Many bloggers fail to realize that readers do not visit blogs to look for products to buy. So instead of focusing on commercial content, they should also produce editorial content.
Keep reading to know what editorial content is and why it’s important. Discover its definition, elements, and the steps to creating editorial content
What is the Definition of an Editorial?
Editorial content is a form of writing that comes in various forms and shapes. It usually involves any topic with opinions, standpoints, and viewpoints. This type of article also includes event analysis using different pieces of evidence.
Generally, these forms of content are part of the news content in magazines and newspapers. There’s an editorial page with the heading and names of the editors.
Editorials also aim to educate different types of audiences. Some brands use it for traditional marketing, while other organizations want to inform. No matter the goal, this content type never aims to sell.
What Makes a Good Editorial?
Different readers and writers have varying meanings and purposes for editorials. They also have diverse beliefs about how editorials should be and what they should discuss.
High-quality content is more than just pure analysis. One of the guidelines in producing editorial content is to be authentic. All pieces of evidence should be genuine while being mixed with opinions.
It also shouldn’t include an explicit sales pitch. Editorial content is always informative, never advertising.
What are the Elements of Editorial Content?
Several elements play an essential role in your content strategy.
Tone and Style
Part of your content marketing strategy should be to establish a consistent tone. Your newspaper or blog company should have its content style guide to sound more professional in all pieces of writing.
The tone should also depend on the writing style of your editorial. Any effective content plan always considers the nature of one’s writing.
For instance, if you aim to produce descriptive writing or expository writing, do not write using a direct sales tone. Keep a casual tone so that readers will easily digest your piece. Others even use a personal tone to make their editorial more persuasive and engaging.
Another essential element of editorial content is the target audience, which is crucial to your organization’s content marketing strategy. It’s one of the fundamental editorial style guidelines that will help your organization produce a loyal audience base in the future.
Finding your target audience will also help you develop different types of content customers will love. Establishing credibility with audiences is much easier if your expertise aligns with their interests.
For example, if you cater to a millennial audience, some topics they might be interested in include professional development and lifestyle news.
Because they have the most significant purchasing power of any generation, you can subtly treat them as buyers, users, or consumers.
If you’ve yet to establish a solid reader base, do not go into niche topics. Consider lighter topics that the general population may enjoy.
Do you plan on creating blog posts or social media posts? Your editorial content plan should consider the type of content you will write, its length, and where to publish it.
Your archive of content must include hundreds of articles with similar forms to provide a good reading experience for users. These forms of content should also follow a consistent tone and writing style.
While developing your editorial content calendar, plan both written and visual content. Your editorial article should include videos. Above all, ensure you’re producing original editorial content.
Search Engine Optimization
Aside from making your content relevant to your audience, it should also follow basic SEO guidelines. Make sure to input essential keywords so that your post will stay on top when someone does an online search.
Keeping your content error-free and engaging through external links increases your rankings on search engines. Other methods you can try include organizing your text into subcategories and adding meta descriptions.
Title metadata is metadata for your page title. It is displayed on top of your browser window and as the headline in search engine results. You can also add description metadata, which refers to the description that the browser uses.
The last element of editorial content that your content teams must consider is its placement. Decide where you want to post your content.
Different types of platforms have their own benefits and drawbacks. For instance, long-form content is not suitable for social media channels. It might be better to publish them on your company blog so you can also include affiliate links and a call-to-action.
What is Editorial Content in Journalism?
Editorial content in journalism has the same definition. It is any relevant writing published on print or digital channels that aims to inform and educate readers. In journalism, editorial content is never a form of advertising content.
What is Editorial Content in a Newspaper and Magazine?
They say editorial pieces are the main features of every newspaper and magazine. This type of content is usually a short essay on current events where the writer shares their opinion.
It is essential to know that the writer’s opinion of the piece reflects the entire publishing house or newspaper company. Even if it’s a guest post, the same disclaimer is shared.
The content creation process of newspaper editorials is similar to other forms of editorials. But their target audience is more general since different people read newspapers. Their primary editorial content strategy is to critique events and evoke different feelings in the reader.
Types of Editorial Content
There are a handful of main types of editorial content. Let’s take a look at them.
An interpretative content or editorial of interpretation explains the relevance of a news event, idea, or situation. Some content ideas include overpopulation, gender equality, and perhaps technology.
In this type of editorial content, content creators do not share their opinion or criticism. Instead, they present both sides of the story and compel the reader to think.
Editorial of Information
An editorial of information is educational content that merely gives facts about news stories or other concepts.
The content development process for this type of editorial is more straightforward because the writer does not need to explain or share their opinions. Still, they should make sure it’s high-quality, trustworthy content.
Editorial of Commendation, Appreciation, or Tribute
This kind of editorial praises or pays tribute to a person or industry that has achieved something. They might have performed worthwhile projects, won awards, or donated a considerable amount to charity.
Editorial of Criticism
An editorial of criticism critiques current events to influence the reader’s opinions. Writers of editorials of criticism usually propose a solution after explaining the problem.
Editorial vs. Advertorial Content
The main difference between editorial and advertorial content is that editorials are opinion pieces. Meanwhile, advertorials are commercial content. High-quality editorial content is a piece of content that shows expertise, information, and views.
Editorials may also be blog articles that create an impact on the readers. It should give them a sense of trust in the writer, so they will be convinced to buy the product.
Advertorial content has a business tone. However, it’s not close to a product pitch. Aside from the advertorial tone, this form of content seeks to tell readers what and how to buy products from a company.
Even if their hidden goal is to sell, advertorials are not direct advertisements. Think of it this way. Potential customers do not buy magazines and newspapers to look for products they can buy. They consume written content for advice, information, and opinions.
