Editorial processes are crucial to a productive content strategy, but they’re a bit like snowflakes – no two are exactly alike. Everyone finds their own “editorial groove,” as it were, so it’s important to try different techniques to see what works best for you and your business. While these tips by no means constitute an entire editorial strategy, they can certainly help to jump start your process.

7 Tips for Managing an Effective Editorial Process

1. Know your audience. Before you can create any kind of content, you need to know who you expect to consume it. Take the appropriate research steps necessary to determine your audience.

2. Decide on the voice. This requires that you know your audience. To determine the voice for your content, start by asking yourself these questions: Who is your ideal consumer? Where do they live? How do they talk? What do they sound like? How do they act? What keeps them up at night?

Creating this sort of character sketch can help you to determine what the voice of your content should be.

And if you want an example of how voice factors into understanding your audience, compare the Official Justin Bieber Fan Club page with the New York Times Business section. You’ll notice the difference immediately.

3. Create an editorial calendar. If you’ve got business goals and objectives to meet, chances are good that you want your content to align with those. Maybe you just want to respond to your readers’ questions about your industry, or perhaps your content strategy includes various themes that you run throughout the year. Whatever the case, you need to plan for your content. An editorial calendar is the best way to keep those plans organized.

In terms of what to use for the calendar itself, you’ll find that people use everything from desk blotters to Evernote to WordPress plug-ins.

Some recommended reading: Rachel Foster and Michele Linn have written excellent pieces on editorial calendars over at the Content Marketing Institute.

4. Mix up your content. Once you have your editorial calendar created, you need to decide on the types of content to include. Here are a few ideas:

  • Blog posts
  • Video
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Research and reports
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews

And don’t forget to repurpose that content. A number of solid blog posts can come together as an eBook. A webinar can become a blog series. Podcasts can become blog posts. Get creative!

5. Optimize your content. As you’re creating content, make sure you optimize it so that your target audience can find you. What are the keywords you will use? Will you include images? Does your site offer social sharing from within the posts? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself.

It’s a good idea to learn a little bit about basic SEO strategies, as well. If you’re looking for a place to read up on SEO, check out the SEOmoz blog and Nick Stamoulis’ SEO Journal.

6. Include social media. Social media and content marketing go so well together. After all, social media provides you with the means to get your content in front of so many others who might not have seen it otherwise. Once your content is published, how will you market it with social media? Decide on the appropriate channel based on where your audience is.

7. Maintain. This part of your editorial process involves first checking out your analytics to see what worked and what didn’t, followed by the obligatory tweaking. It could also potentially involve blogger/writer relations.

Is your editorial process similar? Drastically different? Let us know your editorial insights!

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