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In today's digital marketing environment, where demands on businesses to publish engaging content have never been higher, managing the process can be challenging, to say the least.
In our 7 Steps Guide to content marketing, we've advised on how to plan to create a content marketing strategy that drives reach and engagement. But there is still the practical issue of what to publish, when and where? We cover this in our new guide to guide to managing content marketing where James Carson explains approaches for workflow for editorial planning.
Thinking through how to organise multiple pieces of content, on your site, on partner sites and on social outposts is what many marketers have been grappling with for some time. The varying input and co-ordination of involvement from different staff members, freelancers or contract publishers can make it quite a challenge!
To help manage this process, many content marketers are now learning from traditional PR and publishing houses by using an editorial calendar.
In this post, I'll run through what Dan Bosomworth, Dave Chaffey and I use in our editorial calendar and then we'll show our template.
Smart Insights Expert members can download a blank / example Excel editorial calendar. This is the approach we use for scheduling our content and we have recently refined it.
Let's start in the logical place, with the why and then go into the important bit of what, when, how and where.
At its simplest, the editorial plan is a way to plan and manage the production of content - it's a checklist. But it has some wider goals too:
We've also found it's helpful to think through how best to use your calendar, by thinking what it should and shouldn't include. For example, it should include:
But careful you don't try to achieve too much, it's often best not to use the calendar as a way to:
We think that the bare minimum an editorial calendar needs to cover includes:
Smart Insights Expert members can download a editorial calendar spreadsheet to adapt for their own campaigns. In the updated version we have a tab for longer-term planning where you can easily add foundational content for a 12 month period to integrate with your marketing campaigns through the year.
By Chris Soames
Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.
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