One of the best things you can do when undertaking a major content marketing push is to use an editorial calendar to manage your content.
Any good content management system (CMS) will include an editorial calendar as part of the package. Take it from us: using an integrated online editorial calendar beats writing everything down on paper or shuffling around a lot of sticky notes.
Here are some of the benefits you can gain by managing content publishing via an editorial calendar.
1. Strategic Planning
Your content strategy already includes the broad themes that you could cover, perhaps on a monthly or weekly basis. Being able to see planned content at a glance through a calendar interface helps you to recognize whether you are executing this strategy appropriately by helping you see the fine detail of your daily publishing schedule.
2. Filling Gaps
At the same time, you can also identify any gaps in your content and your strategy. These days companies must publish a range of content, from blog posts and social media messaging to presentations, videos, infographics and visual content. All of this can be integrated into your calendar so that you can ensure that you have all the bases covered while only having to look at one interface.
3. Tracking Content Events
The editorial calendar in your CMS is a great place to keep track of the events that are likely to generate content. For example, if you hold an annual conference or attend a major industry event, you can target your content plan to produce related content at the right time. Similarly, when national holidays are coming up, it's useful to be able to plan and create seasonally appropriate content well in advance.
4. Gathering Inspiration
Got an idea for a content piece? Plug a title and description into your CMS as a draft, then assign someone to work on it. You can also keep track of the resulting piece of content as it takes shape. It's a great way to make sure that the people most suited to creating particular types of content get to work on them, while retaining control of the overall process.
5. Team Management
Speaking of control, if you've got a huge editorial team then having an editorial calendar to which everyone contributes is the easiest way to ensure you know what's happening at all times. It makes it easy to assign people to work on particular tasks and to track that those are being completed on schedule. And if your editorial calendar allows you to schedule content for your mobile app, that's a big bonus.
6. Improved Scheduling
As with any other calendar, the big advantage of an editorial calendar is scheduling. An online editorial calendar built into your CMS not only makes it easy to schedule content for the date when you think you want to publish it but also to move it around as priorities change.
7. Social Media Scheduling
The best editorial calendars now include scheduling for social media posts, as these are a key part of your content strategy. It's the best way to make sure you give social media messaging the same care and attention that you give all your other content publishing.
8. Multi-Site Publishing
Remember the days when you had to publish content for each of your sites individually? With an editorial calendar you can hook in publishing schedules for your whole network of sites and manage content from one place, saving time and reducing stress.
In a nutshell, using an editorial calendar streamlines the editorial workflow, helping you to accomplish more with your CMS.