Need a Better Way to Plan Out Your Content?

Content marketing can be difficult to stay ahead of and leverage to your advantage. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Content Marketing Calendars

What is an Editorial Calendar?

By creating an Editorial Calendar you can make it much more simple and more efficient to plan and coordinate your marketing activities. This will allow you greater control over your campaigns to grow and scale as needed. Use our Content Planning Guide and our editorial calendar to start improving your process today.

Follow our steps and you’ll be creating your first editorial calendar in no time!

How to Start an Editorial Calendar?

Someone wise once said you can only be as good as your planning, and that’s always true for marketing. Having a detailed plan will improve your marketing, but before we start creating a monthly calendar, think long-term. What are some topics, future product launches, or significant themes you can focus on over the next 3 months?

Starting with a rough idea of the topics you’ll target for the quarter will help you better tie your monthly marketing campaigns together. Let’s look at this from the perspective of a USA Manufacturing company looking to increase its marketing.

Month 1 – Introduce company background, history, and team members to educate their target audience and connect with them on a human level.

Month 2 – Highlight the products, services, and unique processes that set them apart from the competition.

Month 3 – Showcase certifications, awards, or other factors that build the audience’s trust in the company.

While this doesn’t go into detail, it gives us a general roadmap of what direction we want to steer our marketing in each month. This will allow us to focus our efforts and create a cohesive marketing strategy that tells the brand’s message in a compelling way.

For the next quarter, you could expand on the current narrative or switch to a more granular level and focus on particular products, and services each month, or focus on different regions each month. It’s completely up to you!

Create a Detailed Monthly Content Plan

Once the general strategy has been outlined, it’s time to start creating a detailed monthly plan. This is where we plan the specific campaigns, posts, and platforms that we will use for our monthly campaign.

Here you decide what specific posts, and platforms you will post for the month. Include the platform you’ll be posting on and don’t forget to include your email campaigns and press releases!

One tip we’ve found helpful is to create a monthly cookie-cutter template. Basically, use similar post styles but tailored to each topic depending on your monthly focus. We recommend adding this as a tab to your overall social media planning spreadsheet. Here’s an example of what some items on your spreadsheet tab could be:



Then decide what platforms each of these posts are best for or whatever platforms you see the most engagement with your target audience.

Creating a spreadsheet as a Content Index will also be helpful. You won’t have a lot of space for titles or descriptions on the calendar so short names like Blog 1, Blog 2 are needed. In your Content Index, you can fill out the details for your short names. We also recommend adding a column (or new tab) for each specific platform so you can keep better track of what will be posted where and adjust messaging for each platform.

Next, you’ll likely want to create a tab for each channel so you can keep your content planning organized and simple. Here’s an example of a tab for the channel LinkedIn.


Marketing Calendar Posting Type


Once you’ve finished your index determining the number of announcements and posts for your campaign, it’s time to start filling out the editorial calendar. Don’t forget that you can always have mini-campaigns highlighting something specific (like a new product or sale) that last a few weeks and/or overlap into different months. Add these to your Content Index as well.

Visually Map Out Your Editorial Calendar

Your editorial calendar helps you organize and schedule the content you want to push out for the month. Use the calendar to find the specific days and times that you’ll post and promote your campaign content.

Below is our example of a blank social media editorial calendar:

Content Marketing Calendar Example

STEP 1 – Get started by filling in the month name, and year, and correctly labeling the calendar dates. Don’t forget to add a reminder at the end of the month to pull your analytics report. By taking a deep dive into your analytics you can better understand the impact of your social media marketing.

STEP 2 – Next, place any known one-time dates/events on the calendar. You should also fill in the promotion strategy around them. Use Icons to help differentiate which platforms you’ll be promoting on.

STEP 3 – Use your social media scheduling tool to set the original content to be published and build a 60, 90, or even 200-day promotion strategy around it. This will help keep your content visible and generate more engagement within your target audience.

STEP 4 – Add any third-party curated social media content that needs to be promoted during the month. This is a great chance to interact with other accounts and build a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

STEP 5 – Add timely responsive content and comment as opportunities arise. Interacting with your followers is the key to building an engaged audience. Over time your efforts will result in a larger, more engaged audience that looks forward to your content.

STEP 6 – Analyze your month and review what worked well and what didn’t. Repeat the process for your next month. Continually adjust the process to your business’s needs to improve your strategy over time.

Content Marketing Quiz

Get a pulse on your content marketing and see what areas can be improved.

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Our marketing is effective.
We are accountable to a long-term marketing plan.
We consistently publish new, original content to our website, networks, and contacts.
Each piece of our content targets a specific organizational goal, target audience, pain point, and stage in the sales funnel (customer journey).
Everyone in our company can see what we plan to publish or promote as well as when we will do so.
If any specific person left our company, a new team member could quickly and easily take over our marketing.

Founded in 2009. Idea Marketing Group is a top Chicago web design agency that works intimately with consumer brands and manufacturers to help build, maintain, and market websites. See the award-winning work or a specific service like manufacturing web design.