Central to achieving quality content is a centralized creation and publishing workflow
Editorial Calendars are a hot topic in the content marketing world. In an increasingly deadline-driven world, strategists and marketers are realizing that a centralized planning and publishing hub is key to any successful planning process. A successful content marketing strategy focuses on ensuring you’re publishing regular content that engages your target audience, informs your reader about your company or products, and empowers them to re-distribute the content into their own networks.
Central to achieving a steady flow of quality content that is actually being consumed is the use of an online Editorial Calendar. Having a calendar-centric marketing plan allows you to not just plan out all of your content being created, but manage the workflow for your content creation team, highlight what content types are being created, and in what distribution channels they’re being shared.
Below is an example Editorial Calendar with multiple content items for creation and publishing over the course of a month. The calendar is colour-coded, with each colour representing a different content type. At a glance you can see the different types of content that are currently planned, whether you have too little or too much of any one type, whether they’re past due or completed, or if there’s any glaring gaps in your publishing efforts.
Sample Editorial Calendar
Your brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text
Need to send an update to senior management, or provide a progress report on your content performance? Scrambling through spreadsheets or lists of items that you’re working on can take 10x longer since your brain has to try create a visual scene of what those list items amount to as a whole. Visualizing your content in a calendar format, color coded adds visual recognition, condenses the information you’re looking at in a formate that allows for understanding in 1/10th of the time.
This type of calendar view is also a great tool for sharing with the broader organization and keeping them in the loop on what’s coming from the marketing team, without having to go into granular details of your strategy or workflow.
Pack up the Spreadsheets
Rather than using a series of disparate, unconnected tools like Excel spreadsheets or Google Docs to manage your content team, you can do it all within a single calendar. Companies with multiple websites or blogs that need to be managed can view each of their calendars individually or in aggregate as shown above. Agencies who are struggling to keep on top of all of the content they are creating for their various clients can also benefit, by managing multiple organizations within a single system.
At the top of the image you will see the filters and search that can be used to find the items you’re looking for. If you wish to see all of the blog posts, or just the webpages or Tweets that are scheduled, you just need to select those from the drop-down menu. Likewise you will typically group all of your content by theme, such as pertaining to a certain product or targeted at a specific industry. You can also filter the calendar according to your Buyer Personas, by individual authors or the Buyer Cycle Stage the content relates to ie. increasing awareness with your target audience vs. encouraging a purchase vs. support content such as tutorials.
One of the biggest challenges that marketers are facing is managing the workflow between the multiple team members. Strategists and managers need to know when their writers have finished a piece and it is ready for editing and review. Likewise when designers and social media experts are required to collaborate on the production and promotion of a piece of content, everyone needs to be informed when it’s their turn to step up to the plate. Marketing.AI’s Editorial Calendar helps to solve all of these problems with workflow notifications that allow multiple authors, followers and global followers to be assigned to content items, so everybody that needs to know is kept in the loop on developments.
Publishing and Scheduling
To save time moving between multiple applications to plan, draft, publish and schedule each of your content items, Marketing.AI lets you do it all in one place. From your calendar, simple click on the draft button to open up the text and html editor where you can write and edit all of your content.
Once the content item has gone through the approval process either by management or with a client, it can be published directly to your website or blog using our integrations with other marketing tools such as WordPress and Marketo. For your social media updates you can push those directly to Twitter or Facebook. All of your content can also be scheduled for publication at a future date and time, allowing you to plan your content months in advance and rest easy knowing that it will go live exactly when you need it to.
Sample Draft and Comments
Whether you are managing a team, servicing a book of clients of just need to organize your own content, an online editorial calendar is critical to the process. Sign up today and get started with your free trial of the Marketing.AI Editorial Calendar.