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How to Plan Your YouTube Content Calendar Like a Pro

YouTube can feel like a giant digital bazaar — there’s tons of cool stuff, but it’s easy to get lost and hard to get people’s attention.

Feeling stuck getting viewers? No need to shout for attention but to get organized and systematic about publishing with a YouTube content calendar.

A YouTube content calendar helps creators, marketers, and agencies stay on top of their (video) game by ensuring consistency, boosting audience engagement, and streamlining workflows. This means scheduling YouTube videos in advance is a piece of cake.

Imagine never scrambling for video ideas again. Sound good? Let’s explore the best practices and tools that can help you become a shining YouTube marketer.

What is a YouTube content calendar?

A YouTube content calendar involves strategically planning and scheduling video releases. It’s a roadmap that outlines video ideas, themes, filming schedules, upload dates, and needed resources. Whether working solo or as part of a team, a content calendar helps creators maintain consistency, keep viewers engaged, and grow their YouTube channel. It also improves collaboration with colleagues and clients.

How to create a YouTube content calendar: a step-by-step guide

I once tried selling hand-made earrings at a street fair. No plan. I put up my visually appealing stand and waited for people to show up in the scorching July heat.

The result? No sales, just sunburn.

Publishing videos on YouTube without a content strategy might not get you sunburnt, but it will get you frustrated and probably waste your time. So don’t just wing it. Follow the steps below to create a content calendar for a successful YouTube channel.

Step 1: Decide your content frequency and style

First things first: consider your goals and the kind of videos that will help you achieve them.

Are you aiming for daily vlogs or in-depth tutorials released weekly? Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to creating content for YouTube.

If you want to focus and grow the channel quickly, aim to publish a few times a week. If you’re just adding YouTube as part of a marketing mix, analyze available resources and decide on the publishing frequency.

Also, what types of content are you planning to create? Here are a few options:

  • Guides and tutorials
  • Product reviews
  • Daily vlogs
  • Comedy sketches
  • Unboxing videos
  • Interviews
  • Educational resources
  • Shorts

Choose and mix content types depending on your brand and audience.

Already getting overwhelmed at the thought of juggling everything? Try Planable’s Universal Content feature to streamline creation for all types of content. It also helps maintain style consistency. Whether educational, entertaining, or funny, your YouTube videos should have a unified voice to be recognizable.

Step 2: Brainstorm and organize content ideas

Inspiration doesn’t always strike on command — or does it ever? It takes careful planning and hard work.

Brainstorm YouTube video ideas with your entire team and leverage tools to get fresh perspectives. Explore social media, industry news, and competitor channels to see what’s trending, what gets people to click play, and how you can contribute to ongoing conversations.

And get AI to help. ChatGPT, Gemini, or other AI tools are great for getting the creative juices flowing when you’re feeling stuck or just need a brainstorming buddy. Better yet, use Planable’s AI to generate topics, write copy, or edit captions creatively. It’s part of the platform, so it seamlessly integrates with the content creation workflow.

Screenshot of a social media post in Planable, using Rewrite with AI feature that can make the caption shorter, surprising and expand the concept

Rewrite caption with AI function in Planable

Step 3: Incorporate key dates and events

Holidays, events, or industry-specific dates can spike engagement. By creating a YouTube content calendar, you can proactively align publishing with significant events. This way, you stay relevant and capture the attention of your audience at the right time.

Planable’s calendar makes it easy to organize videos in advance so you don’t miss important dates. It offers a clear view of what’s coming, helping you seize opportunities and keep your videos relevant and timely.

Content calendar in Planable with various social media post for many social platdorms, including YouTube videos, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

Content planning in Planable’s calendar view

It’s also a great visual tool for seeing the bigger picture and understanding how YouTube videos integrate with your overall publishing rhythm, including social media platforms, blogs, press releases, etc.

Step 4: Plan for collaboration and feedback

Teamwork makes the video work.

