if there are topics/holidays that can be treated and that can get more interactions/traffic/interest from your target audience).
The Annual Planner will therefore give you indications on the progress of your project and on the events or holidays to take into consideration, the monthly planner will allow you to not forget anything and know what to focus on, the weekly planner will give you indications on the objectives and activity to be completed absolutely.
Social Editorial Plan
How then to create an editorial plan for social media that can improve the engagement of fans/followers and make them grow?
- Do some research to find out: the type of content (in your sector of reference) that generate more interactions, the age range of people who interact the most (and if these reflect your typical customers/fans), times and days of publication;
- Collect and prepare the materials: photos, texts, videos, audio. Optimize the images both in terms of size and quality, apply filters if necessary, create texts that include emojis and are captivating, you must capture the attention of the user who is on his favorite social network and who will see your content
- Monitor the results: use analytics software or the tools provided by social networks to understand what works best on your audience, then periodically update and review the editorial plan
Social Excel Editorial Plan – On the internet there are many ready-made templates for creating an editorial plan, many of these are simplified and generic. I recommend building on one of the free templates and then creating a customized and more advanced one.
Usually, these templates contain 4/5 columns which are: Date and Time of Publication, Topic, Post to Publish, Image / Video, Notes, and reference links for creating the content.
Facebook Editorial Plan
How to create an editorial plan for a Facebook page?
If you are a social media manager you are probably wondering what are the recommendations for an editorial plan on Facebook that can bring concrete results.
After reading this article, and the various paragraphs dedicated to the definition of objectives, competition, target, best times for publication, and best days for publication, one of the aspects to be included in the editorial plan will be the contents that will be sponsored/promoted. through advertising on Facebook
If you want to deepen the subject with a book you can read for example the book Facebook Marketing Plan.
The book will help you create a marketing plan for Facebook starting from the drafting of an editorial plan to the realization of the ads on Facebook. The very positive reviews speak of a book that is easy to understand and ideal even for the less experienced.
Those who are more experienced speak of a book that is too general, similar to a university book, with few case studies and few insights.
The author says: in this book I’ll explain step by step how to create and build a strategy that works on Facebook, how to create an editorial plan to engage your prospects and customers, and how to find the right audience for your Facebook Ads.
Instagram Editorial Plan
The editorial plan for Instagram differs from the editorial plans seen so far because it must include some specific elements:
- The Hashtags to use (to learn more about the topic I recommend reading Hashtags for Instagram )
- The Stories to publish
- The topics to be covered during the live shows (and the number of live shows to be published monthly)
- The interactions to be done daily (possibly with a history of the operations carried out)
Editorial Plan For Blog
The first differentiation to make, for good drafting of an editorial plan, passes through the division of the plan into:
- Time variables
Within temporal variables, we must therefore establish which, for example, are the contents that must bring traffic in the short term, which in the medium, and which in the long term, with a more or less constant flow of users.
Therefore, once objectives, topics, and temporal variables have been established, we must evaluate what our reference target is, to whom we want to address based on the objectives we have chosen.
The ideal is therefore to create typical profiles of users who may be interested in the contents of our site. In the case of monetizing.com, for example, some typical profiles are:
- Communication experts
- People who work in the world of web marketing
- People who work in the world of SEO
- Website owners who want to know what are the methods to monetize their spaces
- People interested in affiliations
Therefore, once the typical profiles have been selected, we can differentiate the contents and program them possibly following a more or less regular frequency (an idea is to create real thematic columns, for example, every week).
Although we have typical profiles for our portal, they do not necessarily reflect the users of our site. To verify the data of our visitors we must make use of analysis and statistical tools, one of these is certainly Google Analytics, which, in addition to telling us the number of visitors who arrive on our site, informs us about (among the various factors):
- Landing page
- Exit page
Once the objectives and target audience have been defined, the type of content is set.
What content to publish?
Sometimes it happens to be short of ideas. If this has happened to you at least once, here is a list of contents that you could probably publish or program within your site:
- Surveys and market research
- Publications to comment / Book reviews
- Experiences / Case History
- Tools to use
- Information content
- Industry news
- Content that creates virality/engagement
The frequency of publication
There is no standard publication frequency. There are very popular bloggers or website owners who publish a post a week, there are others who publish a post a day or even up to 5/6 articles a day, it all depends on the market you work in, or the sector you work in. you chose.
It is interesting, however, always concerning publication frequency, to know which contents are to be published more often and which ones are to be published more rarely, and for this reason, a “model – type” comes to our aid, which I will explain below.
Once you have established the topics to be covered, you will need to divide the contents according to their frequency of publication. There is, in this regard, a model, conceived by Russel Sparkman (Fusionspark Media) which is called 1 – 7 – 30 – 4 – 2 – 1:
- 1 These are the contents to be published every day (for example a real press review)
- 7 are the weekly publications, they may contain insights, tutorials, summary
- 30 are the contents published every month, for example, one interview per month, …
- 4 are the contents that will be published every 3 months. They could be particularly important events or contents connected in some way to the seasons of the year
- 2 are the contents to be published only twice a year (see for example reports or insights)
- 1 is the content to be published once a year.
Editorial Plan Model
Listening to Luca Menna’s suggestion, I decided to have a model of an editorial plan sent and shared via Slideshare, you can find it embedded below:
Get more hits by writing articles on the site
Getting More Visits By Writing More Articles? Does not work! If you want to receive more visits to your website you have to work on the dissemination of the articles and not on the preparation of more content: get visibility through SEO and Social Media Marketing?
Over the years I have visited hundreds and hundreds of websites and blogs. These, if desired, can be divided into three broad categories:
- Blogs and websites that publish one content per week
- Blogs and websites that publish one content per day
- Blogs and websites that publish several dozen articles a day
Everything changes according to the chosen niche and the type of website: a technology site, most likely, will have much more content to be published every day than a recipe site (which may decide to publish 3 articles a week), but the real question to ask is:
Does writing more articles help me get more hits?
The answer, from experience, is NO, and in this article, I will try to justify this statement.
First objective: to intercept the needs of users.
Instead of writing dozens of articles that won’t be read/followed, you should probably focus on intercepting users’ needs and interests. A good strategy to increase visits to your website is certainly to deal with trending topics related to your sector, but, generally, these contents will allow you to have a boost in traffic for a limited period.
How do you disseminate the contents of your website?
Let’s not fool ourselves. Don’t believe the story that “publishes quality content and traffic will come spontaneously”. It doesn’t work like that, especially in the most competitive sectors. You may have published the best article on the net, if you work in a competitive market niche (and often the most competitive sectors are also the most profitable ones) you will find yourself “fighting” for positioning with companies and SEOs that try to do the best for the customer and to generate sales/earnings.
So, once you have published the best article on the net, you have to worry about PR and Social: spreading the article in short (without forgetting all the SEO activities that are fundamental, today more than ever).
What happens to your old articles?
Do not underestimate the old articles already published: instead of having 10,000 articles on your website, it is better to dust off the contents already published and update them or enrich them with information, rather than publish new articles.
Work on old articles and maybe change the publication date to give more prominence to those articles that deserve more visibility, promote those contents and try to improve yourself by looking at what competitors are doing, what is the added value that you give to the topic, such as your weaknesses.
In short, if you publish 10 articles a day and the traffic does not increase, the reasons could be various:
- Low-value content
- Content that is not seen by users because they are unable to position themselves on search engines
- Poor promotion of your site content and poor sharing
So instead of working on creating new content, you should review your editorial plan and improve your online communication strategy. These are some practical tips for good management of the editorial plan of an insurance website, and what do you think?