Content is the gold standard in today’s digital marketing world. With engaging content creation, you can increase traffic, leads, and conversions.
However, staying on top of your content production can get challenging when you’re consistently adding new social media feeds and blog posts. Without the right organization tools, your content can become repetitive and jumbled.
An editorial calendar can help you organize your content strategy and follow a clear timeline. As an organizational tool, an editorial calendar maps out your weekly, monthly, and even yearly content creation.
As a result, implementing an editorial calendar for your marketing and content team can help you better plan and optimize your content marketing strategy. Learn about different editorial calendar templates and how to customize them so you can improve your content workflow.
What an editorial calendar should look like
An editorial calendar should outline your upcoming content creation assignments. It should focus on both the overarching theme of your content production and the details of different posts.
How do you structure an editorial calendar?
You can structure an editorial calendar in a variety of different ways. Before you create your editorial calendar, consider your content marketing goals. Once you’ve identified your marketing objectives, you can then outline your content plan and calendar around your objectives.
For example, if your goal is to expand your online presence, then consider highlighting your daily social media posts in your editorial calendar. This will help your content team focus on generating content across your social channels, expanding your online reach.
You can also color code your editorial calendar to organize different content ideas and deadlines. For instance, you can make blog content a separate color from Facebook posts to help organize your writing team.
What should be included in an editorial calendar?
Your editorial calendar should outline three main aspects.
- Content type: Your calendar should clearly state what content you’ll be creating. Identifying the type of post, whether it’s a social media post or blog article, can help you better organize and prepare for assignments.
- Timeline: The main purpose of your editorial calendar is to provide a cohesive timeline for all your content assignments. Thus, your calendar should clearly indicate when different content assignments are due.
- Content creators: Finally, your editorial calendar should state which writers are working on each assignment. This will eliminate any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page. It also makes collaboration easy.
Why are editorial calendars important?
Editorial calendars are important because they help content teams stay on track. Managing content creation across different platforms can get confusing. However, content calendars can help you stay organized and publish content that achieves your marketing goals.
Additionally, editorial calendars can also help your improve your content marketing ROI. When everyone understands the content agenda, it’s easier to generate content that aligns with your target market. Content that successfully engages your ideal demographic has a greater ROI because it produces more traffic, leads, and sales.
Ideas for planning, organizing, and following through with your editorial calendar
You can plan and organize your content calendar according to your marketing strategy. Different marketing goals better fit distinct calendar layouts. Thus, select an editorial calendar that aligns with your content goals.
How do you effectively organize an editorial calendar?
First, outline your content timeline. Determining how far in advance you’d like to plan your content strategy can help you more effectively organize your daily, weekly, and monthly content plan.
Once you’ve created a timeline, you can start organizing your content ideas throughout your editorial calendar. Brainstorm topics ideas and content pieces for your social media accounts, website, and blog.
If you have numerous social channels, consider creating a separate social media calendar to help keep your content organized. In this calendar, you can highlight the key components of each post, such as post type, objective, and platform.
You can also organize your editorial calendar by content type, separating long-form and short-form content into two categories. This can help writers better match the tone and style of each type of content form. Although short-form pieces tend to be more casual in tone, long-form pieces are often more complex and educational in tone.
As you consider the different types of content you want to create, outline the content pipeline for each piece. How complex is this piece of content? What will the review and editing process look like?
Answering these questions can aid your content planning process. The more you develop your content pieces before the writing process, the more organized and effective they’ll be.
How do you keep content production on track and hit your publication deadlines?
Editorial calendars can help you keep content production on track so that all team members hit your publication deadlines. Most editorial calendar software provide visual tracking displays that show each content creator’s progress.
These types of project planners ensure everyone knows their projects and deadlines. They also help teams divert resources and writers to assignments that are falling behind.
You can also consider holding weekly or monthly content meetings to review the progress of different assignments. Team meetings are an effective way to discuss the editorial calendar together and determine if any changes need to be made.
Who should be in charge of managing your editorial calendar?
A project manager or chief content creator should be in charge of your editorial calendar.
Project managers have experience overseeing multiple projects at once, so they have the skills needed to manage different teams of content creators.
If your team doesn’t have a project manager, then a chief content creator should organize and oversee your editorial calendar. A chief content creator is the main team member responsible for developing and producing content production. Thus, they also have the necessary skill set to handle managing the editorial calendar.
