Editorial calendar

Creating a Multi-Channel Marketing Editorial Calendar

A well-rounded, diverse marketing strategy is the kind of strategy that will give you the best results, but seamlessly pulling that plan together can feel overwhelming and confusing. When there are so many moving parts at once, how can your in-house marketing team clearly outline what marketing and communications initiatives they’re working on, when they’re due, and who they’re assigned to?

Creating a multi-channel marketing editorial calendar is the way to achieve that. Whether you choose to map it out in Asana or use a trusted spreadsheet, it’s crucial to jot down all of your ideas and responsibilities in one place to ensure they don’t seep through the cracks.

In this blog post, we show you how we use one simple spreadsheet to organize several components of a marketing strategy to help streamline it all and stay on track.

Using a Spreadsheet to Outline Your Marketing Plan

Designate Separate Tabs for Each Month

Although you can use one spreadsheet to set as your “homebase,” designate separate tabs for each month to make it easier to organize your tasks and know what you’d like to promote and when. If you wanted to be more intentional about the goals behind your marketing strategy, you could also have one tab for each quarter that outlines a high-level plan about what you’d like to achieve. The following tabs after that could be broken down into months that all tie back into the quarterly plan.

Divide Sections for Every Marketing Channel

Within each monthly tab, divide every marketing channel into separate sections. This will make it easier to see all of the components of your overall strategy from a bird’s eye view, helping you to know what’s planned and when at a quick glance. The channels you use may vary, but we recommend including the following:

  • Corporate social media posts
  • C-suite / leadership team LinkedIn posts
  • Newsletters
  • Blog posts
  • Networking events
  • PR efforts
  • Sales calls

Include the main topic or idea of each piece of content so you know what you’d like to focus on. Some sections may be filled out more than others in various months throughout the year, which is to be expected. It all depends on the seasons of your business and when you may have more things happening!

Include Task Owner, Due Date, and Notes

Within each idea, incorporate sections to assign the task owner, due dates or publishing dates, and important notes. The main topic or idea is simply the starting point, but having a notes section allows you to jot down specific points you want to make sure you include in the content itself. This spreadsheet is used to focus on idea generation only, not actually writing out the content in full, so be as concise as possible with your notes. This process will jog your memory of the items you don’t want to forget!

Additionally, the task owner and due date columns ensure that everyone knows what they’re responsible for and when they need to deliver the finished content by. These columns ensure that progress is being made.

Create a Brainstorming Tab

As you start to build out your editorial calendar, you’ll likely find that various ideas come to mind at random times. However, if you already have your content planned for that month, it can be challenging to know what to do with those topics. You don’t want to overload your content, but you also don’t want to forget about a good idea!

That’s where having a “brainstorming tab” comes in. In addition to your monthly tabs, have one tab in your spreadsheet that can be a “dumping ground” for jotting down any new ideas that come to mind. You don’t have to fully flesh them out, but you can note the key points and hold onto them for when it comes time to outline the next month’s worth of content. Then you’ll already have a solid list of ideas to comb through rather than having to think about fresh topics. This will make it easier and quicker than ever when it comes time to map out the next month of content.

Collaborate with Team Members

If you’re collaborating with other colleagues on your company’s marketing strategy, add them to the editorial calendar as well. This will allow everyone to understand what’s happening and when, and it makes it easier to jointly brainstorm ideas and future content plans. You can also share this spreadsheet within your project management system to allow for further access and collaboration.

Fill It Out and Adjust as Necessary

Reserve time in your schedule each month to fill in the editorial calendar. Whether you choose to focus on this task at the end of the month to prepare for the month ahead or at the beginning of the month to take advantage of fresh ideas, pick a time that works best for your schedule. It’s important to be consistent and stay on top of these efforts, as otherwise, it’s easy for marketing to fall to the wayside.

As you’re penciling in your ideas, refer to your calendar to see what’s happening within the company that can be used for content. If you’re attending networking events, getting featured in a publication, hiring a new team member, or something else, those are all newsworthy events that can be turned into content. If you have additional room after including all of the timely pieces, pull topics from your brainstorming tab as well.

Although the goal is to plan as much of your marketing in advance as possible, it’s important to be fluid with your approach to accommodate last-minute changes, such as new press features. Everything won’t always be set in stone at the time that you plan it, and that’s okay! It’s best to at least have a preliminary plan and move things around as needed rather than try to throw things together last-minute.

Partnering with a Marketing Agency for Success

Delegating for Streamlined Support

A common roadblock that shows when it comes to building a marketing editorial calendar is not having enough time. You get what you put into your marketing, so if you find you’re struggling to stay consistent with building your online presence, it may be time to consider working with a marketing agency who can support you and your needs.

Reach out to Dash of Social for a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.

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