Editorial Calendar Instruments and Templates for Content material Advertising and marketing

Fast: Identify the device most important for successfully managing your content material advertising and marketing program.

Regardless of your position or tasks, the reply ought to be an editorial calendar.

Why? Content material creation includes one million small duties. A dependable system retains monitor of all these processes and every content material piece’s standing because it strikes via them.

However content material advertising and marketing editorial calendars can do far more than that.

They’ll streamline strategic collaboration, monitor advertising and marketing efficiency, and establish content material repurposing alternatives.

With a considerate strategy and correct configuration, editorial calendars can improve crew productiveness and add readability at each stage of your model’s content material advertising and marketing journey.

Discover ways to construct a custom-made content material advertising and marketing editorial calendar – and how you can maximize its advantages – with the following pointers, examples, and templates.

1. Set the inspiration for an efficient editorial calendar

Collect key info out of your content material advertising and marketing technique to tell your content material creation plan. Reply the next questions to assist decide what to trace in your calendar and keep targeted in your advertising and marketing targets.

Who’re you creating content material for?

You may’t create the best content material for those who don’t have a transparent understanding of the target market. Use the insights in your content material personas to concentrate on their informational wants and topical pursuits.

What is going to your content material assist your enterprise obtain?

Are you trying to generate leads? Enhance your thought management? Drive attendance to your occasions? Your content material advertising and marketing mission and targets will influence what you publish, the place you publish, how usually, and the way your crew prioritizes, organizes, and categorizes/tags its content material creation efforts.

What inventive sources do you might have?

Will you’re employed with an in-house crew of writers, designers, and videographers? A steady of trade execs sharing their insights? A mixture of inner and exterior contributors? The tracked codecs, frequency, and workflow levels seemingly rely on with whom you’re collaborating and the character of their experience.

TIP: Want to boost your inventive capabilities to deal with the workload? Observe this whole information to outsourcing content material creators.

What is going to make your content material distinct?

How can your model ship content material with a novel mission? What unmet trade wants can the content material handle? What gaps exist in your or your rivals’ content material? Are you able to tie your content material to trade occasions for added publicity? Understanding how you can entice a bigger share of your viewers’s consideration allows you to fill the content material advertising and marketing editorial calendar with impactful concepts and property.

What are the steps for producing high quality content material on your model? What duties and crew members issue into your content material workflow? Who manages every side, who else helps, and who must approve the items? These insights decide what info to incorporate in your calendar and how you can construction it for optimum use.

2. Construct your content material advertising and marketing editorial calendar

A number of calendar-building choices exist, from easy spreadsheets to challenge administration software program. It’s also possible to use calendar instruments built-in into content material workflow administration platforms and entry free templates on-line.

Selecting your calendar device

Understanding among the execs and cons of every possibility will assist decide your best option to construct your advertising and marketing editorial calendar.

Challenge/job administration software program

Instruments like Trello, Airtable, Basecamp, or Asana are nice for organizing duties, collaboration levels, and asset standing. They embrace tagging, annotation capabilities, and drag-and-drop performance that make them ultimate for monitoring content material from ideation to execution.

For instance, Clare McDermott recommends Airtable for content material planning as a result of it combines parts of spreadsheets and databases.

@Airtable is amazingly helpful for editorial calendar planning as a result of it’s a chic mixture of spreadsheet and database, says @clare_mcd through @joderama @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

As proven in her editorial calendar template instance, one calendar tracks a number of parts – the headline, writer, deadline, subject/class, and manufacturing standing.

You need to use filters to zoom in on particular particulars concerning the content material pipeline, comparable to articles by a selected writer or property that embrace visuals.

Picture supply

Nevertheless, some challenge administration instruments construct templates with developer or advertising and marketing wants in thoughts. You have to adapt them to work effectively in an editorial atmosphere – which may develop into extra of a time-suck than a time-saver.

Editorial workflow administration platforms

Devoted content material administration and editorial workflow software program can supply editorial calendaring options higher suited to the wants of content material entrepreneurs. They’re additionally extra prone to combine effectively with different enterprise content material applied sciences, like your CMS (e.g., WordPress), e mail advertising and marketing methods, or asset administration instruments.

All-in-one methods will be advanced and dear, in order that they will not be the best choice for small groups or smaller-scale content material advertising and marketing applications.

Fortuitously, some supply free editorial calendar templates with out buying a software program license. They could embrace superior options that will be arduous to construct by yourself.

For instance, ContentCal asks just a few questions, comparable to your sorts of content material, publishing frequency, and goal platforms. With that info, it creates an annual calendar with goal publishing dates for every sort of asset.

Picture supply


You may at all times begin with a easy Excel spreadsheet or a shareable Google Sheet. It’s simple to configure them to trace elementary duties like manufacturing steps and publishing dates for a weblog or social media posts. Simply label the columns and rows for all the knowledge you want.

For instance, the CMI editorial crew bases its editorial calendar on a template like this one for the weblog. It particulars the manufacturing info for every day’s article – headline, writer, subject class, and workflow standing. (Obtain your personal copy and alter it as wanted).

Importing your spreadsheet to a cloud-sharing system (like SharePoint, Field, Dropbox, or Google Drive) makes it simple on your crew to entry and replace the knowledge as every asset strikes via the method.

Spreadsheets lack superior options that make advanced workflows simpler to handle (like content material that includes gross sales or requires developer expertise). In addition they can shortly get unwieldy when monitoring a number of processes like creation and efficiency monitoring or multi-channel content material experiences.

Additionally, spreadsheets don’t at all times combine effectively with different enterprise methods and processes, so contemplate your collaboration wants earlier than selecting this feature.

