A while back I decided I needed something to manage my content production. After doing some research it became clear that the tool I needed was either a content calendar or an editorial calendar. I ultimately settled on the content calendar terminology.
But what’s the difference!?
And which one should YOU be using?
A content calendar is best for independent creators, bloggers, or social media marketing efforts. It allows you to assign dates to specific pieces of content.
An editorial calendar is best for a larger company or team of writers. These groups typically have a rigid schedule being overseen by a manager or editor on a longer timeframe.
In the rest of this post, we’ll give you examples of each as-well-as some keys to a successful content marketing strategy.
And at the end, we’ll show you how to combine both an editorial calendar with a content calendar to help you reach your goals.
Editorial Calendar vs Content Calendar
A lot of marketers are often unsure about the difference between an editorial and content calendar.
Oftentimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
At their core, they're both tools that help you plan out your content for a specific period to optimize engagement with your audience. The main difference is how much long-term control you have over the types of posts you publish each day and what topics you choose to cover.
The editorial calendar and content calendar are two tools that people use to plan their blog posts. They’re similar but do work differently, so it's important to know what each is for before deciding which one you want to use.
Why do you need an editorial or content calendar?
Many bloggers and content marketers think they can just wing it. But that's a big mistake. It's easy to lose track of what to write, how often, and when. And without a plan in place, your blog will become stale with repetitive topics or miss out on timely events altogether!
Both help you stay organized by mapping out all your posts ahead of time so you don't have to worry about forgetting something important later on down the line.
In recent years, many bloggers have been using editorial calendars to help them plan out their content. However, it is important to note that an editorial calendar may not be the best option for everyone. For some people, a content calendar might be more appropriate because of the type of blog they are running or what they want to achieve.
Editorial Calendar Definition
The editorial calendar allows managers, editors, and teams to take a step back and plan large editorial campaigns from a high level on a long time horizon.
It’s a key part of any business's marketing plan. It helps you stay on top of deadlines, organize your workload and collaborate with team members to maximize your efficiency.
But what if you don't have an editorial calendar?
You might be missing out on the best practices for long term strategy that will help improve your bottom line.
The editorial calendar is a tool for writers to plan their writing and publishing schedules. An editorial calendar can help writers stay on target with deadlines, book releases, promotions, and other important milestones in the life of a writing team.
Content Calendar Definition
The content calendar allows bloggers and marketers to plan, organize, and schedule the posting of individual content pieces at specific intervals.
It's a schedule of blog posts that are published regularly and typically used by bloggers as it allows them to plan and create content in advance, instead of rushing at the last minute. A content calendar should be updated regularly with new ideas for blog post topics.
Blogging is a lot of work. To stay on top of new posts and maintain the quality of your content, it’s important to have an organized system for managing your blog's calendar.
Do you ever feel like you're struggling to keep up with the content demands of your blog?
Your blog is a business, and as such, it needs to be constantly producing new content. One way to do this is by creating a content calendar. This post will explain what a content calendar is and how to use one to create high-quality, consistent posts that are sure to engage your target audience.
The Main Differences Between an Editorial and Content Calendar
- An editorial calendar is typically looking at longer time intervals like quarters or years.
- A content calendar is typically scheduling posts down to the day, week, or maybe even extract time for automated posting.
- An editorial calendar manages at the campaign or theme level.
- A content calendar manages at the individual post level or asset level.
What are the key identifiers of each?
- Editorial Calendar: yearly, quarterly, large campaign, themes
- Content Calendar: weekly, daily, individual posts, creative assets
What is an editorial calendar? (Deep-Dive)
As a manager, it is your job to know how to create an editorial calendar. You must have a clear idea of the content you need and when it should be published so that your marketing efforts at the campaign level are effective.
An editorial calendar is a tool that helps marketers plan out their content months ahead of time in order to accomplish specific goals. It allows for more consistency in the marketing strategy of the company and ensures that there are no gaps in the content pipeline.
This means a high-level plan for all of the content you and your team will be publishing on the website. It outlines when and what type of content you want to publish, how often, and who should be responsible for it.
The basic idea behind an editorial calendar is that there are certain timeframes where good content ideas can get published to give your audience fresh information or new insights on specific themes. This ensures that they come back to your site regularly, see more posts from the company in their feed, and don't forget about you!
Editorial calendars also help people organize topics so team members know which items need attention next without having to guess or remember everything themselves.
Now we’ll dive into some examples of how it can help you and some tips to get started.
Editorial Calendar Examples and Ideas
- Editorial Calendar for Campaign Tracking
- Editorial Calendars for Site Audits
- Editorial Calendars for Ecommerce Blogs
What should be included in an editorial calendar?
There are a lot of things that can go into your marketing calendar, but you mostly need to include the goals and strategies relevant to your business.
For example, if you sell products on Amazon then you'll want to include information about when product listings will expire and how often they should be updated.
An editorial calendar is a list of content ideas with the proposed publishing timeframes related to that theme. It can be used to keep track of your content marketing strategy, and it also helps manage your workload.
