How to Create an Effective Content Calendar
One of the best ways to maintain a consistent flow of new content without sacrificing too much time is by creating an effective content calendar.
What Is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a guide to the creation of content that will be shared with your audience. It can be a mix of blog posts, videos, and social media posts. A content calendar includes the day and time each piece of content will go live as well as an overview of the type of information that will go into each one.
Content calendars should include the channels that will be used to distribute your content. Channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and YoutTube are a few that are often used for distribution.
Using a content calendar is also a great way to keep track of your content planning and publishing:
- Save time, stay organized and plan ahead for seasonal changes in topics that are relevant to your business (such as holidays).
- Attract new readers with fresh ideas about what they want from their reading experience. Use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to distribute your content to attract more readers.
When Do You Need a Content Calendar?
Content calendars are great for planning any type of content including blog posts, social posts, videos, case studies – anything that is being created to distribute and help educate and make your audience aware of your business.
If you are creating and distributing content more than a few times a month, you need a content calendar. If you work with more than one person, you need a content calendar to keep everyone up to date on what is happening.
What Should Your Content Calendar Include?
Content calendars are used to keep everyone up to date and organized. Adding every detail to the content calendar keeps things from falling through the cracks and reduces confusion.
A content calendar should include:
- Topic of the content
- Due dates, including start and ends dates of distribution/promotion of the content
- Links to the content being written – this can be in the form of links to Google docs or other publishing tools
- Who is writing, editing and publishing the content
- For planning, it also helps to include major holidays or events that impact your company or industry.
To learn more, find out how blogging can help your business.
Know What Your Goals Are
Whether you’re blogging, making social media posts, or marketing campaigns, it’s important to know what your goals are before creating a content calendar.
For instance, if you want more blog readers and followers on Twitter then create weekly blogs with good SEO keywords for the titles that will entice people to click through to visit your site; if all of this seems too tedious then maybe focus on one post every few weeks about something interesting in order to keep things simple. Once again – know your goal first!
Choose a Template
There are multiple types of content calendars you can choose from. There are monthly templates, week-based templates, and yearly calendar templates to suit your needs for the year ahead. The cadence of your posting will determine the type of calendar you should be using.
There are many content calendar templates and platforms available that make it easy to get started. Here is an example from PromoPrep – a content marketing calendar software platform. It has many built-in features to make it easy to get started.
Distribute Your Content
Don’t stop after creating content. You’ll want to distribute your content where your audience spends time.
Think about what platform is most popular with your target audience. Are they on Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn?
If you are promoting a blog post, provide a list of summary of what the post is about within a social post. Most social platforms don’t show posts with links to external sites as frequently, so work on grabbing the user’s attention with a synopsis of your content within the social post.
Use the Calendar Year
Make sure to take into account what’s going on in your industry so you can stay competitive and up to date on current trends and popular topics.
Create an effective content marketing strategy early on by using cues like holidays and seasonal changes when creating your content calendars. This will help set up competitive advantages while staying relevant within constantly changing markets.
Repurpose Older Content
If you have content that changes seasonally or can be refreshed each year, use this as a way to recycle your old content. For instance, if you have content like ‘Best Marketing Automation Platforms’, change it to ‘Best Marketing Automation Platforms for 2022’ to keep it timely and relevant.
Decide When and How Often You Will Publish
You’ve designed the perfect content calendar, but now you have to decide on its publishing frequency. Each day? Weekly? Daily publications can be a challenge for some brands as they need more time and resources than weekly or monthly releases of new material.
Consider your audience’s preferences when deciding what is best for them – do they prefer reading longer pieces that require significant thought or are shorter bursts often enough to suit their needs?
Focus on quality over quantity. Don’t just push out content for the sake of having content. Good quality content takes a lot of time to produce.
Review Your Calendar
Make sure you invest time in reviewing your content calendar regularly with your team. This will help keep everyone on track and able to adjust if necessary. This is easiest done when you have a content calendar that is shareable and stays updated.
Monitor The Performance Of Your Content
Thanks to analysis tools like Google Analytics you can determine which posts get the most page views and from what channels. If you are posting on social media, use the platform’s tools to track impressions and engagements like comments, likes, and shares.
See what sparked conversation among your followers (and potential new ones) in the past, telling you where it would make sense to spend more of your promotional energy next.
A content calendar is a great way to organize your marketing efforts. By writing out the different types of posts you want to create for one year, it will be easier to stay on top of your tasks and get everything done in time.
Plus, by creating an actual plan that lists all the information you need upfront, there are fewer chances for mistakes or delays down the road.