The How and Why of Great Editorial Calendars

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Written By Natalie S

Strategize for success with a great editorial calendar. This tool helps you publish content consistently, streamline your workflow, and keep traffic flowing to your site.

The editorial calendar is the content marketer’s best friend. Also known as the content calendar, this visual workflow improves organisation. It also boosts the effectiveness of your content strategy. Here, we’ll look at why you should have an editorial calendar and how to create one.

The Why

Improves organisation

An editorial calendar gives you a systematic way of creating and publishing content. Sure, it tells you which piece is going live and when. But it also helps to distribute duties among the team and collaborate. It gives you a system for brainstorming, planning, creating and scheduling content. In this way, the editorial calendar reduces chaos, saving you time and resources. This translates to better return-on-investment for your business or your client.

Ensures consistency

Do you ever find yourself swamped by a deluge of work, left prioritising other tasks over content creation? This can interrupt the consistency with which you publish, affecting traffic to your site, your number of clicks and leads. Breaks in publishing can also disengage audiences who anticipate a steady flow of content.

An editorial calendar allows you to plan, even create, your content ahead of time. You can then schedule publication of your content. The added benefit of pre-creating and scheduling content is that you don’t have to take time out of your day to post content. When the deluge of work comes through, you can still publish content consistently.

Tracks success

An editorial calendar offers you a way of tracking the success of your marketing strategy. It gives you oversight into the types of content you’re publishing, your authors, dates and times. Data like this will help you tailor your content creation to better reach your audience. You’ll be able to create more engaging content and find out which times of day your audience are most engaged.

The how

Create your editorial calendar

Use your editorial calendar to organise your content, including blogs, social media posts, videos or podcasts. Use your editorial calendar to note the frequency of publications, times and dates of publications.

We recommend using a digital tool to create your content calendar. Choose from Trello, Evernote, Meistertask, Google Sheets, or do your own research to find the right tool for your purposes. Online digital tools have advantages over programs such as Microsoft excel. They allow several users to collaborate, edit, or give feedback in real time.

Your editorial calendar should also detail the content publishing pipeline. Include due dates for review and approval processes, uploads, reporting and more.

Calendar inclusions

The basic information in your editorial calendar will include dates, the type of content and subject. For example, under October 2nd we have “blog about editorial calendars”. You can then add more detail as you create your content such as headlines, categories, image files and social share links. The more detailed your calendar is, the more benefits you gain. Create a more complex calendar by including data and analytics such as total clicks, click-through-rates, bounce rates, and leads generated.