An editorial calendar is the best way to plan your content strategy and be prepared to execute great campaigns. Planning ahead with a calendar can take your audience engagement and results to the next level by expertly publishing the right content at the right time. Plus, you can deliver your best creative efforts on-time, without a mad rush to meet deadlines.
Use this free editorial calendar template as a starting point for your marketing plan.
I use this editorial calendar template for my integrated campaigns. It is a tremendous help to me in organizing the types and timing of content that can deliver on my target results. I can easily track what I need to create and execute, like a well-defined call to action, creative assets, source materials, and talent needs.
Download the updated Microsoft Excel version here.
Download Editorial Calendar Template – MS Excel (.xlsx)
Updated: January 6, 2014
Please customize this free template to your marketing activities. You can easily modify it to schedule content for specific campaigns or projects like product launches, blogs, social media, newsletters, email campaigns, ad campaigns and PR.
Not sure if an editorial calendar will help you? I posted nine really important reasons why you need to use an editorial calendar.
Editorial Calendar Template – 2014 Update
Check out the brand new 2014 edition. The template now includes several additional ways that I’ve successfully been using Excel to manage my content marketing programs at work and here on my blog.
The editorial calendar template now includes four key sections:
1. Editorial Roadmap
This section provides an at-a-glance list of key activities, events, promotions that are important to you and your audience. This monthly view provides a roadmap to base your content scheduling. Use this section to map out the most important happenings and opportunities you want to plan for in your marketing schedule.
The editorial roadmap I track includes:
- Product launches
- Events/Trade Shows
- Marketing Campaigns
- Key Milestones
2. Editorial Calendar
This section is the meat of the template. It provides a master list of deliverables and key status and creative information for each piece of content. This template is particularly designed for integrated marketing content including press releases, blog posts, white papers/guides, case studies, emails/notifications, newsletters, videos, advertisements, images/infographics, or anything you regularly create. The information that I track includes:
- Content Type
- Assets Complete Due Date
- Publish Live Date
- NEW! Status: Red/Yellow/Green at-a-glance
- NEW! Social Media Channels: Use for social media editorial calendar needs
- Call to Action
- NEW! Destination Link
- NEW! Meta Description: Use specifically for SEO and blog editorial calendar
3. Idea Tracker
I like to have a “parking lot” for content that I would like to create, but that is not on the schedule. The Idea Tracker tab of the template is great for mind-mapping, capturing and jotting down ideas quickly. If you are ever in need of a new deliverable or have writer’s block, just pull from your idea list.
4. NEW! Completed Content
The completed content tab provides you with quick access to a history of your best work. I now track completed projects, campaigns, content, and creative assets as a part of my editorial calendar template. This section comes in very handy for two big time-saving uses:
- Reuse your best work – Your completed content can easily be reused again or re-published in different formats. This template can store it all for you in one spot. Your own work is the best stuff for your swipe file!
- Proof of your work – Someone is always wanting to know a recap of what you’ve produced and examples. It’s important that you constantly keep your managers, stakeholders and your peers updated on what you’ve accomplished. But it’s a time-consuming chore to do so, unless you keep this tab updated with your finished work. Perfect for your year-end annual performance review!
Feel free to download the MS Excel version of this editorial calendar template.