Do you follow an editorial calendar to drive your content strategy? If not, it’s possible that the addition of a calendar that’s mindful of bigger dates could help dramatically improve both your readers’ experience and the revenue that you capture from advertisers. Editorial calendars can help tie the flow of content and ads to bigger world events, while creating a more cohesive experience between advertising and content. Here’s a closer look at how trade publications and professional associations are implementing calendars to capture these benefits for their websites and publications.
Connecting Your Content to the Broader Context
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being so hyper-focused on developing your content based on reader interests, keyword strategies, and other inputs that you don’t think about connecting your content to the broader context of dates, holidays, and seasons. Yet seasonal calendars, holidays that your readers celebrate, and other natural milestones are important hooks that engage readers.
Using holidays as an anchor point can also help your readers emotionally connect to your content and get excited to take action. For example, the New Year’s holiday tends to be a time of renewal and setting big goals. If your site is offering content and paid products that can help your members achieve their goals, they’re more likely to buy, attend webinars, or read and share your materials with others in their community.
Thematic Approaches Offer a Better Member Experience
Many of today’s largest mainstream publications operate around monthly themes. Some of those themes are seasonal; others relate to holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Still others may connect to major dates that impact a specific career field, such as April 15th, tax day, and accountants. From a content perspective, organizing your material around specific themes creates a more integrated and satisfying reader experience.
It also makes it simpler to manage the process of conceptualizing, assigning, and editing high-quality content for your readers. To apply this concept, develop a list of the dates that fall into each of the main categories – major holidays, seasonal topics, and industry specific milestones. Place those in a standard calendar, and then begin to look for natural content themes or story ideas that connect to what’s happening around you.
Extend the Theme to Your Advertising Calendar
By providing a copy of your editorial calendar to your advertisers, you may increase the efficacy of the ads that are placed on your site or encourage your advertisers to increase their spending. When there are clear linkages between external buying events, onsite or publication content, and the advertising presented, readers are more likely to pay attention and take action. As a result, advertisers receive a better return on their investment and may consider increasing their seasonal spending with you as a result.
Another opportunity for publishers working with editorial calendars is to look for special advertising tie-ins that could lead to increased business. For example, if you’re planning to run special content for your members in connection with Valentine’s Day, you might consider adding an additional email newsletter to highlight that material. Sponsoring this special, high-profile piece of content could give advertisers another way to reach your audience.
If you’re not anchoring your content creation and advertising opportunities around an editorial calendar, it’s a helpful framework for uniting everything under a single vision. Try it today to see if it adds cohesiveness, new growth opportunities, and a chance to provide a better member/reader experience.