Editorial Calendars: How to Effectively Plan and Organize Content
Struggling to keep up with your content? If you are publishing content on multiple platforms, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. However, there is a simple solution to staying organized. Creating an editorial calendar for all of your content is one of the best ways to plan and publish your content in a timely manner. Below are five tips on how to effectively plan and organize content with an editorial calendar.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is an organizational tool that is used to plan content for different mediums such as social media, print articles, newsletters and more. You can use an editorial calendar for any content your organization is publishing. One of the biggest benefits of using an editorial calendar is that you can easily plan ahead and collaborate with members of your team. There are multiple formats you can use, so it is crucial you understand your team’s needs in order to effectively plan and organize your content.
How to Create an Editorial Calendar
To create an editorial calendar, you need to understand your organization’s needs. Ask questions like, “How much content are we publishing?,” “What departments are handling which content?” and “What is the process for creating and approving content?.” Knowing who has what tasks and the process of writing and designing content is critical to effectively plan and organize your editorial calendar..
1. Choose Your Format
There are multiple formats you can use for an editorial calendar. From spreadsheets and calendar tools to management apps, there are a number of options that can suit your business’ needs.
In Megan Conley’s article, “How to Create an Editorial Calendar [Examples + Templates],” at HubSpot she discusses the different format options of editorial calendars while also providing examples and templates you can use. Conley suggests four options: traditional calendars or calendar apps, spreadsheets, project management tools and content calendars and management apps.
Your company’s needs will determine which type of editorial calendar you use. Conley lists the pros and cons of each type in her article. She says that calendar apps can be great for scheduling deadlines but not much else. Also, spreadsheets can be easy to use and can easily pair with content management tools like Hootsuite. Project management tools are helpful for tracking the process of creating and publishing your content as well. Content calendars have the best of both worlds as they have a calendar and the capability to manage the process, says Conley.
2. Make it Collaborative
Once you choose the type of content calendar to use, then you can begin to implement it in your organization. Your business’ structure and size will determine how many people will be using the content calendar. It is likely that multiple people will need access to the calendar. In order for the calendar to be effective, everyone needs to understand how to use and edit it.
Content calendars also promote collaboration as you can list who is responsible for different parts of the project. For example. one person may be writing the copy while another person works on the graphics. Once you implement a content calendar, your process will be effectively planned and organized.
3. Do Your Research
Even after you have chosen your format, your content calendar and schedule can always be improved. It can be helpful to monitor your competition in order to analyze their strategy. By seeing what works and does not work for them can help improve your organization’s own content strategy. Maybe there are aspects your competition does not do well that you do. Then, you can further grow those strategies to stay ahead. Also, you can improve the areas that you are struggling in by seeing how other companies overcame the same obstacles.
All in all, it is best practice to be aware of what is going on with your competition and your field in general. This way, you have a clear understanding of where your business stands and how you can better achieve success.
4. Understand Your Channels
Understanding your channels is necessary for effectively planning and organizing your content. Each channel will have a different process and may work with a variety of your team members.
Color coding your calendar can help keep it organized, especially with multiple people using it. It can also be helpful to label who is responsible for what in order to avoid any confusion. This will also help with the process of editing and approval as it will be clear who to talk to about any needed clarification.
Understanding your channels is also beneficial for knowing how often you should be putting out content. Each medium will have goals specific to that content. From social media and print articles to newsletters and email marketing, there will be different schedules for your content. This is where you can also do your research and see what your competitors are doing. You should also track your content and its success in order to find the best times and frequency for publishing.
5. Evaluate Your Success
Conley also suggests evaluating and auditing your content calendars. Nothing needs to be set in stone. If something is not working well, you can easily adapt your strategy and timeline. This is especially important if you are failing to reach your target publics. If something is not working, however, don’t stress! This is all part of the process, and with time, you will have a successful strategy for effectively planning and organizing your content.
Editorial calendars are useful tools for publishing content. Without them, creating and scheduling content could become chaotic and unorganized. In order to stay on top of your content, find a calendar that will suit your organization’s needs to further your success.
Interested in learning more about content calendars? RedMoxy is here to answer any questions you may have! Connect with us here to learn more.