How often to update and use an editorial calendar
Updating your editorial calendar ensures your content production stays engaging for your target audience. As a result, it’s important to discuss how your content team can revise existing content and generate fresh content each time you review your content calendar. This will help you drive traffic and maintain your brand presence.
How often should you update your editorial calendar?
You should update your editorial calendar depending on your content marketing strategy. However, as a good rule of thumb, update your editorial calendar at the start of each year. By conducting a team meeting to plan the general themes and goals of the year’s content production, you can better plan and develop new content.
You can also consider reviewing and updating your editorial calendar at the end of each month. During this time, review performance metrics to analyze which content pieces performed best and why. From there, you can repurpose content that performed well for your upcoming content assignments.
How do you manage an editorial calendar?
To manage an editorial calendar, routinely check in with your content team. Asking for progress reports and updates on assignments can help you better track each stage of the content production process.
Additionally, stick to your initial timeline. Changing deadlines mid-project can delay content pieces further and confuse writers. Sticking with a hard deadline can help keep your team on track.
Outsourcing content marketing is another strategy that can help you manage your editorial calendar. By outsourcing content creation to freelance writers, you can increase the amount of content you create each month.
You can also help your team by outsourcing content, as they will have less content pieces to write. With a more manageable workload, your content team will be able to produce better results.
When should you access your editorial calendar?
You can access your editorial calendar a year in advance or a month in advance. Different content marketers work on different timelines, so determine which content planning option is best for your team.
For example, if your content team publishes complex content pieces at a quick pace, then planning a year in advance can help you better organize and develop your content marketing strategy.
On the other hand, if you don’t produce content as often, then accessing your editorial calendar a month in advance may be manageable for your team. It may also be easier for your team to repurpose and develop fresh content if you’re checking performance metrics and altering content ideas on a monthly basis.
As a result, find what works for your content team and stick with it. Establishing a consistent plan and routine can help your content team stay organized throughout the content production process.
Sample templates for successful editorial calendars
Successful editorial calendars are organized and strategic in developing an effective content marketing plan. There are many organization tools and software you can use to help assemble your social media and website copy into a clear plan.
What kind of templates are available for editorial calendars?
There is a wide variety of template options available for content teams looking to update their editorial calendars. Different templates offer distinct layouts, features, and capabilities.
For a traditional calendar layout, many content teams opt for an excel spreadsheet. With an excel template, content teams can align content projects with keywords, outline the buyer’s journey, and implement functions to calculate the content marketing ROI.
Google Sheets is a great Excel template for content teams, as you can share it with different writers for seamless collaboration.
If you use WordPress for your blog or website, then consider using the WordPress calendar plugin for your editorial template. It provides a monthly view of upcoming assignments and is simple to integrate with your WordPress site.
You can also find templates that outline key content elements in the editorial calendar. HubSpot and Shareaholic both offer free templates that incorporate sections for developing CTAs and target audiences for each content piece.
Where can you see examples of successful editorial calendars?
You can find examples for successful editorial calendars online. Many SEO and content strategy blogs provide reviews and analyses on different content tools and editorial calendar templates.
You can also reach out to other content teams in your industry. Consider asking them which template and tools they use for developing their editorial calendar. Discussing what worked and why with other teams can help you better choose a template that fits your content goals and business.
How do you make an editorial calendar of your own?
You can customize an editorial calendar template to make the layout fit your content team’s workflow. For example, you can highlight priority assignments within your template so your team knows which content pieces to focus on. You can also color code different content ideas and dates to visually organize your calendar.
Likewise, you can curate your calendar to fit your content marketing goals. If your objective is to drive website traffic, you can add a section to your editorial calendar that tracks traffic for each content piece you post. From there, you can better determine which posts best appeal to your target audience.
On the other hand, if your content marketing goal is to improve SEO, then you can include SEO best practices in your editorial calendar. This will remind your content creators to focus on SEO as they write their social media and blog posts.
An editorial calendar is an asset for any marketing or content team. It can help you organize and implement your content strategy. With a clear content plan, it’s easier for content creators to match the style, tone, and goals of your business.
Outlining an editorial calendar can be overwhelming at first, as it requires extensive organization skills. However, with the right team of experts, you can create a content marketing strategy that aligns with your goals.
At Elite Editing, we have professional content creators and editors who can optimize your content marketing strategy. We’ll outline a content calendar for you and provide you with content that sells. Learn more about our content writing services today!