5 Ways an Integrated Editorial Content Calendar Can Streamline Content ROI

An integrated editorial content calendar is nothing new, but it is also a commonly overlooked means of inter-organization that could help your business drive additional Return on Investment (ROI).

Companies work like engines, and each cog in the wheel needs to be greased and well maintained in order for productivity to flourish. If your marketing has a content-rich focus (and if it doesn’t, it should!), and you have not yet experienced the advantages of a content calendar, these following reasons may just rock the boat enough to get you on board. And 2017 should be the year that we all streamline content ROI!

1. Keeping your team on track

Chances are that your day is already very busy. (If it’s not, call me and I’ll send you a few action items.) The same goes for the other members of your content contributing team. Workplaces demand multitasking more than ever before. But the ensuing result is something that often gets lost in the mix.

“When people multitask, often they do multiple things badly,” says David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah professor of Psychology. “A lot of times, the people who multitask the most are the worst at it…it’s individuals who lack impulse control.” (From Forbes.) The real problem with multitasking is that every time you or your team tries to switch between multiple tasks, focus is lost. And that focus loss takes away precious time that could be spent maximizing productivity.

For me, an editorial content calendar is normally my team’s lifeline. It not only helps keep my team on track but also improves focus. Less time is spent going back and forth between attention-grabbing tasks. Assignable deliverables and helpful reminders ensure that my team’s synergy is maintained along the way. Everyone is on the same page. No excuse. While employees and contributors are prone to multitask throughout their day, the calendar helps maintain that nothing important is overlooked during the nine-to-five-ish grind.

2. Focusing on quality over quantity

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but perhaps one of the oldest tips in the book for writers is that one should focus on quality over quantity. A Bleacher Report publication concurs. They advise that a good writer also has a good reader, takes their time to proofread their documents, is open to constructive criticism and (above all else) focuses on “quality over quantity.”

This is where good editorial calendar software can help you not only improve your workflow, but also the quality of that work. For example, senior editors could assign tasks that are also shared between other senior and junior editors. When new content flows into the pipeline, each editor can take a stab at reviewing and critiquing the content. At the same time, the writers can be made aware of suggestions and comments, giving them the ability to the make changes before the content goes to final review.

Pieces that lack substance or quality can be easily identified along the way. This provides the room to either redact pieces before publication or revise them to meet biding quality and stylistic guidelines. The end result is a more superfluous operation that’s conducive to quality above anything else.

3. Improving accountability

Writers have gotten a bad name over the years simply for the fact that holding them accountable can be difficult. A content calendar helps to mend this fence by bridging the gap between writers and their deliverables, and editors and their publication needs.

Assignable roles and deliverables with due dates are incontestable. The calendar does not lie. This innately creates a higher level of accountability. It also provides clear insight into what writers are working out and which ones need improvement (not to mention helping editors wheedle out the bad apples and make proactive changes that enhance the content delivery funnel).

4. Connecting contributors via mobility

It’s a mobile connected world. So why not connect your writers via an editorial calendar app that sends push reminders and updates directly to their smartphone handsets and mobile tablets? With today’s technology, that’s a reality. All that’s necessary is the requirement that contributing authors and editors all connect to the content calendar app from their mobile devices.

Doing so creates a virtual web of accountability that results in improved efficiency with your writing team. An editor, for example, may have a light bulb moment during Sunday brunch with friends, and then can simply make an update, suggestion or note to the calendar via their mobile app. At the same time, a contributor may see that push notification and accept the piece, ensuring a timely Monday afternoon delivery.

5. Eliminating disparate data

2017 will be the year of removing disparate data and information systems…for good! According to Gartner, “85% of companies fail to exploit their data to decisive competitive advantage.” The editorial content calendar is no exception.

Many teams often struggle with properly aggregating content information and data from freelance writers, SEO platforms, influencer contributions, Google Analytics, etc. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to information overload or system churn.

With the right content editorial platform, you’ll have a single source of content truth. All of your team’s communication, revision requests, editorial tracking and content results will now be in one central and easy-to-use location. Forever gone will be the days of multiple spreadsheets, emails, collaboration documents, siloed project management information and disparate data system headaches.

As you can see, there are abundant reasons to consider integrating an editorial content calendar. They are part of what the B2B Content Marketing Trends 2017 graph says are helping businesses rate themselves as “42% somewhat more successful” heading into the new year (2017). Editorial content calendars are also helping 62% of content marketers feel that their approach is “‘much more’ or ‘somewhat more’ successful with their content marketing than they were last year,” according to Forbes.

Perhaps it’s time that you gave one a try at your organization to see how it can help improve efficiency, accountability, mobile accessibility, quality and streamlined information.

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