A well-planned and executed editorial calendar will allow you to manage your content, blog posts, social media updates, and other marketing tasks in a way that saves time and maximizes the results of your efforts.
What is a content calendar? (Deep-Dive)
I'm sure you've heard the term "content calendar" before. It's a common phrase in marketing circles, but what is it?
A content calendar is an organizational tool that helps marketers plan and create blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. for their website or social media channels on a consistent basis. The idea is to have a steady stream of content coming out at regular intervals so that your audience never forgets about you!
One of the most important aspects of marketing is content creation. You should ensure that you are creating fresh, relevant, and valuable content for your target audience regularly.
Content calendars can help with this process by providing a visual representation of what types of posts you plan to publish in the future.
For example, if you want to create more educational or informative articles, then include these two types in your calendar as well as any other series that will be published regularly like blog roundups or weekly tips.
Content calendars also allow you to plan out your content in advance.
Most come in the form of a spreadsheet or chart that lays out what content will be published on which days during a year or month with specific days assigned to individual assets.
They also help marketers create consistency and reduce wasted time by making sure they are not publishing duplicate posts, posting too often, or waiting too long between posts.
A successful content calendar will also keep your brand consistent with its tone and voice throughout the year.
Keep reading to explore how to make the most of your marketing campaign by starting with a well-thought-out, carefully planned, and executed strategy for your business's social media presence using some inspiration from examples.
Content Calendar Examples and Ideas
- Content Calendars for Social Media
- Content Calendars for Blogging
- Content Calendars for Travel Sites
What should be included in a content calendar?
Content calendars can vary in size and complexity depending on the needs of your business.
The most basic content calendar is a simple list of topics to cover with their associated deadlines for each month.
More complex examples might include specific tasks like creating at least one blog post per week, or even video editing assignments that need to be completed by a certain time frame.
Content marketing is a time-intensive endeavor. Creating content for your blog, social media channels, and email campaigns can be daunting with all the tasks that need to be completed in order to produce high-quality content.
The good news is that having a plan will help you stay focused on what needs to be done so you can spend more of your time creating great content instead of just trying to keep up with everything.
A calendar helps marketers organize their work by giving them an overview of what they need to do when for each type of project.
Having one also prevents them from forgetting any steps or deadlines along the way which means less stress in managing all aspects of their projects simultaneously!
A content calendar is the list of all your blog posts for a specific period of time. It's important to know what topics you want to cover, and when - this way you can plan ahead and make sure that each post goes live on schedule.
What should be included in a content calendar?
- What date is the first post going live?
- What are some popular topics/keywords that I'll include in my upcoming posts?
- How many blog posts do I have scheduled per month/week (depending on how often you publish)?
- Blog posts on topics of interest
How to Combine the Power of Both an Editorial and Content Calendar
The question shouldn’t be, “Which one should I use?” but rather “How can I benefit from both?”.
Combining the editorial and content calendar use cases may seem like a no-brainer after learning what each one does.
With the right tool, doing so can allow you to not only step back and see your campaigns from a high level but also dive into the weeds and ensure content is being scheduled correctly and effectively.
Editorial and Content Calendar Apps
There are plenty of apps that can help manage your editorial calendar and honestly, most work for either editorial or content calendars.
But not all work for both!
We’ve looked into using dozens of apps but only two were worth our time: Airtable and Asana.
Airtable is ultimately our recommendation because it's a free app with powerful features that can easily handle a combined editorial-content calendar.
It’s easy to use, future proof, and with our template easy to get started! With Airtable, you won't have to worry about missing deadlines or forgetting important dates. You'll be able to plan ahead so your team doesn't miss a thing.
Airtable will help you create an editorial calendar that's tailored just for you - from brainstorming ideas, managing tasks, and collaborating with others on projects. And it's all in one place!
The best part is you can do it using a free Airtable account! Plus we have a simple guide for this specific use case and tons of Airtable tips.
Quickly get started today by pressing the link below and downloading our template!
An editorial calendar in Asana is another option! It’s also a strong tool with good project management features. The only downside is the free plan is super limited and the software is really meant for task management, not content or editorial calendars.
We started down this path but realized we could get way more benefit and flexibility from Airtable.
If you do want to use Asana as a content-editorial calendar you’ll think of things like this: campaigns = projects, and content = tasks.
This method would work well for someone who wants to manage their to-do list and content calendar in the same place.
Sign up for an account with Asana to get started.
Win at Content Marketing!
Now you know the difference between editorial calendars and content calendars as well as how you can combine the two for amazing results.
Put that knowledge to use!
We’ve got the perfect guide and template for you. It shows how to use an editorial calendar and a content calendar in tandem for maximum success. Ready? Let's get started!
You want more readers, right? Well, this is the way to do it. With these two types of calendars combined, you'll be able to reach your audience on all fronts with ease. And when they see what great content you're putting out there, they'll be hooked.
Get our Airtable template today and learn how easy it is!