Getting Started With Your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar

Before You Get Started...

Take a sneak peek at the lessons that will help new CoSchedule users through best-best practice onboarding and show them how to utilize CoSchedule Marketing Calendar & Suite. To help you learn your way, this lesson is also available as: Choose which format fits your learning style, and start learning the ins and outs of CoSchedule Marketing Suite.  This guide is made for marketers who are wearing many hats and are struggling to formalize a marketing process as their responsibilities grow. You'll learn how to solve common problems growing marketing teams face like lack of team bandwidth, visibility, and process.

Core Concept 1: How You Will Create and Share Your Ideal Marketing Calendar With CoSchedule

Put Everything In CoSchedule

Marketing projects, requests, and ideas get dropped on you from all directions – emails, Slack messages, meetings, and even desk drop-bys. Here’s what it looks like when you have multiple projects organized on your Marketing Calendar.

Enhance Your Projects With Integrations

Integrations enhance your projects by syncing activities from outside tools like MailChimp, WordPress and Social Media to your calendar – which means you don’t have to waste your time duplicating work. Here are a few of the best integrations for marketing teams like yours.
  • WordPress/Hubspot – Whenever someone creates a new post in WordPress or Hubspot, it will automatically appear on your CoSchedule calendar.
  • Email Marketing – Whenever someone creates a new email in MailChimp, Hubspot, Constant Contact, or Campaign Monitor, a new project card will appear on your CoSchedule calendar.
  • Social Media – The CoSchedule Calendar connects to your social media channels so you plan, create, and schedule your social media alongside your other marketing projects.

Schedule Projects on the Day They Will Publish

CoSchedule Marketing Calendar is meant to be used as a publishing calendar – meaning you’ll add projects to the calendar on the day they will go live or be completed. Here’s why:
  • This enables visibility so everyone knows what’s going live and when.
  • It helps set priorities (i.e. the next upcoming project is the team’s priority).
  • It creates a deadline – which increases the likelihood of accomplishing a project on time.

Core Concept 2: How Your Marketing Calendar Will Improve Project Visibility and Control

Use Color Labels To Visually Organize Your Projects

Color labels are the most powerful way to add visual organization to your calendar. Customize your labels to match what is most important to your company or add visual hierarchy to your calendar. There’s a lot the calendar can do for you in terms of solidifying a marketing process and getting organized. This chapter focuses on how you can increase your marketing visibility and team efficiency with your CoSchedule calendar. 

See the Big Picture and What’s Coming Next with Project Types

The project card tells you a lot of information. One of the first things you’ll notice is the project type located in the top left-hand corner. Project types tell you what type of work it is that you will be creating. Glancing at the project type helps you understand the kind of content you’ll create, without having to click into the project for more details.

Project Status Shows What You Are Working On and When It Will Be Published

The project card tells you what status the project is currently in. This helps you prioritize your work, and keep things from going live before you are ready. There are four statuses in your CoSchedule Calendar:

Core Concept 3: How Your Marketing Calendar Helps You Be Flexible When Project Dates Change

Connect Social Messages and Tasks to Projects

Everything that has a date should be on your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar – including tasks, social messages, events, and even notes. Make your life easier by connecting tasks and social messages directly to your marketing projects. Tasks are added before the project’s due date, so that all the work is done prior to the project publishing. Social messages come after the project publishes, so you are promoting something that has been published.

Reschedule Everything With Drag & Drop

If a project’s due date changes, simply drag and drop the project to a new date on the calendar.

Implementation Chapter 1: Build Your Own Marketing Calendar 

You’re going to learn step-by-step, how to build your own marketing calendar and put an end to the overwhelming feeling that is your current marketing situation.

Step 1: Bulk Import Projects and Content

Use the bulk import feature to import projects and content you already have in other platforms. 

Step 2: Add a Project to Your Calendar on the Publish Date

You need to add every project to your marketing calendar from now on. Think of an upcoming blog post, newsletter, event, etc. that you are currently working on. Add it to your calendar on that day you want it to go live or publish.

Step 3: Give Your Project A Name

After you’ve clicked the plus sign on the publish date, give your project a name and choose the dropdown list to add the project type. 

Step 4: Add Your Integrations

The three most used integrations include WordPress, Email Marketing platforms (like MailChimp), and Social Media channels. To add an integration:
  1. Click the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner
  2. Toggle down your name

Implementation Chapter 2: Take Control of Your Process With Your Marketing Calendarar

Step 1: Change The Status of a Project

Project cards can help you track what phase each project is currently in. This helps you better prioritize your work and lets you see what’s currently being worked on.

Step 2: Choose Your Color Labels

Color labels are the most powerful way to add visual organization to your calendar. Here are some of the most popular ways to organize your color labels.

Step 3: Apply Color Labels to Your Marketing Calendar

To set up color labels:
  • Click the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner
  • Toggle down your name.
  • Choose calendar settings.

Bonus Step: Apply Additional Metadata to Your Projects

Aside from color labels, there are additional descriptors you can add to your projects for even better visibility. Including…
  • Tags
  • Descriptions

Implementation Chapter 3: Share Your Marketing Calendar with Stakeholders

Step 1: Create a Read-Only Link

Read-only links let you share unmodifiable versions of your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar with whomever you want. Click into the specific calendar you want to share by selecting it from the views list. Click the share button in the top left-hand corner of the calendar.

Step 2: Create a Specialized View to Share

Sometimes stakeholders don’t need to know everything your team is doing.  Here’s how to create a saved filter of your calendar that only contains certain things.  Click “All” located in the breadcrumb menu. Then choose ‘Create New Saved View”.

