Your Editorial Calendar Is Not a Content Marketing Strategy

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing

  • Date:

    January 25, 2022

Your Editorial Calendar Is Not a Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing

Do you ever have that recurring dream where, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t accomplish what feels like an incredibly basic yet super important task?

For a marketing team that counts on an editorial calendar to guide their content marketing efforts, a similar feeling of despair can occur when even the most well-written blog post or incredible video falls flat. That’s because, when you jump straight to an editorial calendar, the resulting content is sure to be brand-centric and self-involved rather than focused on your audience’s needs.

Although an editorial calendar can help you organize and schedule your content, it will likely fail to realize your broader marketing objectives if it isn’t informed by deeper insights regarding your target audience’s motivation, interests and goals. Consider:

  • Who are you talking to?

  • What is their challenge?

  • How can content address said challenge?

  • Where does your audience go for information?

  • What action(s) do you want them to take?

This is where a content marketing strategy will help ensure that you are creating the right content, for the right people, and sharing it in the right places, at the right time. A flawlessly executed strategy will unlock your brand’s engagement potential.

The chicken or the egg?

While we will likely debate the answer to that question until the end of time, choosing what should come first between a content marketing strategy and an editorial calendar is much more straightforward:

Always start by mapping out your strategy.

A solid content marketing strategy details the content you plan to create, for whom and how to promote it, noting the topics, tactics and distribution channels you believe can best reach your target audience. By establishing this type of project road map, you can also better monitor how your content assets are performing, calculate the return on your marketing investment and determine the effectiveness of the experience you are providing.

To build a robust content marketing strategy, start by making sure you have the right resources, which could include (but certainly aren’t limited to) audience insights, a content audit and keyword research. Then, develop a structured plan that outlines content development, promotion, monitoring and measurement.

A calculated editorial calendar should — you guessed it — be one result of this exercise.

When you put your baseline content marketing strategy on paper, it becomes easier to identify the gaps, which is nearly impossible to do when you rely solely on an editorial calendar to guide your marketing efforts. And, it’s certainly something the top marketing leaders are aware of and looking to improve, according to recent research by Forrester, with 85% reporting that their organization plans to invest in a comprehensive solution for content planning, creation, management and delivery this year.1

Creating Content That Creates a Connection

Today’s consumers are becoming accustomed to receiving personalized content from the brands they want to do business with — in fact, many actually expect it as the new standard for a brand’s marketing outreach.

Yet out of the 431 marketing leaders surveyed by Forrester, “only 34% said they strongly agree that their organization is able to incorporate personalization … at each stage of the content lifecycle.”1

Again, this is where a well-informed content marketing strategy can support greater personalization, improve the customer experience and increase traffic from organic search. It can even help you develop conversion-focused communications for each stage of the sales funnel. Your editorial calendar plays an important role in this process by outlining a list of topics that resonate with your audience, identifying their preferred formats and communication channel(s) and ensuring the right publishing cadence.

Understanding the editorial calendar as one product of your content marketing strategy can help guide your marketing efforts to success. If you have questions, shoot me an email, and we can discuss the many different ways Wray Ward helps its clients develop and execute world-class content marketing programs. (Dream interpretation, however, is extra.)

1 Poor Content Execution Is Sinking Marketers’ Grand CX And Brand Visions. Forrester Consulting, April 2021.

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