An editorial calendar is, in so many words, a plan. In a calendar format, an editorial calendar will allow you to visualize all content you plan on sharing for that month. It is here that your team will be made aware of all work they are assigned, the publishing schedule is determined, and be able to visualize the plan.
You already have a marketing strategy that you’ve spent countless hours perfecting. So why do you need a calendar:
There are a few fundamentals that need to be completely established before starting:
Decide whether you want to create a quarterly, monthly, or weekly calendar. For the purpose of this post, we will focus on a monthly calendar. Determine a date in advance, perhaps a month to six weeks, that you want to have your calendar for the upcoming month completed by. This gives all involved time to do the research, acquire all the content, and get all the approvals required long before it is time to execute. You can always go back and make tweaks closer to the scheduled dates.
The main reason you need an editorial calendar is to keep organized and stay productive.
Have only one editorial calendar. It can get confusing if each team or contributor is working on their own version. This master calendar can have different tabs for each social channel, but they should all live in the same document.
Make this calendar accessible to the entire team. Allow editing capabilities to managers or those responsible all delivered content.
Check out our social content calendar template here.
Start by marking any important dates, holidays, events, and celebrations.
When working on a monthly calendar, it is best practice to think about your plan on a week-by-week basis.
It may be helpful to work around a weekly theme, holiday, seasonal or industry event. Do research around these and plan content that is relevant, useful, or in spirit with these events.
Plan your article topics with brief descriptions. Insert them on the date they will go live, but also assign an earlier deadline for writers or freelancers so there is plenty of time for edits, improvements, and approvals.
Ensure that each piece of content is inserted with relevant keywords for search engine optimization.
Ensure your content is targeting customers at each stage of the marketing funnel. All your customers are on different purchasing cycles and it is important to make sure you are targeting your audiences on every level. Marketing Insider Group suggests 60-70% top-of-funnel content, 20-30% middle-of-funnel, and 10% bottom-of-funnel. Read more about the marketing funnel here.
For each piece of content include details of what platforms it will be shared on. Note any title, image, or caption changes. Individual social platform calendars can be made for clarity after the all-encompassing editorial calendar is complete.
At the end of each monthly cycle, make sure you analyze what worked well, what didn’t and make appropriate changes for the following month.
There is no exact science to creating an editorial calendar, but what is certain is that it will keep you and your team working in a unified way that creates content that is cohesive, organized, and consistent. This will ultimately solidify a bond between you and your customers and drive traffic and sales.