A content calendar is an essential tool also known as an editorial calendar, a marketing calendar, or a content director's best friend. It's a big list of everything you're going to publish, and when you're going to publish it. Sometimes it also answers questions like "Which of these are actually written already?" and "Are we doing any serious promotion on this, or just telling our moms and hoping word gets around?", but the main thing is tracking what you're going to publish and when.
As you might expect, a content marketing calendar template comes in handy if you're writing content with a purpose behind it, or have a goal for your content. If you don't, and you just want to post whatever thoughts you have on social media when you have them, that's fine. But if your content is related to a larger goal that's more important to you -- whether that's trying to earn money as a business or just an earnest desire to have the #1 frog blog on the Internet -- then a content calendar will help you make sure you're meeting your goals and providing a steady stream of relevant content.
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and people also hate it much less. Unlike traditional television advertising, content marketing never interrupted your favorite show. Unlike traditional direct mail advertising, content marketing never went from your postbox directly to your garbage bin. Unlike traditional aggressive clown advertising, content marketing never hit you in the face with a pie so hard it hurt.
20% of Internet users' online time is spent reading content. That's more time than people spend online shopping and viewing multimedia sites combined. So stop saying that nobody reads anymore, Dad.
Content calendars are rarely used by goth and emo kids, who prefer to use discontent calendars.
Juggling too many deadlines and topics that need content written? Leave the juggling to the aggressive clowns, and track your production schedule with this content calendar template. You can use this spreadsheet as an editorial calendar to track your articles and deadlines, and as a content calendar to manage your larger publishing process and all associated content creation.
Use this free spreadsheet template to plan, manage, and collaborate on content schedules and assets, all in one place.
Simply enter the Name, Details, and Author of each article in a separate row of the Articles worksheet.
Stay on top of deadlines by adding a Due date, Publish date, and Duration for each article. Select the appropriate Status (Not Started, In Progress, On Hold, or Completed) and add a Completion % to track each article's progress. The right-hand timeline provides a visual view of due dates, publish dates, and completion % (via shading).
Make sure your articles are accomplishing their goals by linking each article to the appropriate Campaign from the Campaigns worksheet. Further information on each article like Target Personas, Keywords, and attachable Assets ensure that you have your goal in mind when writing, and the resources to achieve that goal.
To ensure all information in this spreadsheet is up-to-date, each row includes logs for who it was Created by (and when), as well as who it was Updated by (and when).
Alternate views on the left allow you to sort, group, and stack by Status, Author, or even Campaign.
On the Campaign worksheet, each Campaign has a publication Status, a Campaign Owner, the Bloggers working on that campaign, and a Budget. Each campaign is also linked to the associated Content on the Articles worksheet, Assets from the Calendar, and a separate Campaign Results row on the final worksheet.
The Results worksheet is where you track the financials for each Campaign. Log your Target and actual CPC, Spent money and Budgeted money, raw numbers of Impressions and Clicks, as well as CPM, to find out whether you're meeting your targets or whether your CPC is too high.
If you have goals for your content, you should have a plan to meet those goals. Publishing things at random is fine if it's something you're doing just to blow off steam, but if you have a purpose in mind, then you should organize your efforts to make sure they are keeping your purpose in mind. That's what a content calendar template does, by making sure that you identify your benchmarks, and then meet them.
Do you need to produce content that covers certain topics, is aimed at certain audiences, and is published on a regular schedule? If content is part of your business, then the answer to that question is probably yes. Keeping your audience clicking through is impossible if you don't publish anything, or if you don't publish anything in the categories that interest them. A content plan template ensures that you can plan ahead to have a steady stream of relevant content, allowing you to avoid a situation where your food blog goes two months with no updates, and then posts 17 different articles that are all interviews with bananas.
But a content marketing calendar template isn't just a way for you to make sure your content is covering a diversity of topics and sustaining audience interest. It also gives you a big picture overview of your upcoming articles, so your team can see what's in progress and brainstorm what additions might be valuable, or what marketing strategy might be effective.
It also keeps you on schedule. Consistency is essential for content marketing, and having a content calendar with everything planned in advance ensures that you can put out content on a regular basis -- and also lets you have posts lined up well in advance so your publishing schedule doesn't have to take a vacation just because you or your team do.
And if you're not tracking results from your various content campaigns, how will you ever know what's working and adjust to meet your content goals? That's why this free content calendar has a whole worksheet devoted to tracking the results of your campaigns, to help you make money in addition to making content.
A content calendar template gathers all of your content marketing efforts in one place, and lets you track the performance of various campaigns to see what you should replicate and what you should never do again. Apparently, interviewing different bananas isn't as popular as you'd think.
A content calendar template makes it easier to bring your team onto the same page, making collaboration a much more organized process. Identify content gaps and make sure everyone understands what needs to be written when.
Producers of Time-Sensitive Content
If you're producing any content based around specific holidays, seasons, or events, you definitely can't afford to slip deadlines by a few weeks due to poor organization. How can you ensure that you have content ready to go at the appropriate times? You guessed it, a content calendar template.