Content CreationMarketing Strategy

How to Take Control of Your Editorial Calendar

how_to_get_in_control_of_your_editorial_calendar.pngManaging your editorial calendar is kind of like going to the dentist—you know you should do it, but you put it off because, frankly, it’s just not that fun.

Avoiding the dentist for too long leads to some nasty problems. So does avoiding your editorial calendar.

Mismanaged, multiple and/or conflicting content schedules can wreak havoc on your content marketing efforts.

In this post, we’ll go over three editorial calendar management challenges and how to tackle them.

Challenge #1: Keeping Your Editorial Calendar Up to Date

An outdated or irrelevant editorial calendar is a useless editorial calendar. It’s imperative that you have a system in place for reflecting scheduling changes. To set up that system, you must appoint the people responsible for updating the calendar.

Your company might have one calendar owner, who is responsible for updating changes across all of your campaigns, or your company might have several calendar contributors who manage different content campaigns and the dates associated with that campaign. However you decide to do it, every piece of content should have a person responsible for coordinating timing.

Equally important to assigning contributors to your calendar, is designating a place for your calendar. Manual calendars (created in Excel or Word, for example) that resist version control aren’t ideal for keeping your calendar up to date. It’s infinitely better to host your calendar on a live, collaborative platform like Google Docs or in content marketing software. That way, everybody has access to the same version, and see real-time changes as they occur.

Challenge #2: Including the Right Information

The publish date isn’t the only piece of information you need to include on your editorial calendar. What other information is worth including, exactly? Every organization will want to glean slightly different things from their editorial calendars, but here are some guidelines for what information to include:

Basic:

  • Submit date
  • Review date
  • Publish date
  • Content type (blog post, eBook, etc.)
  • Campaign
  • Asset author/owner

Advanced:

  • Buyer persona
  • Buying stage
  • CTA
  • Content theme

Calendars that allow you to filter by all of these different fields are the most beneficial because they allow you to see your campaign schedule from many different angles, so you get a holistic view of what kind of content your company is producing.

Challenge #3: Aligning with Other Calendars

Many large organizations have more than one editorial calendar, which results in a lack of visibility and conflicting content.

To fix this issue, identify all of the editorial calendars your company is currently using, and bring the owners of those calendars together. Either find a way to integrate editorial calendars, or create a new, entirely collaborative one.

If specific departments need to get more granular with their tasks and calendars, it’s still key to establish a master calendar that rolls up the key dates from each department. Your marketing team should be operating under the same schedule. Everyone responsible for content at your company should be aware of what campaigns are happening and when. The editorial calendar is the place where they can find that information.

Dealing with your content scheduling issues ahead of time will save you an enormous amount of frustration later. Put in the time. Your content will reward you for it.

Liz O'Neill Dennison

About Liz O'Neill Dennison

Liz is a former Content Marketing Manager at Kapost. She's psyched about human-friendly content, beekeeping, and playing outside. Reach her at @lizkoneill.