Why It Might Be Time to Dump Your Editorial Calendar

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Creating and following an editorial calendar is like working out.

You hate going to the gym.

You hate doing every exercise but in the end you love the results.

When I started Pushing Social, I struggled to create my editorial calendar for months.  After some experimentation, I discovered an easy method for completing the process.  It went something like this:

  • Brainstorm 11 topics related to my subject.
  • Brainstorm 5 posts for each topic

…and voila I had 55 blog posts, enough for a year of weekly posts.

This method still works very well.  In fact, I use it to jumpstart my client’s editorial calendar creation.  But, I there’s a problem with this process. It focuses on quantity.  Simply fill up your calendar and you’re finished.

This type of focus leads to bad results.  Just look at blogs filled with rushed 150-word posts that rehash industry news for an example.

Ideally our editorial calendar should guide us to create quality multipurpose content.  Content that delights our readers and gives them multiple opportunities to engage.  After more tinkering I realized that the basic editorial calendar doesn’t achieve the “quality” objective.  For that you need a fresh approach.

Introducing the Editorial Campaign

An Editorial Campaign is an evolved version of the Editorial Calendar.  Where the editorial calendar focuses on quantity, the editorial campaign focuses on quality.

The Editorial Campaign, however, focuses on reader experiences and not shoving out another blog post.  The Campaign understands that your readers consume information in a variety of ways.  Some readers prefer text, others want an audio recording, still others would appreciate a quick video presentation.

Instead of 55 posts, focus on 12-24.  Heresy I know but hear me out.  The posts in your Editorial Campaign are supported by 2-3 other content pieces.  Your post comes in a package, a campaign, that includes an audio version, a quick slide deck on each point, and a video of you narrating the slide deck.

This campaign now has powerful traffic attraction content along with the core blog post.  Repurposing your content this way drastically boosts the traffic pulling power of your post.  It also builds rapport with your current readers since they get more ways to engage with you and your content.  As a result one “campaign” works harder than 4 posts.

Ease into the Editorial Campaign

The Editorial Campaign isn’t for everyone.  You might not feel comfortable with recording your voice or doing a video.  That’s alright, stick with the Editorial calendar.  If you choose to use the Editorial campaign, ease into it with one campaign a month.

Here’s a quick walk-through of each type of campaign content.

1. An audio podcast version:  You can pick up a Snowball Microphone from Amazon and use Audacity a free audio recording app.
2. A slide show:  Just get a professionally designed presentation template from GraphicRiver.net and summarize the key points of your blog post using Keynote (mac) or Powerpoint (pc).
3. A video:  Take the same slide show and record yourself narrating each of the slides.  Use a screen recording app like Camtasia (PC) or Screenflow (MAC).

Upload each type of content to your server or Amazon S3.  Also upload your audio (podcast)  to iTunes. Upload your slideshow to Slideshare and put your video on YouTube.  Finish up by providing a link to each at the end of your blog post.

Why The Editorial Campaign Works

Different Strokes for Different Folks: It pains me but many people hate to read.  The Editorial Campaign produces content that accommodates a wide variety of media consumption styles.  The busy corporate warrior can listen to your audio on the way to work.  The YouTube junkie can pull up your channel and watch your pitch synopsis.  Everyone gets what works best for them.

Google Candy:  Google loves multimedia content.  They particularly like content that uses their platforms.  A YouTube video, properly optimizes, usually gets a front page spot on Google Search results.  Distributing your content on trusted sites like Slideshare and iTunes will give you multiple opportunities to get great search listings when Google indexes your content on their platforms.

Spotted Zebra:  I tell my Mastermind Members that their business survival depends on being a spotted zebra.  This means that you need to stand out from the crowd and attract attention.  Nobody misses a spotted zebra.  Using an editorial campaign uses high-value content to separate you from me-too competitors.

Give The Editorial Campaign a Try

Yes, this process takes more time but it beats the performance of publish-and-forget posts. Like I said, test the editorial campaign approach for one month and watch your traffic growth.  Manage your time by starting simple.  Leave out the bells and whistles until you are comfortable with the new content types.  Then slowly refine your content, keeping an eye on your overall time commitment and traffic results.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

18 thoughts on “Why It Might Be Time to Dump Your Editorial Calendar

  1. Claudia Baruzzi

    Hi Stan, just to info you that the link provided in your email for entering the video section is not active. In the image you can see what page opens. Can you provide correct link, please?

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  3. Stanford Post author

    Hey Tara, I am creating a video/guide around this for PS Mastermind Plus members. This is one of those concepts that needs an in-depth dive.

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  5. Charlie Hendricks

    Thanks for the tips. We have a team of busy dads and moms trying to balance parenting duties, life, and writing articles. We’ve struggled to find ways to sustainably drive content and the editorial process. Will pass this around to the team. Thanks

  6. Stanford Post author

    You bring up an interesting point. I use both as well. I use the editorial calendar to set the beat or cadence of my publishing schedule. The editorial campaign is used for events and opportunities where I want to be sure that I grab my readers attention. Make sense?

  7. Derek Fischer

    The bulk approach to creating an editorial schedule also has the drawback of the relevance of the content possibly diminishing later in the process. While it is great to have content in a variety of formats to suit a wider range of users it is also vital to be up with the conversation in your niche.

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  9. Shane Rhyne

    Stanford,

    That’s a great idea to package the content in a campaign format. I love the concept of taking a single idea across multiple platforms. I could see how using features such as Google+’s Hangouts, a Twitter chat, or other Q&A opportunities (Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, etc.) could also be implemented.

    Thanks for the brainstorming idea!

  10. Miller Finch

    Hi Stanford,
    Brilliant idea to build a whole package of information/content rather than post and run. The repetition establishes the idea better to the viewer, plus different media reach viewers who respond better to different formats.
    Excellent for ‘repurposing’ info as well.
    Great stuff, Stanford! Thank you!
    – Miller

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  12. Stanford Post author

    Hey Eric,
    We need to erase the distinction. Bloggers are content marketers. Simply creating a blog and hoping that you’ll get traffic is quickly becoming a losting strategy. Even creating a blog and promoting it via social media comes up short.

    It’s time to demystify “content marketing” – hopefully this post helps.

  13. Eric Wittlake

    Stan, I think this is the difference between “bloggers” and “content marketers” in many ways. As a blogger, your focus is on filling your blog. However, as businesses have moved into content marketing, the idea of atomizing content for various platforms has become standard.

    This is the next step in democratization it seems: individual content creators adopting something much closer to an integrated marketing approach. The competition for attention that publishers and marketers face just went up.

    Good advice, thanks Stan!

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