To think of an editorial calendar as nothing more than just a spreadsheet or a template with dates and tasks on it would be a huge oversight. When used to its full potential an editorial calendar is an invaluable tool that increases productivity and makes content distribution more effective. Audio and visual media, blog posts, social network updates, newsletters, and company news releases should all be considered as part of a publishing schedule.
When should an editorial calendar be used?
It’s never an unwise choice to start organizing content, but businesses that plan on having multiple team members creating and distributing content should place a higher emphasis on setting up a system sooner rather than later. By having a plan of action and an easy to access calendar in place, the members amongst the team will benefit from increased focused and more defined responsibilities. It isn’t smart to assume that work will get done on time (or at all) if it isn’t clearly defined.
Solo entrepreneurs and those who have the sole responsibility of content distribution within a company will benefit from the organizational advantages of an editorial calendar.
Content organization 101
One of the first things you’ll need to decide is how often you’ll be producing content
How many blog posts do we want to produce per week? Per month?
How many times should we Tweet per day?
How often should we update Facebook?
Should we produce a monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly company newsletter?
These types of questions are important and should be communicated between decision makers and content producers. It’s recommended to change the frequency of updates over time to find the “sweet spot” that best meets your company’s goals.
Next you’ll need to decide when to publish.
Should we release the podcast every Tueseday evening or is Monday morning a better fit?
Should we Tweet more heavily in the day time and less on the weekends and evenings?
Should we post to the company blog on Monday or Friday?
Questions like this can best be answered by experimenting to find the optimum results.
Finally you’ll have to answer the question of “who”.
Who has strong writing skills? Who likes to produce video? Who knows how to edit? Who is Twitter savvy? Who is most comfortable with LinkedIn?
Try to consider the strengths of each team member when assigning tasks.