As a member of our marketing team, I find our content marketing editorial calendar to be one of the most important tools that we use to stay on track with our integrated marketing campaigns. (By the way, we don’t actually use post-it notes.)
There are a lot of websites out there with how-to advice on creating your own calendar. So, in order to help those of you who are just starting out, I’d like to share five tips on how to create a marketing content editorial calendar:
1. Establish the Framework
• Create a timeline for the calendar – weekly, monthly and quarterly timelines work best.
• Publish content across channels – ask your staff to promote content externally.
• Create content – focus on the needs of your primary audience.
• Develop a content approval process – set deadlines and stick to them.
• Maintain consistentcy – if you publish weekly, always publish weekly.
2. Be Realistic
You might want your team to become a content marketing machine, but don’t try and overachieve if the resources aren’t there.
Sure, it might be easy to plug five blog posts, a white paper and a press release into a weekly calendar, but, realistically, do you have the time, expertise and team support to accomplish this?
Take a good look at a specified time period, examine your writing resources and spread content as uniformly as you can. And really take into consideration your approval process, product cycles and the actual amount of time employees have to deliver content.
3. Learn to Share
Make the editorial calendar available to everyone involved in developing the content, and encourage collaboration. Reference the calendar in your team meetings and check status updates.
Share documents via collaboration tools like Google docs. I can tell you that Google docs saves me and my team thousands of hours every year as we are able to simlpy share, edit and collaborate in one place.
4. Remember Milestones
One of the best things about using an editorial calendar is that it helps you map out your content strategy and block out particular periods of time and subjects based on campaign goals.
Viewing each project in context with other milestones enables you to see product launches, marketing events, holidays and cultural events that just might increase or decrease the success of a project.
5. Editorial Calendar Templates and Tools
There are several editorial content calendar tools that weren’t covered in this blog, mostly because Ian Cleary did an excellent job featuring three of them in his recent blog on Social Media Examiner’s website.
An editorial calendar can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or Google Drive document. The website www.coschedule.com also provides a free template to help beginners get started.
To sum up, an editorial calendar offers you a ‘birds-eye’ view of your entire content marketing content for the year, letting you see in a timely fashion what’s on the radar, when’s the best time to publish content and any other areas of missed opportunity. Don’t let your great content go to waste by failing to have an editorial calendar in place!
Have you found content marketing editorial calendars to be an effective resource? Do you have any other tips readers might benefit from as they develop their own? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.