Begin with important workflow particulars

The way you fill out your editorial calendar in the end is dependent upon your targets, sources, and content material plan. On the most elementary degree, it ought to embrace these fields for every content material asset:

  • Date of publication
  • Matter or headline
  • Creator
  • Required options – cowl picture, video or audio asset, advert obligations, and so forth.
  • Proprietor – who manages the workflow for that asset and/or approves the ultimate piece
  • Standing – replace because the content material strikes via the publishing cycle

Add helpful extras

Relying on the content material and workflow, it’s possible you’ll wish to monitor the next parts to make sure your content material follows the technique over the long run.

Distribution channels

When working with a number of channels, monitoring the the place and when of distribution is vital.

You need to use this starter template as a mannequin. It tracks fundamental publication particulars for every channel, such because the focused personas, publishing frequency, and matters. This instance additionally consists of fields to establish related calls to motion and goal KPIs.

Whereas CMI was used as a reference for this template, the content material doesn’t replicate its channel plan. Click on to obtain a replica.

TIP: Study to construct a channel plan to place your content material within the arms of the best shoppers on the proper time.

Content material codecs and kinds

Are you targeted on a single sort or a number of sorts of content material (e.g., weblog posts, podcasts, movies)? What format(s) can be used for these varieties (e.g., reside streaming interviews, scripted shows, product demos)? Monitoring this info is useful, particularly when repackaging your property into different codecs or to be used on extra platforms.

Visible parts

Don’t overlook the enchantment of visible content material when it comes to social-sharing potential and model recognition. Monitoring the visuals – comparable to cowl photographs, logos, illustrations, or infographics – ensures your content material has a constant look and cohesive model id.


Together with matters and classes makes your calendars extra searchable and may help uncover alternatives to fill protection gaps.

Key phrases and different search engine optimisation metadata

This info consists of meta descriptions and search engine optimisation titles (if totally different from the headlines). Together with these particulars within the editorial calendar visually reminds you to optimize the content material for focused key phrases and align with the enterprise’ search engine optimisation technique.

Calls to motion

Monitoring CTAs in your editorial calendar ensures each content material piece is targeted on attaining a purpose for your enterprise.


Monitoring the URLs of every printed piece may help content material inventories and audits and make it simpler to construct backlinks to your highest-converting content material property.

Repurposing particulars

You may add fields to point the content material’s final replace date and its efficiency towards a goal KPI. Indexing this info turns your content material advertising and marketing editorial calendar right into a mini content material audit to establish high-performing content material to recycle and republish.


Manick Bhan provides a pattern template for this small-scale content material audit. Along with monitoring the content material’s authentic and up to date publication dates, it consists of the web page title, writer, whole impressions, and topical class.

3. Maintain your editorial calendar stuffed and targeted

A constant publishing schedule requires a gradual movement of partaking matters and concepts to show into useful content material.

Incorporate a operating listing of story concepts into your editorial calendar. The listing can be a simple reference when searching for gaps in your protection or present additional inspiration on your crew’s inventive brainstorms.

Ben Taylor, founding father of HomeWorkingClub.com, suggests utilizing a card-based challenge administration system like Trello. “Create a column for concepts, then anyone on the crew with entry can submit them,” he says. For concepts you intend to take ahead, simply drag their playing cards into your workflow.

@homeworkingclub likes @trello for #brainstorming as a result of it lets concepts transfer simply via your #content material workflow through @joderama @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Once more, the fields to trace content material ideation can range. At a minimal, monitor the next:

  • Matter concept
  • Proprietor of the thought
  • Goal key phrases/classes to which the content material would map
  • Who is perhaps accessible/certified to writer the piece
  • Advertising and marketing purpose the thought aligns with
  • Projected publishing timeframe

4. Consider extra methods to make use of editorial calendars

Editorial calendars will be useful for a variety of content material advertising and marketing duties past monitoring your inventive course of and managing your publishing workflow.

Variety and accessibility compliance

To make sure your content material complies with accessibility requirements and options various views, embrace these particulars in your monitoring system. For instance, the CMI editorial crew’s calendar features a discipline to notice that the content material has been reviewed for inclusivity issues and/or highlights the experience of writers from various backgrounds.

Exterior collaborations

If you happen to work with exterior content material contributors and influencers, add the related particulars of these engagements to the content material advertising and marketing editorial calendar.

Whether or not you employ devoted influencer administration instruments or simply add a separate tab in your foremost editorial calendar spreadsheet, these particulars can simplify the task course of and guarantee on-time property:

  • Author’s title
  • Contact particulars
  • Most popular matters
  • Commonplace turnaround instances
  • Channels and platforms they work with


Conserving a report of the content material as it’s created provides you a head begin in monitoring the efficiency of every piece and frequently sharing the outcomes along with your crew and higher administration.

You may add columns (or tabs) to your foremost calendar to maintain readily available probably the most related analytics like web page views, clicks, or conversions. Alternatively, you possibly can seize probably the most pertinent details about the content material from the calendar and plug it right into a separate reporting template.

Aligning content material throughout the enterprise

Sharing your content material calendar with gross sales, advertising and marketing, HR, public relations, and different departments helps them perceive and higher leverage your content material efforts to additional their very own targets. That connection might make them extra prone to provide you with a warning after they’re concerned in new occasions or alternatives that may spark contemporary concepts or influence your challenge priorities.

Ease your course of ache with the best editorial calendar

The probabilities are virtually limitless relating to utilizing editorial calendars to prepare your content material advertising and marketing and preserve your efforts transferring in the best course. What extra ideas, instruments, and concepts have labored effectively on your calendaring efforts? When you have different recommendations, please share them along with your fellow content material entrepreneurs within the feedback.

All instruments talked about within the article are recognized by the writer. When you have a device to recommend, please add it within the feedback.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute

Up to date from an April 2017 publish.