YouTube content creation is often a collaborative effort involving brainstorming ideas, writing scripts, video filming, editing, production, SEO optimization, publishing, community management, etc.

Yes, that’s a long to-do list, so make sure you’re equipped with the right tools to enable your team to collaborate, offer feedback, and approve work easily.

With Planable, you can give and receive feedback in real-time, manage versions, track changes, set up approval layers, and ensure a consistent publishing rhythm.

Collaboration upon a social media post prepared in Planable with a team chat box requesting simplification of the message, with the 'Internal note' toggled to give access only to team members

Content collaboration in Planable with team member view

3 best YouTube content calendar planners

While you can certainly create a YouTube content calendar in a simple document or spreadsheet, dedicated tools have several advantages.

First, they offer intuitive visual interfaces to organize ideas, schedule videos, and adjust quickly. They also offer templates and automation features that make your life so much easier and help you work faster by eliminating redundancies and repetition.

Lastly, dedicated tools allow all interested stakeholders to access and collaborate on the content plan, improving communication, execution times, and transparency.

Let’s look at some of the best platforms out there that can help any content creator thrive.

1. Planable: the best content planning tool

Brands have complex content needs that you can efficiently organize only with a dedicated tool. Enter Planable, the ultimate content planning tool that is intuitive, versatile, and scalable. It meets diverse needs, from those of solo content creators to freelancers and agencies juggling multiple clients or in-house teams looking to streamline marketing efforts.

Planable helps you create a beautiful content calendar with upcoming YouTube videos, blogs, newsletters, social media posts, etc.

Social media content planner displaying various posts across multiple platforms over a week, with colored labels

Color-coded labels for campaigns and post types in Planable

Not only that, but its Universal Content feature lets you brainstorm and collaborate on all types of content. Need to brainstorm ideas for new videos, get input on briefs, write scripts, or get sign-offs on content projects? Do it all in one place.

Blog post draft featuring a title about new Jusco Soda Summer Mocktails, with collaboration on the right side via comments, allowing only team members to see the comments

Full team collaboration in Planable upon a blog post

What’s more, Planable integrates with most social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter (X), and others, so you can easily create a content schedule and automate publishing.

Scheduling an IG post in planable featuring a strawberry smoothie with a caption about the benefits of Vitamin C.

Social media content scheduling in Planable

Key features

  • Collaborate flawlessly on all your content tasks, including emails, articles, briefs, video scripts, captions, strategies, etc.
  • Schedule content for social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business, and Pinterest
  • Add images and videos from your computer or media library and edit them directly from the platform: crop, filter, annotate, decorate, resize, trim, and add a cover
  • Generate ideas and punchy copy with AI
  • Easily move scheduled posts around in the calendar with the drag-and-drop feature and set up recurring content
  • Enjoy multiple views of the content calendar: calendar, feed, grid, and mobile view
  • Receive feedback from your team and clients and add attachments to comments to streamline collaboration
  • Share your workspace with collaborators and set up access and approval layers

Drawback: Planable does not offer social monitoring or listening features yet.

Pricing: Planable has a free plan that includes 50 posts. Upgrade anytime for $11 per month/user and scale as your portfolio grows.

2. Hootsuite: the best for tracking performance

Hootsuite simplifies social media management for businesses and comes with various features that streamline publishing and optimization.

The platform allows content creators to schedule posts, listen to conversations, and track performance across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and YouTube, among others.

Screenshot of the Hootsuite website homepage with a heading 'save time and get real results on social media'.

Key features

  • Schedule and publish content on all major social media platforms
  • Schedule YouTube videos and get channel analytics
  • Get AI support for content creation
  • Save time with bulk scheduling
  • Gain a competitive edge with social listening features
  • Transform employees into brand advocates with employee advocacy features

Drawback: While Hootsuite does offer direct scheduling of YouTube videos, some users complain that the feature has limitations and does not work seamlessly.

