For time-starved internet marketers, sitting down to create an editorial calendar can feel like the monumental task.
There’s always a deadline day looming or a publishing date approaching that needs your attention ASAP.
So , it’s no wonder that 46% of marketing experts don’t have the documented content strategy.
The irony is that creating an editorial diary can actually save you time. So , we’re going to walk you through the process of quickly creating an editorial calendar. Listed here are the cliff notes:
- Determine your general content goals
- Decide which platform to use to create your calendar
- Verify your content workflow
- Determine your content distribution strategy
- Assign appropriate tasks to relevant individuals
Before we dig into the information, though, let’s cover the basic principles:
What’s a good editorial calendar and why is it important?
An editorial calendar is really a long-term timeline for preparing and executing your content online marketing strategy. Closely related to other planning tools like publishing plans and content calendars, an editorial calendar often serves as the primary or master work schedule from which more detailed plans are usually derived.
As for why it’s important, Michele Linn, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Mantis Research, puts it this way : ”Regardless associated with where you are in your content marketing efforts, it’s important to have an editorial calendar to keep your articles consistent and relevant. It also helps keep your marketing group on the same page and is an excellent reference for your management. ”
Here are a few additional perks of having a good editorial calendar:
- Reduces the amount of time invested writing and scheduling because your team isn’t constantly planning on the fly or re-inventing the wheel when creating content.
- Makes it simpler to handle unexpected events because you can see the big picture and move things around appropriately.
- Improves cooperation within your marketing team, with management, with other departments inside your company, and with outside stakeholders.
- Provides the vantage point needed to repurpose your existing or evergreen content and use your resources more efficiently.
- Allows you to calculate results based on your advertising objectives and change course when needed instead of winging it.
What does a great editorial calendar template look like?
As you can see in the content calendar example above, a great template details how different elements connect to your overall content strategy. It often takes main events or campaigns taking place over the next 12 months and breaks them down into these categories:
- Techniques and frequency
- Person or department accountable
- Important collaborators
- Key distribution channels
- Publishing deadlines
You can use a variety of tools in making your editorial calendar. A lot of large marketing teams use content calendar software , but you can furthermore use spreadsheets (as proven above), traditional calendars, whiteboards with markers and sticky notes, Kanban boards, or other project management equipment.
Wondering why there are so many options? It’s mainly because different tools allow you to imagine your editorial calendar in various ways. You should also consider things like ease of use, personal preferences, size of the team, integration with other equipment, and scalability before selecting which method to use. (We’ll go into more detail means choose the best one for your company in a bit. )
How to create an content calendar quickly
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, it’s time to get into some details. In this section, we will cover five steps to producing an editorial calendar as fast as possible.
Step 1 : Determine your overall content goals
Since your editorial appointments is a plan for executing your overall content goals, figuring out exactly what those goals are is the best place to start. What are you trying to achieve? What outcome defines success?
If you already know the answers to these questions, take a minute in order to jot them down. If not, you can use the following common content marketing goals as a starting point:
- Creating brand awareness
- Educating your audience
- Building credibility and trust with customers plus industry peers
- Generating demand and prospects
- Nurturing clients and leads
- Building loyalty with existing customers
- Driving attendance to events
- Generating sales and revenue
- Building a subscriber list
- Supporting the launch of the new product
You may have multiple goals, and that’s okay — in fact , it’s probably the most likely scenario. But it makes it even more vital that you clearly identify them today so you take them into account preparing out your calendar.
After all, your goals are likely to determine everything from the type of content you create to the distribution channel you choose to the language within your CTA. Sometimes different targets require a different approach; also, there may be areas of overlap or even opportunities for synergy.
For example , let’s say you’re trying to build a subscriber list while simultaneously helping a new product launch. You could approach them both individually, using different blog posts and social media ads for each goal. Or you could create a webinar designed to both bring in subscribers and promote the brand new product.
Step 2: Choose platform to use to build your personal editorial calendar
Once you’ve determined your own goals, the next step is to choose the platform to build the actual calendar. So , let’s take a deeper look into the tools we described earlier to figure out what’s best for your team.
