The Quickest Way to Choose the Right Editorial Calendar Tool

September 9, 2016

Organization is the key to success with using content to market a business.

Research shows that companies with a documented content strategy are more effective than those with no strategy or a verbal-only strategy.

Similarly, an editorial calendar is an essential component of any content marketing program that helps establishes a clear cadence and purpose behind every action taken with content.

Many tools exist today to help create and manage your editorial calendar online, amongst multiple contributors in different locations. But what’s the best process to find the tool that matches your specific needs?

Here’s the fastest way to determine whether a particular tool is suited to your objectives with content:

1. Real-time editing

The right tool will include the ability to make real-time edits on your editorial calendar, providing everyone with access to the same version of the document as it's updated.

This prevents multiple versions of the same document being created, which could dilute your progress with coordinating different departments and teams around content.

Real-time edits allows everyone to view the same, consistent calendar across any device, from desktop to their mobile phone.

2. The maturity and complexity of a content program

Every company is at a different level with their content marketing, whether you’re just starting or have been working with content for years, it is important to understand the maturity of your efforts.

If you're just getting started, then it's likely your editorial calendar will be simple at first and you won’t need the bells and whistles that come with a more comprehensive tool. Start with a tool like Google Sheets or Trello and scale up as your program advances.

If your content program is more advanced, meaning your managing different content related projects across one department or many, then it is likely you’ll need a calendar tool that offers specific features.

A more advanced program likely has multiple contributors to the calendar, more information to address and a few different marketing channels to account for.

Consider an advanced calendar tool with more features like CoSchedule or Kapost to best manage the needs of a more complicated content program.

3. Integration options: File storage, social media scheduling, user permissions and more

Depending on what type of content you’re managing, whether a podcast, email newsletter or copy for product pages, you’ll need a calendar that integrates with useful tools and applications.

Does your team need to store files related to content on your calendar? Tools like Google Sheets and Trello are useful for including links to stored documents and other files.

Is sharing your content on social media a priority? Tools like CoSchedule streamline the process of scheduling social posts right from the calendar itself.

How many people will need access to your calendar? The more users on a calendar, the more likely a hierarchy of permissions will need to be setup to allow certain contributors full access to the document, while limiting access to others.

Learn more about building a robust and actionable editorial calendar with my Lynda.com course Create an Editorial Calendar.

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