Written by: Milana Arambasic
When it comes to marketing for your business, there are so many great ideas that you may want to implement. However, unless it is written out or in the works, it is simply an idea. Who else is guilty of saying “let’s do this for next month!”, but then not following through because there is no plan in place?! Well, we know of a secret to help you get moving in the right direction...editorial calendars. Snag our editorial calendar layout + usage tips to learn how to save time and optimize your marketing strategy this year.
Here is a simple breakdown of an editorial calendar you can make in Excel/Google Sheets for your team to work from.
Date: When do you want to have your project out to your audience? Remember, be realistic.
Content bucket: What category is your content part of? Informational, personal, etc.? Having a mix is key!
Title: What is your content about? Have the title be a little teaser.
Status: Who is working on what? Where are you in the process of curating your project?
Key Message/Issue: What is the goal of the blog/campaign/information you are putting out? Knowing the key message/issue helps keep your messaging consistent and leaves out confusing the audience.
Interview: This part is mainly for blogs/writing content, but who are you getting the information from? Does the store owner know what they are pushing out next month for a sale or store event? Do you need to interview someone for a blog?
Outreach plan: Who will talk to whom? On what medium? Phone, person, email, etc.? Who needs to design what?
Writer: Who is the project manager writing the content/in charge of executing the project in a timely manner?
Image needs: What content do you need for the different platforms you are putting out? What needs to go on Facebook, Instagram, websites, blogs, and so on?
Maybe you don't have to interview people since blogs aren't a part of your marketing strategy, so feel free to drop that column. Or maybe you don't have a website, so you don't need to update anything on that medium. Remember, this outline is a suggestion that should be edited to fit your company's marketing goals best. Read our tips on how to utilize the editorial calendar + plan your marketing strategy.
First off, it is important to organize your content and create a general plan of what information, messages, campaigns and sales you want to send out during the year. This process can be overwhelming, so we recommend planning out smaller events/campaigns/projects, at least a couple of months at a time. Every company is different with what they have going on and when, and the nice thing about editorial calendars is that they are fluid and can be customized to every company’s needs. Start working at least one month ahead of time, and set realistic deadlines for yourself and your team.
Next, decide what platforms/mediums you will be utilizing. If you have a website, a blog, social platforms, emails, etc. make sure to utilize all of your platforms to widen your reach and keep your brand looking consistent. Keep in mind that for the same campaign, you may have to create a different type of content. Generally speaking, videos perform really well on Facebook and flatlays kill it on Instagram. Keep that in mind when curating content for each platform.
After you have a general timeline and an idea of what category you want your content to touch on, then it is easier to move forward and figure out the details. For instance, the next two topics in your editorial calendar are interchangeable: issues/message and topic. Let’s say you want the message to “Motivate People to Get Healthy.” Now, everything you are putting out for your audience to see should relate to the key message of “Motivate People to Get Healthy.” Once you have your key message/issue figured out, pick out your campaign title. Fill out as much information as possible, because this helps others that are also working on the editorial calendar know when they can start doing their part of the project. Remember to create your outreach plan. Who needs to do what and by when? What images/assets are needed for each platform? Lastly, utilize the status button to keep the team up-to-date and on track. “Becky reached out to Sam for an interview - will hear back by 1/31”. Communication is key in executing your ideas on time.