Managing several tasks simultaneously is an inevitable part of running a marketing campaign. And one of the most important aspects of a successful campaign is timing.
Content is essential to your digital marketing campaign, so having a well-designed content calendar is a must.
We have covered you in this article if you have wondered what a content calendar is or how to prepare one.
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What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is one of the most critical tools in your marketing toolkit. It is the hub of all your content marketing efforts, allowing you to organize everything visually. A content calendar also enables clear communication of your editorial plans and campaign schedules as part of your content marketing strategy.
A content calendar gives your team a clear picture of what is done and due. It defines who is responsible for each piece of your content project and their status.
A content marketing team comprises various creative roles, from writers to editors to designers. The calendar helps each understand the workflow of the individual projects.
A spreadsheet is not a scalable option for organizing the content workflow. The content calendar, on the other hand, is more dynamic, and it transforms strategic tenets into actionable plans.
What is the Need for Content Calendars?
If you are using content marketing to grow your business, then using a content calendar is the key to staying organized.
Here are three possible ways a content calendar can help you in your marketing efforts:
First, the calendar ensures that all your content-related tasks are executed and prevents you from forgetting things. Its purpose is to see that nothing falls between the cracks.
Second, a content calendar makes collaboration seamless. If you have content contributors and contractors, communicating with them regularly is crucial.
Third, a content calendar gives you an overview of what’s upcoming. You can see your marketing strategy for the next few months on a single screen.
10 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
Wondering how to create a proper content calendar? Here are the steps to follow:
1. Define Your Goals
When planning content, begin with the question: what is the primary goal? The answer to this question is the basis for determining the right channel and format. The plans can be to produce new leads, gain visibility, increase the number of Facebook followers, and so on.
The set goals define how often and where you publish the content. Your team must clearly understand these goals before and during the planning process.
So, defining the goals is the first step to implementing a content calendar. Creating a calendar without a purpose has little to no benefits.
2. Create the Template
Many tools offer calendar features on the web, from which you can choose. However, a content calendar should be simple and have a share option, especially if you plan content with the entire organization.
The template you create should have some basic information such as:
- The publishing channels
- The types of content and the topics
- The publishing dates and time
- The person in charge
- Follow up on whether the content has been published
3. Choose Your Channels
As the next step, you must find your existing and prospective customers' channels. This will help you determine what content to focus on and create.
Publishing content on different platforms in multiple formats widens the audience reach. However, it is equally important to prioritize the most important channels and focus on creating high-quality content instead of posting on many platforms.
Social media posts take less time to create, while press releases, guest blogs, and expert articles should be a part of your marketing and communication plan.
You can also use social media for cross-promoting and sharing more in-depth content.
4. Start With the Calendar Year
As one of the vital content marketing agency tips, always use the calendar year as a base to start planning your content.
Mark down the important events you want to build your content around. This simple step will help you decide the type of seasonal content you will need in the future. You can also estimate the future workload, according to which your team can prepare.
5. List the Types of Content
Once you have made a schedule, it is time to fill in the gaps with relevant content ideas. The types of content can be theme posts, serial posts, press releases, expert articles, seasonal and holiday greetings, exciting and fun posts about the organization, stakeholder stories, and videos and pictures from campaigns, projects, and events.
For each of the types, there should be enough relevant ideas. Add variety to keep the content exciting.
6. Keep the Timeless Content at Hand
Content that is evergreen or not tied to a particular date and time is helpful for your company and the customers. This timeless content will likely get clicks and visits long after it has been published initially.
You need to re-introduce your older blog posts and articles to the audience by adding links to them on your recent content with similar themes.
Evergreen content can also save you at the time of delays in the schedule. As you can store this content, your team can use it when other tasks need to be prioritized. So, there should be a place in your calendar for timeless content ideas.
7. Use Prior Content
You do not always need to create content from scratch. Sometimes, you can reuse old blog posts by updating them through different channels. Presenting similar ideas in other formats is good because your customers might look for information on various platforms.
Your content should be accurate, professional, and reliable. Just ensure that the content on the website is up to date. This will also help you make the most of your valuable content and reach different target groups.
8. Determine the Publishing Frequency
Think about how often you can publish new content. It is essential to set a realistic limit because creating content is time-consuming.
However, there should be sufficient content to generate traffic on the website and bring your customers to value regularly. Planning ahead and in a time-constrained manner will ensure meeting the deadlines.
Your content calendar should also have a certain degree of flexibility. Keep opportunities open for moving originally planned and less urgent content for later when events are to be covered.
9. Review and Update Your Plan
There is no answer to how long in advance you should plan your content. It depends on multiple factors, such as the volatility of your field of business.
It would help if you remembered that the flow of the content should stay uninterrupted. An easy tip is to plan the primary content for the whole year and then plan the weekly and daily content in detail for each month.
Keep possibilities open for team members to share their thoughts and update the plans when required. You can also review the content calendar with your team from time to time.
10. Check How the Content is Received
In digital marketing, almost everything is measurable. Measuring your content's effect is also crucial, especially when you have spent significant time creating and sharing high-quality content.
Devote some time to examine your data and operations, and include them in your plans. Consider the posts that have sparked the most conversation or the blog posts that have maximum shares.
Once you know the kind of content that is interesting to the readers, you can evolve and create more captivating ones in the future.
Tools to Use in Creating Content Marketing Calendars
There are some essential online business tools that you can use to create your content marketing calendars. These are:
- Notion – It is an all-in-one workspace for your databases, wikis, tasks, and notes.
- Google Calendar – This is ideal for one-person operations.
- Google Sheets – This is the most popular option for individuals and small teams. Setting it up is work, but it is suitable for easy collaboration.
- Microsoft Excel – This is Microsoft’s spreadsheet, making organizing tasks easy and hassle-free.
- Loomly – It includes interactive guides for automated social media posts, blog posts, and more.
- Coschedule – This has a fully featured marketing suite for large enterprises and comprises several plans.
- Editorial Calendar Plugin for WordPress – This is free and relies on when you only have posts scheduled in WordPress.
Trello, Slack, Asana, and Basecamp are project management and communication tools, not just content calendars. They can, however, be used for both purposes with a bit of creativity.
What is a Content Calendar: The Takeaways
So, by incorporating cloud-based content calendars into your marketing and advertising campaigns, you can move a step ahead toward success.
Your entire team can work according to a fixed publishing schedule with a well-drafted content calendar. Working towards and achieving the same marketing goals will be easier for them.
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