Every facet of marketing relies heavily on the use of strategy. Companies need to develop comprehensive, clear plans for how they’re going to produce content, publish campaigns, and even promote marketing assets on a variety of channels.
An editorial strategy, or editorial content strategy, outlines exactly how organizations plan on producing educational, informative, and entertaining content, designed to boost brand awareness, and thought leadership. Here’s your guide to getting started with editorial planning.
Before we answer the question “what is an editorial strategy?” it’s worth first defining what “editorial” content looks like. Unlike advertorial content, created with the specific intention of promoting a product or solution, editorial content is designed to inform, entertain, or educate.
Primarily, editorial content is used as a way of positioning a brand as a thought leader, and reputable vendor in an industry. It highlights your knowledge of your marketplace, provides customers with useful guidance, and gradually earns your company the trust of your target audience.
As a type of inbound marketing asset, editorial content helps to drive new customers and leads towards your company, by providing them with answers to crucial questions, or simply offering them a source of entertainment.
In simple terms, an editorial strategy is a company’s plan for how they want to prepare, create, and publish content in the marketing landscape.
It’s part of an overall effort to produce content that boosts the visibility of your company, earns the trust of your target audience, and helps you to capture new leads. After all, while there are various ways for businesses to earn the attention of their target audience, few inbound advertising efforts are more valuable than the creation of content.
Even if you already have an overall “content marketing strategy”, an editorial strategy can still be beneficial. It helps you to identify where you’re going to promote content, what kind of pieces you’re going to produce, and even who will be responsible for different content assets. Used correctly, your editorial content strategy can:
There’s no one-size-fits-all process for building an effective editorial strategy. The kind of content you create, where you promote it and even how often you produce new pieces will depend on a number of factors. However, you can improve your chances of building an effective editorial content strategy with the following steps:
The first step in creating any kind of content strategy, is understanding what type of audience you’re trying to appeal to. Knowing who your customers are, where they live, what their goals and pain points are, and other important factors will help you to craft more valuable content.
Buyer personas outlining the core demographics of your target audience, such as their age, location, and gender, as well as buying behaviors and preferences can be extremely useful here. You can also enhance your knowledge of your audience by conducting research. Send out customer surveys, listen to customers on social media, and analyze competitors to see what kind of content they produce.
Once you know who the members of your target audience are, the next step is defining how you’re going to reach them through specific channels and types of content. For instance, if you know your target audience is more likely to be influenced by visual assets, you might choose to experiment with video, images, and infographics, posted on channels like Pinterest and Instagram.
If you know your customers are looking for authoritative, thought-leadership content, you might consider creating articles for your website, blog posts, and eBooks or whitepapers. In most cases, many companies will get started with a campaign that involves both social media marketing, and content optimized for the search engine results pages.
Next, establish what you want to accomplish with your editorial strategy. While the overarching goal of your content may be to improve your sales and increase the number of leads you have access too, it’s important to think about other, smaller goals too. For instance, are you trying to build better relationships with customers through engaging experiences?
Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and earn the trust of your customers through high-quality, authoritative content? Setting goals will help you to determine which metrics and KPIs you should monitor when evaluating the performance of your marketing campaigns.
Once you understand who your target audience is, where you’re going to publish your content, and what the ideal outcomes of your marketing strategy will be, the next step is developing editorial guidelines. Essentially, these are rules your team members and contractors need to follow when showcasing your business voice and personality online.
Your editorial guidelines might include tips on how comprehensive each piece of content should be, and how writers and creators should reference resources in their pieces. You might also include guidelines on how to use keywords, find relevant topics to write about, and use certain terms and language. The aim is to create a consistent presence for your company across all channels.
Once you have your editorial guidelines, you can start to consider how frequently you’re going to create, publish, and promote your content. There are no set rules for how often you should use editorial content in your marketing plan. Your strategy will depend on how frequently your competitors post, and how often you want to engage with your target audience.
You can consider starting simple, with one or two pieces of content published across multiple channels each week. As you learn more about your customers, and monitor their response to your content, you can upgrade or downgrade your content production plans. Use a content calendar to ensure you’re publishing your content at a consistent cadence.
Finally, think about how you can improve your editorial planning to make your content strategy more valuable to your marketing teams. For instance, you could create standard operating procedures which guide professionals through the process of developing briefs for blogs and social media posts. It might also be worth establishing specific workflows for different kinds of content.
For instance, when you’re creating blog posts, the process might start with brainstorming and researching ideas, before looking into keywords and SEO opportunities. After someone produces the blog, you may assign another member of staff to edit and promote the piece.
While building your own editorial strategy may seem complex and time-consuming at first, it’s an excellent way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your content campaigns.