Another essential feature of advertorial content is that it’s paid content. Business companies collaborate with newspaper or magazine content for writers to create first-person opinion pieces.
It’s hidden persuasive content that aims to sell through educational or procedural information.
How Do You Create an Editorial Content?
Now you’ve got an idea of what an editorial is and why it’s essential, so here are the steps to creating this type of content.
Get to Know Your Audience
The first editorial strategy you should consider is to learn more about your audience. There are three questions that the editorial team should address: Who, what, and how.
First, who are you targeting? What are their specific demographics? Do you know their particular interests? Do you plan to create new leads after a few months?
The next question to answer is, what will you tell them? Decide what type of content will grab audiences’ attention. What will keep them coming back? Make sure to research what they want to know and how your company will communicate it.
Lastly, how will the content sound and feel? Think about the writing style you will follow and your intended voice that will make the readers engage.
Once you have these answers, you have a higher chance of increasing traffic. That’s because your solid readers will keep returning to your website for new editorial content.
You also have a higher chance of attracting new customers. For example, if your editorial content focuses on home care, you can micro-target other readers like antique collectors and clothing lovers.
Micro-target is also a chance to create relationships with your competitors’ customers.
Consider How Your Editorial Content Should Sound
The next step to crafting your editorial content is clarifying its emotion and tone. Here are some questions to ask that will help you decide on the style of your writing:
- Is the intent of your editorial content conversational or instructional?
- What’s the age range of your target audience?
- Does the tone of your content fit with your current brand?
Once you know who you’re writing to, establishing your tone is much easier. The challenge is to balance your audience’s preferred tone with your industry writing guidelines. For example, if you write for younger people, keep it friendly without losing professionalism.
Some organizations have more than one persona, allowing them to adjust their tone to suit different readers. You can write for plumbers and homeowners at the same time while keeping your message consistent.
You can even experiment with different tones to know which is perfect for your organization. Or mix and match by using humor for serious writing. It also helps to add fun to educational content.
Create a Content Calendar
The third step to creating editorial content is developing your content strategy and calendar. This stage includes planning the whole development, distribution, and promotion aspects.
With the help of your editorial team, you can create a digital content strategy with clear guidelines. Write down all your rules regarding tone, style, and voice.
You can also establish your overall goals and the topics that will help you attain them.
Your content calendar will keep you organized with all your plans. Manage your workflow and plan different topics.
For example, you can make monthly content pieces about “top 10 best home organizing tools,” “5 steps to a cleaner room,” etc., and have a checklist for proofreading.
Remember that there are two categories of editorial content you should post. The primary ones include content creation for your blog, website, and social media channels.
Then, it would help if you also created sponsoring content like how-tos, listicles, and press releases.
Writing and Editing Process
Once you have a doable content plan, it’s time to get writing and editing!
Pick a topic you will write about and create an outline for it. Start with the topic sentence or main argument. Then, list down your supporting details.
Keep in mind that editorial content has an introduction, body text, and conclusion like other forms of writing.
Some writers prefer filling in the body text first. The body text is the “meat” of your writing, so it should be clear and compelling. Once it’s complete, you can write the introduction and tell the readers what the post is about.
A concluding section isn’t always essential in an editorial piece. You can swap it out for solutions to the problem you critiqued. Or try adding a final paragraph that will make your readers reflect.
Start editing your paper on different levels. Evaluate the logical structure of your editorial content, then focus on paragraph issues. Editing on the sentence level will allow you to spot misspellings, grammar mistakes, and punctuation issues.
Publishing and Promoting
The content production process doesn’t stop at writing and editing your work. You should also have a clear plan for the publication and promotion processes.
Crossposting your editorial content across many social channels is one strategy you can try. Post your writing in your newsletter, your website’s “blog section, or even the “news” section.
Some writers also post on their Instagram or Facebook pages, although I wouldn’t recommend this. Maybe you can share a link to your post on social media and add a short sentence that will grab their attention.
Measure Your Success
Gathering valuable insights from your editorial content will help you learn whether the strategy is successful. Some business insights to gather include:
- Web traffic.
- New subscribers.
- Increases in sales.
- Likes, comments, and followers.
- Improved SEO rankings.
Example of an Editorial Content
Here’s an editorial excerpt from Love to Know entitled “Reality TV Creates an Alternate Reality.” What type of editorial content do you think it is?
At this point in time, we’ve all been warned on the dangers of media use, especially pertaining to violence and other unacceptable behaviors. Studies by Dr. Bryan Gibson of Central Michigan University show excessive viewing of reality shows with relational aggression can actually cause people to be more aggressive in their actual lives. While it might seem like mindless entertainment, research repeatedly shows that watching these ‘real life’ shows where people treat others in horrible ways for money or fame actually affect brain chemistry.
As if causing real-life aggression wasn’t bad enough, reality television also contributes to skewed societal views on what kinds of behavior are acceptable. The mere fact that our society is so obsessed with reality television as a form of entertainment proves this point. Why do we find it entertaining to watch people demean, bully, or physically attack others? Why is watching someone else’s sexual exploits or narcissism a widely accepted form of entertainment?
Imagine following your best friend around a bar from first flirtation with a stranger all the way to her actual bedroom, only to have her dive under blankets after killing the lights. Sound creepy? Sounds like many reality T.V. scenes. This kind of ‘peeping Tom’ behavior wouldn’t be tolerated in the real world, so why should it be tolerated on reality television?
Editorial Content Summary
Remember that the definition of editorial content is any content that does not sell but informs, educates, or critiques.
Although it doesn’t directly increase your sales, editorial content generates brand awareness. Start including this type of writing in your content plan now!