The editorial calendar is an indispensable tool for all those involved in creating online content, such as bloggers and social media managers , but also for those who manage social media independently of their business and doesn’t want to run out of ideas.
Yes, because one of the functions of the editorial calendar is precisely this, to avoid falling into the white paper syndrome or writer’s block and let your communication drift away.
Ok… so? What exactly is an editorial calendar and how can it help me in my business? It’s easy to say!
What is an editorial calendar
We have defined the editorial calendar as a content marketing tool, but I understand it is not easy to give it a shape or to be able to have a concrete image in your head of how it is actually done, especially if not have you ever seen an editorial calendar template.
I’ll give you some suggestions. You can think of it as a simple calendar, like an excel grid, but it can also take shape on a notebook or a handy diary. There is no standard form of editorial calendar , you yourself can give it the one you prefer based on your way of working and your needs, but the important thing is that you fulfill the goals you have set yourself to reach.
I’ll explain in more detail in the next paragraph.
The advantages of having an editorial calendar
How many times have you ever wondered “what am I going to public today?”, we are on the order of a million, right?
Here, thanks to the editorial calendar you can put this question in a drawer that will remain closed forever, because you will know at any time what to publish and when. Obviously, the editorial calendar is directly resulting from the conception of the strategy to be followed or, better, is its implementation.
Don’t you know what a “marketing strategy” is? To put it simply, it’s the series of actions you take to achieve a goal you set for yourself, for example: do you want to bring more traffic to your site? Then you will need to start a blog and plan a certain number of articles from an SEO perspective , which intercept user queries on search engines.
Another example: do you want to increase the brand awareness of your business? Then it will be necessary to create a series of contents that will lead the user to learn more about what you do and that illustrate the advantages of your product and / or service.
I know, I filled you with big words and maybe I made you a little confused, but don’t worry, you’re just assimilating new notions and your brain needs to proceed calmly to be able to process them and then make them yours.
But let’s get to the advantages that an editorial calendar brings in managing the activity of a blog, newsletter or social channel:
- possibility to plan in advance marketing activities to be pushed in the hot periods (Christmas, Easter, Black Friday, etc.)
- to have constant communication and therefore an ongoing relationship with users (= potential customers)
- do not risk repeating the same content several times and therefore maintain a certain variety in publications
- increase customer / user loyalty who gets used to a constant appointment
Difference between Editorial plan and Editorial calendar
So far I have told you about the editorial calendar, but it must be said that before proceeding with its drafting it is of fundamental importance to create the so-called Publishing Plan.
But what is the difference between the calendar and the editorial plan? Basically, the editorial plan is the outline of the columns or themes that we will address in our editorial calendar – which instead involves the actual creation of posts for social media, articles for the blog or contents of the newsletter.
How to create an editorial calendar : some tools
As I said at the beginning of this article, there is no universal form of an editorial calendar, on the contrary, I personally believe it is a very personal structure that changes over time.
I learned how to create my first editorial calendar for social media when I took over the social management of the Magister Giotto exhibition in Venice , during my first year as a freelance and then I have never abandoned it.
In fact, I created an editorial calendar template on Google Drive that I update and enrich every year, based on my needs and the changes in the social field that I register (e.g. I added the space for content to publish on Instagram stories that once did not exist), and that you can download here.
I’m a big fan of Asana, a Project Management tool, which I only use to schedule day-to-day tasks and to monitor the work of my collaborators, but there are those who use it to manage the editorial calendar for its customers.
The advantage of this tool is the calendar view which I find very useful, as well as the ability to tick off tasks once they are done.
Even Google Calendar is among the most popular for creating an editorial calendar, I personally don’t use it to avoid mixing appointments with the operational part, but it’s a simple matter of choices. You can work around this problem by creating different calendars, visible individually or together with the daily commitments you have.
If you prefer to work on paper, the diary is always a valid and timeless tool. I personally use the BoxClever Press diary , of which I also purchase the desk planner .
Obviously there are also other alternatives such as the products of Mr Wonderful , which I find too confusing, but which many like, or even the classic Moleskine diaries .
My course on creating a calendar – editorial
After my Easygram course (to learn how to use Instagram professionally) I created a new course: how to create an Editorial Plan. This course, created together with my friend and colleague Monica Liverani, combines the principles of social media marketing with those of SEO, giving life to a course that teaches you an ever-green method to never run out of ideas.
If you want your social media communication to take a leap forward, this is the course for you!