How to create an editorial calendar for your team?

An editorial calendar has many advantages to optimise the distribution of your content to your audience. Here are some reminders and advice.

If you have any interest in content creation, you’ve probably already heard of an editorial calendar.

You may have already asked yourself: “Do I really need to have a schedule for my content?”.

Unless you have chosen to publish articles, videos and other types of content for no particular reason (we doubt it a bit!), the editorial calendar has several advantages :

  • having a clear and instantaneous view of all your speeches

  • being regular, which is an essential factor in achieving your goals

  • check the coherence of your content with regard to your editorial line

To sum up, whoever says “content strategy” necessarily says “editorial calendar”!

We explain everything there is to know to use a content calendar in an optimal way:

What should an editorial calendar contain?

The information that will appear in your editorial schedule will depend on your organisation (are you working alone or with a team? Who are your contents intended for? etc.). However, certain data is obviously essential.

The essential fields

The title

When thinking about the list of contents to be produced, you are advised to write a “real” title, rather than a general theme. This title will probably be provisional, you will change it at the time of production.

The content category

Like the title, think ahead about the type of content you want to create:

  • an article

  • a video

  • a Linkedin post

  • a tweet

  • something else (computer graphics, newsletter …)

The main advantage: estimating the time needed for creation. You don’t make a video as quickly as a tweet!

**The person in charge

If you work in a team, you can (should!) assign the production of a content to a person who will be responsible for it. No more “ah, it was me who had to write this article?”, the day before the publication date 😉

The brief

Note the big ideas about the content. For example, for a blog article, write down any questions it should answer, key points etc…

The channel

Where will your content be posted?

  • On your blog?

  • On Linkedin / Twitter / Instagram and other networks?

  • On your company’s internal portal?

Be careful, the channel and the type of content may coincide (a tweet for Twitter, logically), but not necessarily. You can very well design a video that will be broadcast on your website, but also on Linkedin for example.

The status

The status of your content depends on the editorial workflow you have defined. The statuses associated with this workflow can be for example :

  • draft

  • to be validated

  • to be published

  • online

It’s up to you to determine what best suits the reality of your team. But be careful not to have too many different statuses!

The date of publication

It would be a pity to forget it, in a calendar. 🙃

Custom fields

Keywords

Depending on the destination of your content, a field related to SEO may be relevant. You will be able to enter the keywords you have identified.

The tags

In order to filter your content according to themes, projects …

Targets

Here you will be able to note whether your content is intended for existing customers, prospects, partners etc… This will help you to adapt your tone at the time of creation.

Now that you know all about the important information to include in your content calendar, let’s take a look at the tools.

Which tool to use for an editorial calendar?

There are many tools to create an editorial calendar. Which one is best for you will depend on the size of your team and the place of content in your strategy.

The simplest

To start with an editorial calendar, or for personal use, a spreadsheet should suffice.

If you are a regular user of Excel you will quickly manage to create a simple and effective table.

To work with a small team, you can use online equivalents such as Google Sheets.

👍🏻 Positive points: good to start with, simple to create

👎🏻 Defects : limited functionality, may quickly become difficult to use in a team environment.

The most general

There are a lot of tools for teamwork on project management. Some of the best known are :

Trello can be used as a content monitoring tool with its kanban-type organisation. A variation of the calendar format that some people may prefer.

Asana, Basecamp, Wrike are examples of project management tools that may be suitable for you to build and monitor a content calendar.

They work in a relatively similar way: the tasks assigned to team members evolve at the same pace as the production (to do, in progress, done).

👍🏻 Positive points: collaborative aspect, simple task monitoring.

👎🏻 The negative points : these are above all “generalist” project management tools which are not specifically developed content management.

The most specialised

As a dedicated content management tool, Pilot includes an editorial calendar:

The calendar function is particularly appreciated by our customers. Beyond the forecasting aspect, it allows advanced search and filtering of content.

👍🏻 Pilot: a tool designed for teams involved in content production

👎🏻 The negative points : Pilot is above all for the teams!

NB: If you are a freelancer specialising in content creation (web writing, copywriting…) you can be embedded in your clients' Desk (workspace) to collaborate with them!

Bonus: tips for using an editorial calendar properly

Keep in mind that the editorial calendar is only a tool whose effectiveness depends on how it is used. Here are some tips on how to use it:

Communicate the rules to your team Communicate the rules to your team

Make sure that everyone involved in the use of the content planning use it in the same way (e.g. all team members will have to write full titles).

Update

Get into the habit of regularly updating your editorial calendar: publication dates if necessary, but also the status of your content. This will help you avoid forgetting to publish your content 😉

🙌 Ready to go? Start your trial today

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