A content calendar (also known as an editorial calendar) is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. It serves as a roadmap for the months ahead to ensure your content is optimized to meet business goals, capably targeting the right audience, and that your contributors, stakeholders and distribution channels are working in concert. A well-planned content calendar will allow you to:
- Coordinate publication with relevant events and business milestones
- Manage production and promotion resources
- Improve brainstorming, research and optimization
- Build on and cross-promote existing or future content
- Identify important metrics and track your content’s results
Vertical Measures created an editorial content calendar template to help get you started in your planning for the year. This spreadsheet template contains a content roadmap, an example of ideation and a customizable, color-coded calendar to help you plan out an entire year’s worth of content.
Our content roadmap features three sections that will help you assign responsibilities for roles in the content process, what specific types of content will be posted and which audiences are targeted throughout the year.
Our ideation (or brainstorming) tab will help organize your future pieces of content. Features include:
- Topic/Title: This will be the topic of your piece and could ultimately be finalized title.
- Suggested Target Keyword(s): Specific keywords that will help search engines recognize the content. Learn more about keyword tools.
- Target Publication Date: When the content piece goes live.
- Content Type: The format for the content — e.g. blog post, infographic, eBook.
- Objective of Content: The goal of the content — e.g. lead generation, search, social.
- Stage Buyers: The stage of the customer journey the content is targeted to — e.g. Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Nurture.
- Audience/Persona: The audience, industry or other segments you are looking to reach.
- Description: A short description to help elaborate on the topic/title.
- Notes: A place to add extra information — e.g. links, writer recommendation, connection to a hub & spoke
- Status: Where the content project stands — e.g. in production, on hold, published.
We added in a customizable, color-coded calendar that guides you through the entire process of creating a blog post. The calendar also allows you to pick the month and year, so you can schedule content throughout the rest of the year, as well as 2019 and beyond.
This template is your monthly map of specific content pieces. With your overall goals and timely considerations laid out in the year view, you can now start planning the production of individual content. By identifying all the moving parts in production, publication and measurement, your content marketing can be painless and comprehensive.
Now that you’ve got a start on a roadmap for your strategy, learn more about content marketing and strategy to drive your content smartly and effectively.