Whether or not you build them through Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, spreadsheets are a favorite tool for many content internet marketers. Besides being free, they have got a relatively short learning curve and can be paired with calendar apps and other planning tools.
Nevertheless , spreadsheets can be a bear to maintain—especially if you have a large articles marketing operation. They’re furthermore not great for collaborating as comments can be hard to keep an eye on, often necessitating another type of communication that’s not associated with the calendar itself.
Digital calendar applications like Google Calendar or even Apple Calendar are a simple way to keep tabs on content deadlines and publishing dates. They’re free, easy to use, and acquainted to just about everyone.
The main problem is that will there’s a lot more to editorial calendars than just the key times, and you’ll have to find a individual way to track that info.
Back in the day, editors would use whiteboards to maintain of everything. And this method really does still have its uses, including brainstorming content ideas plus providing a visual representation from the editorial calendar. However , whiteboards fall short when it comes to communicating the information on them to anyone else on your team.
Task management tools
Visual Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and other project administration tools are great for managing your own editorial calendar once it is created. There are a number of kanban software programs out there, like Jira and Trello, that provide templates to set up a board rapidly.
The main downside of going this route is that it’s often just another siloed solution — disconnected out of your other marketing tools, calendars, and communication methods.
Content calendar software program
As you’re most likely picking up by now, many equipment tend to solve one problem whilst ignoring another, often causing marketers to hobble together an inefficient solution. For this reason, many teams are changing to content calendar software to create and manage their own editorial calendars.
For example , Welcome’s content calendar software is custom-built just for marketing teams, bringing together all of the tools you need in one easy-to-use platform. If you’re thinking you probably can’t afford it, however, free version of Welcome’s software includes the following:
- Spreadsheet planning
- Monthly editorial calendar
- Timeline and Gantt views
- Kanban boards
- Collaborative messaging
- Project management
- Flexible workflows
- Alerts and notifications
To get a better idea of how content calendar software can increase your efficiency, take the case of Orolia . Like many others, Orolia’s marketing team was struggling with visibility and collaboration, mostly caused by a haphazard collection of point solutions and a mar-tech ecosystem that will wasn’t strategically integrated.
As Patrick Start barking, Senior Marketing Coordinator on Orolia, explains: “The group as a whole had hit a roadblock. We were using several tools; each solved a particular problem and had limited conversation with another. We resorted to an excel file to campaigns in one place plus soon enough, it had 7 tabs! It took all of us up to 4 hours of meetings every week to align everybody. We were at a critical stage — but we required a better way”
So at the end of 2020, Orolia decided to try out Welcome’s content calendar software. Here’s what happened:
- Discussed calendars helped align stakeholders with campaign plans and important details.
- Customizable workflows allowed Orolia’s marketing team to determine a repeatable content creation procedure.
- Content optimisation tools enabled subject matter professionals (SMEs) to collaborate within real-time and ensure compliance.
To date, team productivity at Orolia increased thanks to centralized planning plus streamlined collaboration. Plus, 87% of the time previously spent within weekly meetings is now employed for productive work.
Step 3: Determine your content workflow
Once you have chosen your platform, the next matter to think about is your workflow designed for content creation. Specifically, how does some content move from the first to the last draft within your organization? What steps can it go through before it’s ready to publish?
Often , this depends on the size of your team and the amount of articles you’re producing. For little teams with minimal result, your content may only experience one or two touchpoints before becoming published — from the writer to the content strategist, by way of example.
For bigger teams that generate loads of content, your pieces may pass through many more stages between your first and last draft. In this case, your workflows are going to have a lot of dependencies, meaning particular tasks can’t be started until another one is complete.
Let’s say you’re creating a long-form blog post in conjunction with the product development team. Here’s an example of what a workflow might look like:
- Research keywords
- Interview SME from the application team
- Create title and outline
- Write article depending on research and SME job interview
- First round of edits
- First round of changes
- Final round of edits
- Final changes
- Final approval
- Add visuals and graphics
- Publish post and/or send to client for review
Fortunately, you don’t have to start assigning tasks for every solitary piece of content while creating your yearly editorial diary. That can be saved for the month-to-month content or editorial calendar, which is more focused on daily task management.
