Let’s start with a definition of an Editorial Calendar.
An editorial calendar is a document functioning as the main repository for content production, workflow, assignments and deadlines. Your Editorial Calendar is crucial for ensuring your production teams are properly aligned and maintaining visibility with all stakeholders.
What should you include in your Editorial Calendar?
- A list of future content to be published to maintain your content strategy, including content that has not yet been developed.
- The names of the team leaders and members who have been tasked with the creation and publishing of your content. Be sure to include any designers, writers editors or external sources on this list.
- Dates when the content should be created and when it should be published. Part of this step should schedule time for fact-checking and proofreading.
- Your calendar should also include a scheduled “call to action.” What is the next step? Your audience has read your content, now you need to further engage them with this call.
- Your editorial calendar would not be complete without listing the ways you will deliver your content. Will you use social media, eBooks, blogs, emails or a combination of some or all of these channels?
How do you Begin Creating an Editorial Calendar?
You first need to decide the type of content you want to create. This means determining how you will disseminate our content, what channels you will use. This is where your marketing team will be very valuable helping to brainstorm what kind of content you should produce. Things to consider as you develop your calendar include;
How much content do you want? Will you want to publish quarterly, monthly, weekly or even more often than that? How many blog posts will you require in each time period? Having about 3 months of content ready is considered good practice.
What are the demographics you are targeting? Are they more likely to read a blog post, an eBook or maybe watch a video? Remember, for some a long article will not grab their attention – you need to make it short and to the point.
Decide who will have the responsibility of creating your content. Can you in house team handle the workload or will you need to hire an agency to do the work?
You need to organize your editorial calendar to give you a focused outline of how the process for producing content will go. Some good tools for organizing your calendar are Google or Excel Spreadsheets.
When you set your publishing schedule do some forward thinking and consider any events or occasions on which to focus your content. This could and should include holidays, anniversaries, local celebrations or even industry specific conferences and trade shows.
Your editorial calendar needs to be flexible. You should never be fearful of making changes. Sometimes you may even need to change subjects if it will deliver better value target audience.
This editorial calendar should be accessible to everyone on your marketing team even though you will have one person responsible to ensure the content creation is progressing and published on schedule.