Have you given much thought to the content you would like to publish today, tomorrow, or even next week?
If the answer is kind of, sort of, well maybe, you are not alone. Though you may often have good intentions of posting content on your website regularly, let’s be honest, life gets hectic and sometimes you just fall behind.
However, this does not take away from the fact that you know consistent posting of high quality content and sharing of that content on various platforms is one of the number one ways to drive traffic, gain leads, and even convert more sales. Better yet, I know that you know that using an editorial calendar is one of the most efficient and easiest ways to accomplish these content marketing goals.
If you are a website owner looking to bump up your content marketing efforts, really plan something worthwhile for your audience, and reap the benefits that a quality editorial calendar can bring you, keep reading.
Today I want you to consider throwing away that traditional pen and paper calendar you have sitting on your desk and invest in a fully digital editorial calendar solution called CoSchedule. I will show you why an editorial calendar is needed in your life, what CoSchedule offers website owners, and how CoSchedule can help you achieve your content marketing goals.
What is an Editorial Calendar? And Do I Need One?
Before we touch on what an editorial calendar is and why you should definitely consider using one, I think it’s important to discuss what content marketing is first. After all, your content marketing plan is directly related to your editorial calendar so having a grasp on that concept is a must.
Content marketing is the intentional act of providing useful, helpful, informative, and otherwise entertaining content to your intended audience. Garrett Moon, Co-Founder of CoSchedule, put it best by stating that content marketing is “marketing that doesn’t suck”.
The goal of your content marketing strategy must be geared towards long-term success rather than making a quick buck. You must aim to attract, convert, and retain customers, and you should have a tool to manage all of this. That’s the reason you need an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars are designed to help you see your content marketing plan from above in a visually appealing and easily understood way. They also do a number of other things such as:
- Provide a platform for planning content in advance.
- Keep your team on the same page with open communication.
- Include details about content including keywords, target audience, expected results, and the publishing schedule.
- Give you the ability to share content through other avenues.
- Organize every aspect of the content creation process into one convenient location.
So What About CoSchedule?
I recently wrote a detailed review about the awesomeness that is CoSchedule. But for those of you that missed it, let’s recap what CoSchedule is and the features it provides website owners.
CoSchedule is best explained as a free plugin found in the WordPress Repository that requires a monthly subscription to use. Once you have uploaded the CoSchedule pluign to your WordPress website you will be able to easily connect to the paid service that provides all of the neat features I am going to tell you about.
- Editorial Calendar. Use the drag & drop calendar to plan all of your website’s content in advance. Assign tasks and workflows to members of your team, schedule content to publish on your website, and create social media campaigns. Color code your projects, change deadlines, and even import from other content creation tools such as Evernote or Google Docs.
- Social Media Calendar. Schedule social media posts on a variety of different platforms. Post fresh new content or repurpose old (but popular!) content. Share curated content, post multiple times, and analyze the numbers to see which pieces your audience like best.
- Manage Workflow. Make use of task templates to create custom workflows for your team. Assign tasks and send email notifications, search for and visually see the progress of all assignments, and participate in project comments.
- Write Better Headlines. Use the Headline Analyzer to add emotional value, uniqueness, and power to your content headlines and email subject lines.
- Integrations. Plan, publish, and promote with CoSchedule’s integrated partners. WordPress, Chrome, Evernote, Google Docs, Buffer, Google Calendar, Bit.ly, YouTube, and Google Analytics all play nice with CoSchedule.
As you can see, CoSchedule is packed full of fun features that make creating a content marketing strategy a whole lot easier. Now let’s take a look at how you can make use of those great features to build a better business for yourself.
Step 1: Installation and Activation
Using CoSchedule with your WordPress website requires the plugin be downloaded on your website as well as an account set up using CoSchedule’s standalone app. It is in this way the plugin and service work together.
You can get the CoSchedule plugin via your WordPress dashboard (select Plugins > Add New), from the WordPress Repository, or even from CoSchedule’s official website.
Once the plugin is installed and activated you can access your calendar directly from your WordPress dashboard or using the app. There are 6 main actions CoSchedule allows website owners to choose from: Blog Post, Social Message, Content, Event, Note, and Task.
Step 2: Create a Blog Post in WordPress
CoSchedule connects with your WordPress website so that you can create and publish content without ever leaving your website.
Start by clicking on your preferred calendar date and the upper right hand corner. You will then be able to select Blog Post from the pop-up that appears. Here you can title your post and assign it to a team member if you wish.
After you title your post a new screen will show where you can achieve many things:
- Check the strength of your headline
- Designate a post status: Draft, Pending, Review, Published
- Schedule the post to publish
- Assign a category and author
- Color code projects
- Schedule social media posts and messages
- Create additional workflow tasks for other team members
- Leave comments
Once you have completed all of the details regarding your new blog post, whatever you have scheduled will now appear on your calendar.
Step 3: Schedule a Social Message
The next thing CoSchedule offers website owners is the ability to schedule social media messages independent of actual blog posts.
Here you can choose which social media platform(s) you wish to post on, share an old WordPress post, schedule the date you wish the message to post, determine its status, and of course construct the message itself.
In your social media message you can add text, images, and even link to external content whether that be your own or curated content.
Step 4: Create Content
When you want to create content for your website, you have a second option using the Content selection in your CoSchedule calendar. Again start by titling your post and clicking Continue.
Just as it does when you create a new blog post, CoSchedule will present you with a screen full of options once your post has been started.
The only difference here is that you now have the option to create your content using other content creation tools such as Evernote or Google Docs. You also have the option of uploading a saved file, downloading images, and even adding video to your content that will later publish to your website and social media accounts.
Step 5: Create an Event
One of the great things about CoSchedule is that not only does it let you plan and publish all of your website’s content, it allows you to calendar other important dates in your life as well.
Using the Event section of your calendar you can schedule meetings, brainstorming sessions, business lunches, company holiday parties, your dog’s grooming appointment, whatever you need!
Step 6: Create a Note
Let’s say you need to add a reminder to yourself on your calendar, or an upcoming event needs information attached to it. You can do this by filling out the Note section.
Here you can add whatever details you need, assign a date, color code it, and even make it private so others with access to your calendar cannot see it.
Step 7: Assign a Task
The last action CoSchedule lets you do is assign tasks to other members of your team and post it to the calendar.
Once you have invited other people to be a part of your calendar, and all of them have been assigned their specific roles, you will be able to choose them from the drop down menu in the Task section and enter task details for them including a color code and a due date.
Altogether CoSchedule is what I call the ultimate editorial calendar. In addition to the 6 six above-mentioned things you can accomplish using CoSchedule, you can also view what has been posted and when, follow social media analytics to see what is being shared and on which platforms, and know exactly which tasks have been assigned to others, all from the easy to use CoSchedule dashboard.
If you are looking for a complete way to handle your content marketing efforts, CoSchedule should definitely be a contender. With consistent posting, social media sharing, a smooth workflow process, and an organized and convenient way to keep all of your website’s content in one place, you will find that using CoSchedule is sure to drive traffic, increase leads, and convert more sales for you in no time.
Have you used CoSchedule as a part of your content marketing strategy? Have you seen a jump in attracting, converting, and retaining customers? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!