Implementation Chapter 4: Invite Team Members to Join Your Marketing Calendar

Step 1: Understand User Rolesin CoSchedule

Step 2: Onboard Your Team to CoSchedule

Once you’ve invited your team to use CoSchedule, it’s important that they get onboarded to the Marketing Calendar, as well.  Have all of your team complete the CoSchedule Team Member Onboarding Certification course within the first seven days.  It’s also available as a digital version or PDF for those who prefer to learn by reading.

Implementation Chapter 5: Tips For Team Collaboration

Step 1: Assign a Task

Tasks in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar are attached to Projects. If you have a small team, applying tasks is a good way to make sure that projects are completed on time and everyone knows who’s doing what. If you are a team of one, applying tasks helps you manage your daily workload with a simple checklist. To add a task to a project,
  • Open a project on your calendar.
  • Add tasks, due dates, and task owners on the right-hand side.

Step 2: Add a Discussion

Discussions are a great way to collaborate with your team and keep everyone informed without lengthy email threads. If you @ mention someone, the person will receive a notification that a project needs their attention.

Step 3: Explore Your Home Dashboard

The Home Dashboard in CoSchedule contains a list of all your upcoming tasks. It’s a good place to check out first thing in the morning and understand what you need to get accomplished that day. You’ll also see…
  • Your notifications – things like comments that need your attention, when tasks have been completed by team members, etc.
  • Your recent projects – this is a list of all the marketing projects you’ve recently been working in. This makes it easy to jump back into where you left off.
  • Your favorite projects – if you need fast access to a project, add it to your favorites list to quickly find it from your Home Dashboard.

Step 4: Create a Personal Saved View

A personal saved view is a filtered view of your Marketing Calendar that only contains your projects and tasks.

Step 5: Download the Mobile App

CoSchedule’s mobile app allows you to stay updated on all your projects even if you’re not at your computer. You can do things like:
  • Publish projects directly from your phone.
  • See your tasks for the day.
  • Assign tasks to team members when you’re on the go.

Implementation Chapter 6: Get Organized and Keep Everything in One Place With Projects

Attachments

  • Text Editor - This feature allows you to write content directly in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar. 
  • Files - You can upload files to your CoSchedule Calendar projects using Google Drive, OneDrive and regular computer files. 
  • Google Drive - Create new documents using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Office 365 - Create new documents using Microsoft Words, Excel, and PowerPoint

Marketing Campaigns

Adding a Linked Project is a good way of connecting two or more projects that either support one another or, perhaps, function together as a marketing campaign.  In this example, there are three projects that are connected to one another.
  • A how-to video
  • A written blog post that outlines the content of the video
  • A newsletter that distributes the video

Social Messages 

Perhaps one of the most powerful attachments, CoSchedule Marketing Calendar allows you to schedule your social messages directly in a marketing project. To add a social campaign to your marketing project, choose the attachment option that says “Social Campaign”. 

Implementation Chapter 7: Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy with CoSchedule

Step 1: Creating Social Messages in CoSchedule

There are two different ways to create social messages in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar – a stand-alone social message and a social campaign.

Step 2: Schedule a Stand-Alone Message

To schedule a stand-alone social message, click to create a new project on your Marketing Calendar. Choose “Social” and then “Social Message”.

Step 3: Schedule a Social Media Campaign

Social media campaigns ensure that your audience is more likely to see your content. There are two ways to schedule a social media campaign in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar. 
  1. Attach a Social Campaign to a Marketing Project: If you’re creating a social media campaign to promote another marketing project you have planned in CoSchedule, it’s best to attach that campaign directly in your project. 
  2. Schedule a Stand-Alone Social Campaign:​​ Maybe you need to create a social campaign that doesn’t promote a Marketing Project in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar. This could be a campaign that promotes partner content, a recent news story that pertains to your business, or something like a positive customer review you want to promote.

Step 4: Advanced Social Media Strategy

There are some advanced ways you can better manage your social media strategy.
  1. Use the Social Media Optimizer to Write Better Social Messages
  2. Use Best Time Scheduling to Post at the Right Times
  3. Use ReQueue to Get More Traffic to Your Content

Implementation Chapter 8: The Best Way to Manage a Project From Start to Finish

Step 1: Add Projects to Your Marketing Calendar

Knowing what type of projects to start putting on your calendar is tricky. It’s a common hurdle for people just getting started with CoSchedule. That said, here are some common recurring marketing projects that you may want to add to your calendar if applicable.
  • Weekly or monthly newsletters
  • Upcoming events
  • Blog post topics you want to write about

Step 2: Apply A To-Do List to Your Project

After you’ve got a blog project on your calendar, the next thing you’ll need to do is apply a task checklist to make sure everything gets done on time.

Step 3: Create a New Google Doc Attachment

The next thing you’ll need to do is attach a new Google Doc to your project. This allows you to write your content and collaborate all from one place. Once you’ve added the new Google Doc attachment, click the “Edit Inline” option to start writing your blog post directly in your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar.

Step 4: Add a Social Media Campaign Attachment

The next step is to add a social media campaign to your project. This allows you to write, collaborate, AND promote your blog post all from your CoSchedule Marketing Calendar. Using the exact social message cadence we discussed in the previous chapter, add your social messages one by one to create a social media drip campaign that will drive more traffic to your blog post over time.

Step 5: Schedule Your Project and Let CoSchedule Do the Rest

Once you’ve completed all the previous steps in this lesson, it’s time to schedule your blog post to go live. This will not only schedule your blog post to publish, but it will also put in motion the social media campaign you scheduled. You’ll find the project status in the top right corner of your project. When you’re ready to schedule your project…
  • click the status
  • choose the “Scheduled” option
This lets you schedule your projects so CoSchedule Marketing Calendar can push everything live when it’s time.
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