However , you need to have a general idea of how long it takes a piece of content to move from start to complete. Otherwise, you’re likely to produce a publishing schedule that’s possibly impossible to execute or way too lax.
Step 4: Determine your content submission plan
The next matter to wrap your head close to is the distribution channels you intend to use to get your content in front of your audience. To do this, you’ll want to back up a bit and think about where your potential audience usually hangs out on the internet.
For example , should you be targeting B2B buyers, LinkedIn is going to be one of your best options. If you’re targeting B2C Gen Z buyers, on the other hand, platforms like TikTok and Youtube . com are typically a better bet.
Whichever channels or mix of channels you select, it’s important to identify them during the editorial planning process simply because they can dictate the type of content material you produce. Using the instance above, long-form blog content, short-form thought leadership content material, and white papers are usually better suited for LinkedIn whilst short, fast-paced videos are better for TikTok.
Another consideration just for content distribution is regularity or publishing cadence. Each channel has its own tempo and expectations for exactly how often you should be posting content material. Even within social stations, each platform has its own ideal frequency :
- Instagram: 3-7 social media posts per week.
- Facebook: 1-2 posts per day.
- Twitter: 1-5 twitter posts per day.
- LinkedIn: 1-5 posts per day.
It’s vital that you get this right — otherwise, your content may not have the influence you’d expect. In fact , 27% of consumers say low-quality or infrequently published content would certainly lead them to believe that a brand is out of touch or not up to date along with customer habits.
Step 5: Assign appropriate tasks to relevant people
Now that you have a general idea of workflows and channels, you can begin to assign jobs to the appropriate people. Returning to the blog post workflow we outlined above, here’s a good example of what this might look like:
Content strategist or even SEO expert
Interview SME from the application team
Content strategist or writer
Develop title and outline
Content material strategist or writer
Write article depending on research and SME job interview
Very first round of edits
First round of approval
Final round of edits
Final acceptance and/or changes
Add visuals and graphics
Graphic style team or creative movie director
Publish write-up or send to customer
Producer or content strategist/manager
As we said before, you do not need to assign each step in the workflow at this point. However , this is an excellent exercise to go through on a general level to make sure you have the particular staff necessary to execute your own plan.
For instance , let’s say you have one particular writer on staff who has the capacity to handle two content articles per week. If you’ve planned to create five articles a week, you understand right off the bat that you’re going to need to hire additional writers.
Editorial calendar Frequently asked questions
What does an editorial calendar include?
A 12-month editorial calendar typically includes key elements that connect to your overall content material marketing strategy, focusing on the whom, what, when, and where of content production. Samples of such elements include techniques, content ideas, deadlines, posting frequency, publishing dates, collaborators, and distribution channels.
What is editorial diary management?
Editorial calendar management refers to executing the plan laid forth in the calendar itself. It’s like creating a schedule for the year and then making sure everyone is subsequent it on a daily basis.
What’s the difference between a good editorial calendar and a articles calendar?
Simply speaking? Scope. An editorial appointments focuses on the big picture while a content calendar enters the finer details. Another way to think of it is that an editorial calendar is a zoomed out, long-term plan for executing your articles strategy. In contrast, a articles calendar zooms in, outlining a day-by-day plan for meeting the deadlines in the editorial calendar.
That said, many content marketing specialists use the terms editorial appointments and content calendar interchangeably. Oftentimes, this is because the content and content calendars are usually combined into one tool or spreadsheet.
In cases like this, the editorial calendar acts as the primary calendar, allowing entrepreneurs to see everything at a glance. Individual calendars or tabs are usually then integrated within the major calendar to allow marketers in order to dig deeper into each task, seeing what must be done on a daily basis.
Right now there you have it! Now you know how to create editorial calendars inside a snap. We know you’re occupied, so we’ll let you be able to it. Best of luck out there!