Editorial plan and editorial calendar are two tools at the heart of any content marketing campaign: here I explain what they are, how to create them, and why they are different.
If you have ever sought advice on developing a strategy to content marketing, you've probably read something like, "Having a content scheduling plan is critical!"
That's right, because to be successful you need to be constant and consistent, posting regularly and relevant to the needs of your target audience.
It is necessary to stay "alive" in the minds of the public by using various channels and offering useful and quality topics.
Getting results, however, is a different story!
Okay, but how can you do so concretely?
It's simple: you have to organize and plan.
There are two tools to help you do this: the editorial plan and the editorial calendar.
Did you think they were the same thing?
Well, that's not actually the case.
They may look similar to you, but they have differences and, above all, a definite purpose.
If you want to learn more, continue reading the article.
I will explain what an editorial plan and editorial calendar are, what the differences are, and how best to use them.
What is the editorial plan?
That it is a very important tool for your marketing and communication strategies, we have already mentioned.
The purpose of an editorial plan is to set guidelines for publishing your content on the Web, namely:
- Media and channels used;
- frequency of sharing;
- type of content;
- target audience.
This information will lead you like a real map to the final goal: the different elements are customized to the needs of your brand and are the result of a thorough analysis covering the context, the market, and the Benchmark KPIs.
The perspective with which you craft your editorial plan is necessarily medium- to long-term: if it is well defined, it ensures that each piece of content is consonant and appropriate with respect to a broader strategic vision (which includes, precisely, your brand and your value proposition), so you can increase your online visibility and your authority.
How do you create an editorial plan?
As in all things, you have to know your goal in order to set the path to reach it.
Therefore, the first step in creating an editorial plan is to set clear and measurable goals.
To do this you need to have a good idea of who your target audience is and what they are interested in, so you can share content that is relevant and engaging to them.
Finally, you will be able to work on your strategy.
Keep in mind that content topics can change over time, so your editorial plan should be flexible enough to accommodate these changes on short notice.
Specifically, to come up with a winning strategic plan for your company, you should ask yourself the following questions related to brand, target audience, and competitors:
- How do your products/services fit into the industry? What is your brand position? What communication style do you want to adopt? Which one fits best with your values and brand identity?
- Who are you targeting? What social channels are useful for reaching this audience? What would prompt your target audience to follow you?
- What are your competitors' strategies? Are they successful? What can you learn from them and what can you do better instead? What is the added value you offer compared to them?
At this point, gather ideas and define budget and timeline, staying aware and realistic about the time and resources available to you for sharing content.
What is the editorial calendar?
Once you have defined the editorial plan, you can move on to the next step: creating the editorial calendar.
It allows you to organize your content publishing in a schematic manner with precise deadlines, which can be daily, weekly or monthly.
The editorial calendar then outlines days and times when different content, such as articles, blog posts, social media posts, videos or podcast, ensuring that all are aligned with the overall strategy and goals.
An editorial calendar actually puts an editorial plan into action, that is, it is your strategy translated into action: it presents in detail everything you need to share your information organically across platforms.
It allows you to stay organized and keep track of what you have done and what still needs to be completed.
In fact, the editorial calendar gives you a broader view of all the material you have available, the content you have already published and the content you have planned, so that the whole team can be sure to stay on the same page.
It can cover several time intervals, but it is usually short-term.
In particular, an editorial calendar helps you to:
- Create consistent and timely content;
- Avoid gaps or overlaps;
- Planning special events or promotions;
- Assigning resources and responsibilities;
- Keep track of important dates and deadlines;
- Monitor and evaluate performance.
What should an editorial calendar contain?
An editorial calendar represents the operational component of the content strategy And should include the following:
- The type of content (blog article, video, social media post, etc.);
- The title or topic;
- The author or creator of the content;
- The date and time of publication;
- The channels or platforms where the content will be published;
- The status or progress of each content;
- Any notes or comments.
The editorial calendar represents the "agenda" of your strategy: divided by channel, structured daily according to time slots, it perfectly describes each step that is moved by your brand, according to a daily plan.
It is specific to each communication tool, will give a view of all publications scheduled on selected dates decided beforehand.
To accomplish this, then make sure you are clear about the schedule defined in your marketing plan, consider events, holidays or occasions that may affect your sales, and establish a publication frequency that suits your needs and is proportionate to your resources.
Editorial plan and editorial calendar: what is the difference?
In fact, the editorial plan is the "father" of the editorial calendar.
The editorial plan is a broader concept that may include the editorial calendar as an integral part, but it goes beyond just content planning.
The plan is a strategic document, in which:
- Define the goals you want to achieve;
- Identify the pathway that connects content to conversion;
- Choose the right topics and communication channels, based on your target audience.
The editorial plan starts with an analysis of the elements underlying your strategy of web marketing (goals, target audience, market, competitors) and defines how you will use the content to achieve them.
Next, you'll need another outline that defines all the operational details of the strategy-this is where the editorial calendar comes in, which is somewhat of a step-by-step itinerary of your content marketing journey.
The editorial plan defines what e as publish; the schedule specifies accordingly when e where you will.
The difference between editorial plan and editorial calendar also lies in the dynamism of the two tools.
While the editorial plan is a more static tool, useful for strategy setting, the editorial calendar, on the other hand, is updated and consulted daily.
Editorial plan and editorial calendar: Why do you need both?
Editorial plan and editorial calendar work together: the former is the starting point, which includes the general outlines; the latter details all the elements needed to execute the project you set out.
Perhaps you might ask yourself, though: can't I just have an editorial plan? Do I have to make a calendar as well?
Indeed, yes, it agrees, for such reasons:
- allows you to get the picture and keep track of everything in great detail;
- It keeps you from re-sharing information or types of content you've already posted--by keeping track of what you've done, you won't be repetitive as a result;
- allows you to remain flexible throughout the year while still following a core program consistently.
The result is that content creation will be organized and strategic while remaining organic.
Editorial plan and editorial calendar are essential for managing your content marketing activities. They have different purposes but work together to deliver your content effectively and efficiently.
Staying organized is one of the most important aspects of running any business, and these tools enable you to do so successfully.
They help you stay focused on your goals and prioritize content that can really engage your readers. Also, planning ahead gives you a chance to be creative.
You can thus reach a wider audience while consolidating your presence and credibility.
But tell me, have you already done both?
Let me know in the comments!