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Managing content, especially within larger teams and organizations, can be a daunting task, but professional marketers know how rewarding it can be when done right. Strategizing and planning ahead is essential for effective content marketing, and using a content calendar is one of the best tools to serve this purpose.
If you are new to editorial management or looking for a way to keep all your content well organized, this page offers you a series of resources, from definitions and purposes to a free downloadable template that you can use to build your very own.
A content calendar (also known as editorial calendar) is a written schedule of when and where your upcoming content is to be published. It provides a visual workflow that helps a team of content creators to plan their work over a given period of time and track content types, promotional channels, authors and publish dates.
Content or editorial calendars typically include the following elements:
Providing a mutually-agreed system for planning, writing and scheduling content over a specific period of time, content calendars ensure structure, clarity and consistence, as well as accountability. Categorizing content and showing the corresponding calendar timeline, they ensure transparency on upcoming material.
Using an editorial calendar bolsters your content marketing strategy because it:
Social media editorial calendars are organizational tools for strategically planning all the content you’ll create and share on social media platforms. Apart from scheduling when and which social posts will be shared, a content calendar for social media is also used to manage campaigns and track deadlines.
Here are 5 of the most important steps you need to take in order to create powerful and efficient editorial calendar templates for your business:
Set your content marketing objectives – think of the ways in which content marketing can help your business goals. Among the most common ones are:
Research possible topics to underline your strategy – this stage is not about coming up with exact headlines, but rather with rough ideas of content types that would help you reach your marketing objectives. For example:
Content research and understanding your analytics – to create more strategic content, you need to take a closer look at your audience and the types of content they prefer. Use analytics tools to determine:
Coming up with content ideas – once you’re clear on your marketing objectives and the key details on your target audience and their preferences, you and your team should brainstorm content ideas to support this input.
Continuously monitor your results and adjust your strategy – no editorial calendar should be set in stone; once you’ve put a certain type of content out there, it’s great practice to monitor its results and use the information to optimize your calendar and, consequently, your content marketing strategy.
There is no such thing as a universal editorial calendar model – it all depends on the needs of your team. However, there are a few standard questions you should ask yourself to decide on the ideal format of your content marketing calendar. These include:
This downloadable editorial calendar template was created to help those responsible for content creation within an organization to plan and lay out publishing schedules in a simple, straightforward format. It enables marketers to present and coordinate content marketing initiatives in a manner that builds alignment between teams, keeps writers accountable for their work, and is easy to communicate to high-level audiences such as clients and executives.
To build trust and create a long-term relationship with the target audience, content marketing requires strategic planning and consistency. Professionals can use the example content calendar to outline their team’s plan over a 3-month period and to track progress more easily.
Built as a visual Gantt chart slide, the template can help marketers to:
The free content calendar template was designed as a native PowerPoint slide with all objects editable, so it can be easily modified to reflect the specifics of individual publishing schedules. For instance, users can change the current color-coding or task shapes to group initiatives by content type - e.g. website content, blog, Knowledge Base etc. – or show which tasks are assigned to which team member. Any texts, dates, shapes, fonts, colors and positions can be changed manually using PowerPoint's controls, or they can be updated automatically with the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in.
An intuitive tool that plugs right into PowerPoint, Office Timeline allows users to quickly generate, customize and manage timelines, Gantt charts and project schedules. Content marketers can use the timeline maker to update the editorial calendar template effortlessly or to create other similar visuals that are easy to share with team members, department heads and other executives.
The add-in’s familiar interface, gallery of Gantt chart templates and productivity features such as the ability to import data from Excel or to add indicators like task duration and percentage complete will enable content marketing professionals to create impressive visuals fast and effectively highlight their team's progress.
Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly customize any of the Gantt chart templates above or create your own. Easily change the texts, colors and shapes of your Gantt chart and update dates instantly by drag & drop, all within PowerPoint.