We all know about growth in content marketing and its proven benefits. If you have already implemented this strategy, it’s time to take it a step further – create an editorial calendar.

Check out these five ways an editorial calendar can take your business to the next level:

PR Opportunities

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It’s no secret that the public relations industry can be spontaneous. Even though it keeps you on your toes, you should still be organized with the bulk of your PR planning. An editorial calendar will help you strategize and remain focused on the priorities of what you should be pitching to the media.

As you create your calendar, you can begin to think of future themes and needs for upcoming articles and media pitches. The opportunities will come because you will approach your media pitching with a plan of attack.

Tip: Don’t get caught up in trying to be too fancy during your initial planning. This is just to help you get organized and put your thoughts “on paper.” Once you have some general ideas, that’s when you can start to get the creative juices flowing.

Social Media Planning

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This may be one of the most important points, because it will make life so much easier in the long run.

Think about it. How many times do you post on social media a day for your business? Either you aren’t doing it enough due to lack of time, or you are posting a lot but it takes up way too much of your time.

Creating an editorial calendar for your social media posts is the best way to plan all of the content you would like to display across multiple social platforms. All this requires is creating a spreadsheet. It’s best to keep all of the information in one file so it is easier to see what is being said throughout all of your accounts.

Once the bulk of your content is created in advance, you can actually schedule your posts to deploy at a certain time. No more taking fifteen minutes out of your Saturday morning or Sunday night to share your company’s newest blog post. There are so many tools out there to help you work ahead including Facebook Business Manager or Hootsuite.

Tip: Utilize hashtags. This applies to both trends and originals. Social media is the best outlet for free advertisement, so take advantage of what is out there. Plan on participating in some of the #trends that are coming up for the month. It may seem silly, but look how much publicity #nationalpuppyday got. Being socially engaged is extremely important if you want to continue with an online presence.

Blog/Newsletter Content

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We’ve all been in the meetings about what to do for the next blog post. You want to keep your posting consistent for the audience, but sometimes writer’s block sinks in at the worst times.

Creating a calendar that displays blog and newsletter content will alleviate any of the stress that comes with planning that comes with generating new information for your online audience.

What’s the best way to implement this? Schedule a creative session. Get your team together and hammer out a few creative ideas that you can use for the remainder of 2016.

Tip: Always remember to keep events in mind. This could be anything from holidays, trends, or even local events in your area. Do your research and think outside the box when it comes to relating the world to your business. Creativity is a huge factor when attempting to engage people online.

Collaboration/ Organization within the Office

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More than likely, there are multiple people in your company that have access to the social media accounts. While it’s good to spread out the work, sometimes that can cause some disconnect with your branding and messaging that will be reflected online.

The editorial calendar will promote much better teamwork. Whoever is in charge of social media should also have access to the calendar so everyone is on the same page. Also, people can begin to incorporate different creative assets such as images or web links.

When it comes to themes or campaigns, you want to maintain an organized, professional look. Having a strategic game plan of what is going to deploy and when will give you more opportunities to focus on engaging with the audience opposed to posting day by day.

Tip: When it comes to organizing the calendar with the entire office, it’s best to get everybody together so there is no confusion. While everybody might have access to all accounts, it’s best to appoint one person in charge of a specific platform. Obviously Facebook and Twitter are very different, but it is important to maintain a consistent voice within each individually. Consistency engages the audience.

Time

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Who doesn’t want more time, right? While it is definitely a commitment to creating the initial calendar, the amount of time saved in the future is astounding. Think of posting content every day like living paycheck-to-paycheck. You don’t want to plateau. You want to see growth and progress with the work you put into online content.

Once your posts are scheduled and being deployed consistently, you will have more time to track your audience. You can begin to monitor the “likes” and “retweets” and compare the quantity to the time of day you post. You will also have more time to interact with your audience online and possibly even start a conversation.

Tip: You want to encourage online conversation. Once you find yourself with more time, you will be able to communicate better with your audience. Make sure you follow pages that resemble your business, and even follow the people that engage with your page. If someone comments on one of your posts, be sure to reply in a timely, positive manner to prompt others to chat with you as well.

So, are you ready to step it up a notch? As you begin to create your editorial calendar, make sure your team is on board. Explain to them why you are making this commitment and how it will benefit the company in the future. Remember, you’re making life easier for everyone.