Being a marketing professional, you must have asked yourselves million times how to create engaging and relevant content for your target audience, right? Honestly, whether it’s an SEO expert or content manager, everyone working in this field once feels pressured to come up with engaging content every time.
Fortunately, today, there are several ways that can help you plan your future content beforehand so that you can never fall short of creative ideas during the year. A content calendar may be the solution to all of your problems.
Planning is a major part of content management that professionals often overlook. Your content won’t stage well unless it goes through a proper planning process.
A content calendar is an effective tool that can help you combat this issue. It manages your time and resources by splitting your team’s future workload into explicit and easily-manageable units.
Below we have suggested the 10-best tips to create a viable content calendar. But before checking them out, we need to learn what a content calendar is.
What is a content calendar?
A content calendar or an editorial calendar is a detailed schedule that exhibits your plans for future content. Precisely, it states what content you will be creating and where you will be publishing or posting it.
An ideal content calendar includes future topics, planned promotional activities, and status updates to current content. It gives you a framework congruence with your business plans to create and share content across all social platforms.
1. Set your goals
When planning your future content, you need to ask yourself, ‘what is its goal?’ Or what you want to achieve through it? Answering it would give you a clearer idea of where you should begin your work. Is your content meant to bring traffic to your website, generate new leads, gain visibility or increase followers on your social media handles?
Creating content with no goal and proper guidelines would only waste your time and resources. When you have a clear idea of what to produce, you will easily measure the expected results.
Note: Your team must be involved during the planning process. They must know what you expect from them and what they are going to produce.
2. Create a calendar template
The second step to creating a viable content calendar is to create a template for it. While several businesses offer in-house software for creating content calendars, you can use free templates on the web to keep it simple and understandable.
For example, you can use Google spreadsheets to create your content calendar as it allows you to share it with your team. Once you are done, add your team to the sheet. You can also provide edit access to your fellow team member.
Following are the things your content calendar must include:
- The topic
- The channel on which it will be published
- The type of content
- The person administering
- Submission date
3. Decide on your channels
Your third step should be identifying channels for publishing your content. This will not just define what should you focus on but clarify the idea of which type of content you need to produce on a specific platform. For instance, should you use Twitter or post on Instagram or publish articles on your personal or client’s blog.
If your goal is to broaden your audience, you should publish different content on multiple channels. However, make sure you have well-trained resources for every platform you are targeting because posting poor-quality content on various platforms won’t get you anything except wasting your resources.
Following are some ideas for your content calendar for the current year. Your calendar should include:
- Guest posts
- Press release
- Guides and blogs
Tip: You can use social media to cross-promote your blogs by posting an infographic on your Instagram with a link to your article. This will bring organic traffic to your website.
4. Use the calendar year as a base
When planning your upcoming content, start with the calendar year. Highlight all the important events of the year like trade fairs, holidays, training, and seminars and create content around it. This will enable you to develop season-specific content and divide the future workload so that your team gets enough time to work on them.
5. Fill up the sheet with relevant content ideas
Once you have marked all the important events for the current year, it’s time to brainstorm and generate relevant content ideas for them. You can include:
- Theme Posts: if you are participating in trade fairs or seminars related to your product/services, create theme posts around it and publish/ post them before they are live.
- Serial Posts: Talk about your product and services by making serial posts to educate web surfers about your offerings.
- Blogs and guest posts: Include guest blogs to your calendar as it is a great way to bring new traffic to your site
- Press release: People like to read about the upcoming products, especially when it comes to new tech releases. Curate a well-researched and structured press release to participate in the current topic of discussion.
Additionally, you can include short guides, seasonal posts, interviews or stakeholder stories on your sheet to fill your calendar.
6. Keep timeless content at hand
Content that is not event or time-specific is always beneficial for your website. Since contemporary themes stay relevant and are constantly looked for, they tend to gain more clicks and views throughout the year.
Also, via timeless content, you can re-introduce your older articles to your website visitors by creating links to them.
7. Use prior content to reach different target groups
Typically, companies have stored content that has not been used yet. You can utilize them to create new posts.
Prior blogs can also be used to target different audiences on other platforms. For instance, turn your old blog into a short, interesting video and post it on Instagram to boost your following. This way, you can create new content without investing extra effort.
Potential clients often browse your website to identify if your content is accurate and updated. Therefore, you need to revamp your old blogs and update them by adding the latest information. Change the title as well, if required.
For example, you can update your 2021 article and add [2022 Updated] to your title. It will look more promising to the web audience.
8. Decide on the content publishing schedule
When creating a content calendar, it is important to consider your capacity to publish new content. Choose a realistic publishing frequency that works for your team, keeping your boundaries in view. If you push your capabilities, the quality will suffer. You must achieve a balance between adding value to your site and maximizing your resources.
Planning ahead will help you spot the busiest time for your company and set submission dates accordingly to avoid any delays. That said, make sure your calendar is not set to stone. There should be a certain degree of flexibility for any mishaps.
9. Review your plan and make weekly changes
Creating a calendar for the year is not enough. You should be ready to add and subtract things that don’t align with your plan. Remember that the more ahead you plan, the better the flow you will achieve. A basic guideline is to prepare content for the current year and then review monthly and weekly plans in more detail.
Keep a certain space for additional instructions and suggestions from the team. Another best thing would be to review plans from the calendar with your team to get a clearer idea for each month.
10. Monitor your content performance
One of the many benefits of digital marketing is that its outcomes are measurable. While companies spend more time on content creation, they often overlook the importance of measuring the results.
While planning, you should devote some time to measuring your content’s performance. Just writing and publishing content without quantifying its results takes you nowhere but to a dead end. Your metrics should be based on; which blogs have been ranked on the top and received the most views? Which social media posts have been shared the most and sparked up the conversations?
Knowing your audience and crafting relevant content is crucial for advancement. If you enter a race without a plan, you should never expect to win. Similarly, digital marketing or any other field requires thorough planning. It lays down a guideline for everyone on the project to have a clear picture of your plan and goals.
If you wish to succeed in this fast-paced digital world, consider these tips as your road map. Plan beforehand to reap better outcomes. Lastly, don’t forget to measure performance for improvement.