Social media marketing, when done right, requires a lot of planning and a lot of moving parts. In order to create quality pieces of content for a client, such as a small business, a social media strategic plan should always be the starting point.
From that planning document and the research that goes with it, a content plan can be created.
Once a business has such a content creation plan, it’s time to figure out how this content will go from concept to publishing.
In this article, you will find out how a content marketing editorial calendar can help you, your marketing team, your business or your clients stay on track to convert planned content into published content.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar tells the story of how each piece of content will be created.
An editorial calendar does the following:
Names a project owner
Names the type of content
Purpose of the content
Lists assets that need to be created
Sets the budget
Names the content creator(s)
Lists tools, props, and other items needed
Provides a timeline
Sets a deadline
This differs greatly from a content calendar, as a content calendar lists a publishing schedule of previously created content.
EXAMPLE: calendar entry for a series of social media videos.
To Be Created: Social Media Videos to Announce the X Event
Promo for X Event - drive people to a landing page to buy tickets
5 short videos shot in landscape, 3 vertical videos for stories
Shawn P. from B Box studio
iMovie, staging area on location, need decorations + Script
Emma (video editing), Claire (staging on day of filming), John (Scripting), Dorien (actor)
Set up filing day on a Saturday in January
Final cuts needed by Feb. 3
Why Do You Need an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar helps you and your team keep on track during the editorial process.
Once you’ve come up with content ideas for the coming months or even the whole year for yourself or your client, an editorial calendar serves as your roadmap to get that content created.
The project owner is your guide. S/he is responsible for guiding the team to project completion.
Without such a calendar, your team will lose sight of due dates, publish dates, assets, and possibly the budget! It’s imperative you have some sort of record of your progress as you start creating the pieces of content needed to market a business.
What Can Be Included On Your Editorial Calendar
Besides relevant social media content for publishing on Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube, you can also include other content such as blog posts, email newsletters, and other relevant content that is part of your overall marketing campaign.
If your marketing team encompasses all marketing, not just social media marketing, your editorial calendar might include print ads, flyers, radio commercials, eBooks, landing pages, websites, white papers, press releases, and more!
To be clear: every social media campaign, contest, blog, sale, or promotion needs a project owner and a spot on your editorial calendar.
How Will You Create An Editorial Calendar?
There are lots of tools on the market to help you create an editorial calendar template that will work for you.
Here are some of my favorites!
I personally love working with Airtable and Google Sheets, but I also use Slack channels to keep the projects I am working on moving forward.
From Editorial to Content Calendar
Once you are working with an editorial calendar, each finished piece of content is moved to a content calendar, as it’s now ready to be scheduled for publishing.
Curious about what that looks like and what the difference is between the two types of calendars?
Learn more about content calendars here.