How to Make a Content Marketing Calendar?
If you are struggling with a scarcity of resources, then the content calendar could be the option to combat the situation. It will let you create valuable, shareable, relevant, and engaging content. The content calendar will also let you divide the workload among your team with easily manageable units.
The content calendar will also help you plan your work efficiently, and there will be no need to spend time wondering what to write but instead create valuable material for the users.
Why Is There a Need to Have Content Calendar?
The content planning could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or yearly. However, it needs to be well formatted and subsequently well executed. The content calendar should be effective, strategic, and useful. There would be a need to hit your goals effectively and meet the requirements of the internal and external stakeholders through effective planning. It would need the maximum deployment of your resources. The content marketing teams need to be highly efficient in planning out the campaigns to increase reach on different channels.
There won't be an exaggeration to say that a content calendar is the content stratagem in action. If you don't have a content strategy, then there is no point in having a content calendar. Content strategy creation is certainly the driving point of content marketing ROI. The strategy could become the defining point of your content calendar. It will incorporate the parameters and workflow required for a strong execution.
Many people often dismiss the content calendar and end up juggling the ball. However, a content calendar would rather prove to be a valuable asset. Most content managers find it ineffective, but the truth is another way around. You would be able to streamline your work in an efficient way.
Benefits of Having an Effective Content Calendar
An effective content calendar is the one that drives the expected results. You would be able to plan, organize and identify the content gaps as well. Along with that, the content will be able to perform well and drive better results. Below are some of the important benefits of having an effective content calendar.
The content calendar will also help you put in exploring new and various types of opportunities. In addition, you would be able to get to know about the events and dates that can grab seasonal traffic on the go. Therefore, planning content publishing dates is highly indispensable for cashing the events.
Gives Your Better Understanding of Content:
If you want to have a bird's eye view of your content, then opting for a calendar is the option to go. You wouldn't have to fret about the next post you need to publish, but you would have a more holistic understanding of the content trends and the overall theme.
Generation of Better Content:
Planning content will make your content better day by day. If your content is better, then there are chances the audience will get engaged with it. The more engagement is, the greater the chances of having a higher marketing ROI.
Makes Content Creation Accountable:
Content calendar planning also makes you accountable, and there would be no need to scramble to publish the content. It is because there would be an outline of the content in advance.
Now, let's get to the process of making an effective content marketing calendar.
The Process to Start Content Marketing Calendar
Define Your Goals
When you start with the future planning of your content, the foremost thing that needs to be answered is the goals that you are aiming for. Your answer would determine the basis of determining the right channel and format to reach the targeted audience. There could be a number of goals that you can put in front of you. For example, your goals could be producing content for generating leads and gaining more traffic and visibility, or there could be a chance of growing your social media reach. In addition, it is also important to plan the content to give a clear understanding to your team for executing the chore effectively.
Moreover, defining the purpose of content creation will uplift your marketing needs. If the content lacks purpose, there isn't any point in publishing it. You would be only wasting your resources. Each team member must have a clear idea about the projects they are working on to get the expected and desired results.
Create Content Calendar Template
There are multiple templates available over the web for formulating a content calendar. You can use a basic spreadsheet for formulating a content calendar.
The content calendar has to be shared with your team members to know how to carry out and execute the tasks. In this regard, you can use a Google sheets tool, it will empower you to give access to everyone from your team, and they will also be able to give new ideas and add comments. The content calendar can be created as per your specific needs, but some essentialities should be part of it. For example, suppose you are using a Google spreadsheet, then you can list the following entities.
- Type of Content
- Date and Time of Publishing
- The Person in Charge of Publishing
- The Person Responsible for Writing
- Follow-through: The status of content
Choose Your Content Publishing Channel
You need to find out the channels to reach out to potential customers. It will help you focus on the content you want to create. For example, there could be an option of publishing articles on your blog or images on Instagram or Twitter. If you are into creating videos, then YouTube is the platform you need to opt for. There is also an option of conducting a survey on Facebook.
If you are into publishing content on multiple platforms, then there are likely chances of grabbing a higher chunk of the audience. However, you need to ensure that you have enough resources for the chosen channels. In this regard, you need to prioritize the channels that you think can be more lucrative than others. There isn't any point in aimlessly posting on all the mediums because, in the end, it will only make you feel exhausted.
Social media posts are one of the least time-consuming types of content to create. However, you need to ensure that the content you create must not only be focused on social media. You also need to work on more in-depth content to maximize your reach.
There could be a number of options to avail, and some of them are expert articles, press releases, guest blogs, and others. You need to add these forms of content to your communication and marketing plans. You would be able to provide more information to the potential consumers in a smooth way.
Moreover, you can also use social media to promote your in-depth content. For example, you can share an infographic from your blog post to your Instagram or Facebook page. In addition to that, posting the article link on Twitter or LinkedIn can also help you in gaining more traffic to your website.
Decide Publishing Frequency and Set Time Limits
The foremost thing you need to consider is deciding how much content you can publish. There isn't any doubt that the creation of content is time-consuming. For that reason, you need to choose the publishing frequency that can perfectly go for you. In this regard, you need to understand your boundaries, which are required to make your calendar more efficient.
Moreover, you need to create enough content that can grab a hefty chunk of traffic to your website. The content calendar will help you out in determining the busiest hours of your organization. You would be able to get your projects completed on time. You would have to make the deadlines time-constrained to meet them efficiently.
Moreover, you also need to remember that the content calendars shouldn't be set to stone, and there must be flexibility. You can do this by making your schedule flexible to a certain degree. You cannot work at the same pace, and there are chances that you can miss out on external events and news. Therefore, moving your less urgent content for later wouldn't be bad. You can react to fresh news on an urgent basis.
Monitor How Your Content Is Perceived
The best part of digital marketing is that it is easily measurable. Most companies often spend more time creating and sharing their content. The measurement of the content success ratio is left in the background. They pay little to no attention to monitoring their content.
Moreover, you need to examine your data and operations and would be able to work on the content gaps that are left behind. For example, you also need to know which posts on social media have sparked a heated debate. You also need to know which blog posts have been shared the most and which ones have been left behind. In addition, there is also a need to know the visibility your press releases have gotten in the media.
Review and Update Your Plan
The question of how long a content calendar could be planned isn't answerable. Multiple factors are taken into account while planning ahead. First, it depends on the volatility of the niche you're working in. In addition to that, other factors can be related to your company.
The planning of the content calendar isn't simple at all. You need to work in a way that it may not interrupt. You can simply plan the main content for the whole year and supplementary one daily, weekly, or monthly.
In addition, you can also get your team involved in the process by asking them to give creative ideas and thoughts for updating and planning your content when needed. Finally, you can review the entire content calendar with your team to get better and desired results. It will keep you on track, but there are chances to adapt to possible changes.
Whether you are heading a team of content marketers or a part of it, the content calendar will let you produce content more effectively and efficiently. The more you are organized, the more chances you will yield positive benefits. The content marketing calendar will surely support your marketing plan and stakeholders.
The content marketing calendar must be woven with the marketing plan to get desired results. The practical implementation of it will drive positive results. You need to be conscious of its outcomes because that will determine the success or failure of your content marketing calendar.