Pricing: After a free 30-day trial, the pricing starts at $99 per month/user and 10 social media accounts (when paid annually).

3. monday.com: the best for project management

Monday.com is a cloud-based platform designed to help users manage complex projects. It helps teams organize workflows, collaborate on diverse tasks, and track progress. It’s known for its user-friendly interface and features like Kanban boards, timelines, and automation.

Screenshot of the monday.com website homepage with a heading 'your go-to work platform'.

Key features

  • Organize content ideas, projects, and marketing campaigns using customizable boards
  • Track progress with different views and see deadlines, task assignments, and content progress
  • Automate repetitive tasks to save time
  • Share ideas, assign tasks, and receive feedback directly within the platform
  • Integrate other apps like Dropbox and Google Drive for a centralized repository of content and marketing assets

Drawback: While monday.com excels at project management, it lacks built-in features specifically designed for content strategy, creation, and planning.

Pricing: The pricing differs depending on the various modules available (Sales CRM, Work Management, or Dev). A free plan is available for up to two seats. The Basic plan starts at $8 per month/seat (billed annually) for a minimum of three seats.

YouTube content calendar template

Instead of starting from scratch, you can use a YouTube content calendar template to streamline your video planning process.

A template means that someone has already done the legwork for you. It offers a pre-defined structure for organizing video ideas, filming schedules, and upload dates — so you can just start creating!

YouTube content calendar template in Planable showing scheduled videos of fruits and a video script, labeled by author and campaign.

YouTube content calendar template in Planable

Benefits of using a YouTube content calendar

Remember the bazaar I mentioned at the beginning of the article? A YouTube content calendar organizes chaos, makes your virtual booth shine, and strategically attracts the right audience to your videos.

The main benefits of using a YouTube content calendar include:

  • Organization and consistency

Plan video ideas around themes, ensuring your content aligns with your marketing goals and audience needs. This avoids a jumbled presentation and keeps your overall presence focused and memorable. For example, Planable’s Instagram grid view can be easily applied to YouTube planning for a visual preview that allows you to adjust and optimize.

Grid view in Planable featuring colorful fruit drinks and fresh fruits, each with engagement icons.

Grid view in Planable

  • Strategy and reach

Schedule videos to strategically coincide with marketing campaigns or industry trends. This helps your content stand out amidst the “noise” and reach a wider audience.

  • Collaboration and efficiency

Remove decision bottlenecks and get everyone working as a team to promote your great videos.

Optimizing your YouTube content calendar for better reach

Creativity is important. But you also have to optimize your YouTube content calendar to maximize reach and engagement. Consider the following key elements:

  • SEO strategy. Conduct keyword research and use relevant words and phrases in titles, descriptions, and hashtags to help viewers discover your videos through search.
  • Boost engagement. Optimize your videos with elements that encourage people to subscribe, comment, and click on related content. Keep updated with best practices and changes in platform requirements.
  • Trend tracker. Use Google Trends or other tools to identify trending themes and incorporate them into your content calendar. Keep an eye on YouTube trending videos to better understand what works and how you can attract a bigger audience.

Remember that the best content is the one that meets your audience’s needs consistently. Get inspiration from others and optimize your YouTube channel, but don’t stray from your brand’s goals, image, and voice.

Elevating your YouTube strategy with a structured content calendar

By now, you should feel confident about standing out in a busy marketplace. With the step-by-step guide and tools highlighted above, you can create a structured YouTube content calendar to keep your channel organized, aligned with goals, and thriving.

Try Planable for free to streamline your workflow and leave room for creativity. It’s your one-stop shop for planning, scheduling, and collaborating on YouTube content and more.

Sabina Varga

Sabina Varga

Sabina is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the MarCom industry. Her to-do list includes helping people write better and businesses sell more through content. She is the host of Zest, a podcast that brings writing within listeners’ reach.

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