You’ve decided to take the plunge into content marketing. You have your strategy in place, you have your resources lined up, and you have that burning drive to get started.
Now what? To keep yourself and your content producers on track, and upper management in the loop, you’ll want to develop a content calendar. This document can actually be quite complex, but it’s an extremely effective blueprint.
Whether you call it a blog schedule, an editorial calendar, or a content production timeline — a major goal is to establish a cadence to your content marketing publishing efforts. That’s important, because without producing consistent, sustained content over many months, you’re unlikely to see results.
An editorial calendar will also help you set clear expectations with everyone in your organization who is embarking on this content journey with you. Help them see the path you’re creating — by month, by quarter, or even by a full year.
By planning ahead and providing a structure, you’re demonstrat
ing commitment, and you’re beginning to craft a clearer long-term vision. This will help bring consensus, and that internal buy-in from multiple departments will help you set a high bar for quality content.
The DNA: Your Calendar’s Blueprint
To give life to your content calendar, you’ll need building blocks in the form of a template. No need to worry about creating this kind of blueprint from scratch. There are many examples out there, including this free editorial calendar template from Vertical Measures. Be sure to look at all of the tabs within the two worksheets.
Depending on how many content creators will be working with you (remember they can come from any department in your organization), you may want to actively share your calendar through a cloud-based tool, of which there are also many. We use a combination of Basecamp and Google Drive, which has excellent live collaboration features. Google Calendar or an Excel spreadsheet may be simpler for you and better suit your needs.
You might also consider sharing the calendar with data analysts, marketers, designers, or your manager, so they can visualize and understand how they fit into the process.