An Editorial Content Calendar is a well thought out guide that will keep you and your team on track throughout the year. I like to set up my editorial calendar in three different templates. The first is a framework or a layout of the content strategy. The second is a yearly overview and lastly, a monthly view packed full of everything needed to execute that month’s strategy. Creating the ultimate editorial content calendar will create a yearly outlook as well as give you confidence that team members can execute your vision flawlessly.
Template #1 Create Editorial Framework
Building the editorial framework will give you a quick view of your content strategy.
I break down my framework into 6 columns:
- Recurrence- how often each type of content needs to be created for the year
- Type- How will you engage your audience
- Content Host- where the content lives
- Channel Promotion- how you will promote the content
- Assigned- Who is responsible for ensuring the content is ready on-time
- Content Deadline- the concrete, hard deadlines for content completion
Your goal isn’t to release content every day. It’s more of a reoccurring rhythm that you can execute consistently while maintaining the quality that your community deserves.
Marketing Tools I love:
You may need to research what’s important to your community. Try Buzzsumo and looking at your Google Analytics.
Most importantly get going. Planning is a great way to get all of your thoughts together but don’t spend months planning! Just be thoughtful and get your content created and pushed out to the world. There isn’t a perfect way! In fact, most successful marketing happens in trial and error. Pick up on the errors and quickly adjusting until it’s perfected.
Template#2 Year Theme Overview
In this part of your, Content Calendar define your monthly themes. It is also a great place to spell out each article/video you will be creating for your types within your designated theme. Since I do most of my own content I just use see Monthly Calendar for details. Customize the approach for whatever is easiest for you and your team.
This can get a bit time-consuming so if you’re short on time which most of us are just get one month ahead and then schedule time so you complete the remaining months with the goal of at least getting everything lined out for the entire quarter.
You should also make note of upcoming sales, holidays and planned product/service launches. Developing content that will take advantage of these future plans will help you sell more. Which is the point of all of this, Right!?!
Every month of the year may have a different theme or you may repeat themes throughout the year. Always track your content success and adjust as needed. As with everything in marketing, it’s a process of learning more about your consumer and improving.
Template#3 Monthly Breakdown
The more detailed the better you and team will be able to execute your content strategy flawlessly.
When I designed my Monthly Editorial Calendar I color code Video content, Written content, and Going Live content to quickly distinguish how much time it take to complete the strategy. Creating a video takes longer than say writing a blog post.
I also like to set up each week so it’s a quick glance to know what needs to be scheduled for the week.
One last thing I like to include are hashtags that I will use when posting to social media and important keywords to use when writing articles and meta tags.
Creating a content strategy can be overwhelming at first, but as you work your way through, it will get easier. If you are just starting don’t think you need to do everything at once. It truly is best if you start with just a monthly email campaign and maybe a few blog posts a month with a sprinkle of sharing other people’s content on social media. Do more when you can be consistent and you understand what your community is needing.
Marketing Tip: When promoting on social media
Hashtags, like #MotivationalMonday #TipTuesday #WisdomWednesday #ThristyThursday, could be some great ways to participate in established hashtags and get you noticed.