If your business has any more than a handful of employees, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to keep track of projects, staff and deadlines. This is especially true when it comes to content. Even if you are on top of your game, keeping up with regular content output and blogging is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort.
Content marketing is not a short-term strategy. It requires tracking and clear organisation for best results.
It is also essential for any growing business to provide regular, fresh and original content to maximise conversions and ROI. The most effective way to stay on track is with a content calendar.
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a schedule to track the progress of blog posts, from concept to publishing and beyond. You’ll be able to track key dates and targets at each stage and access an overview for every project to ensure effective workload management and delegation.
A content calendar will also ensure that your blog is getting shared in the most efficient way by posting across multiple sources. This includes social media, guest posts and blog sharing sites. This will help you to avoid flooding one platform and neglecting others.
Why Should you be Using a Content Calendar?
- To improve frequency of content output
- To work out how often your brand needs to post. Every brand is different and each requires a unique blog schedule frequency for best results.
- For clearer organisation and easier delegation.
- To set tangible goals for your content based on real performance data and baseline metrics.
- To work out which content is performing the best/performing below par and adapt your strategy accordingly.
- To build a loyal following and a two-way conversation with potential/current customers.
Blogging is the most important channel available in terms of getting your content out to readers and should take prime position on your content calendar. Tracking every post and keeping the content organised will ensure that blog posts are published at the optimum time to attract your target audience.
If you run a small business, you’ll want to ensure that your resources are allocated in the most efficient way. A content calendar will help you to even out the workload and assign tasks to the correct employees based on their skills and ability. This will carve out more time to dedicate to reactive tasks and ongoing business success.
A content calendar will also allow you to post consistently. One of the most important rules of content marketing is to always show up to the party – and to always have something interesting to say when you get there.
How to Create Your Content Calendar
First, you’ll need to identify key topics and audiences. Gather your team for a brainstorming session and give everyone a blank piece of paper and pen. Sometimes our best creative ideas come at unexpected times, so don’t rush the sessions. Give everyone time to go away and think in their own creative space, then reconvene after a day or two to see what everyone has come up with.
Compare your ideas to previously published brand content. Take a look at past posts to see what worked, what people got excited about, and what they didn’t.
You’ll then need to decide how often you want to post. This will depend on things such as the type of blog you are writing, your audience and the overall campaign. Always bear in mind the prime goal of each type of content – whether that be to attract more blog followers, encourage people to browse your new product collection or simply to stay in touch with customers and show them that they are important to you.
Always keep your audience in mind. Content should always be fresh, appealing and relevant to the reader.
Once the audience, frequency and topics have been set you can start working on ideas and populating these onto your content calendar.
The Best Content Calendar Templates
There are various templates available. We’ve detailed some of the best for you below.
- WordPress – Edit posts within the calendar view, schedule in new articles where gaps exist or reschedule posts by dragging and dropping them live onto the calendar.
- Hubspot – A basic content calendar option with standard functionality that prompts when deadlines are due. Allows the whole team to access a centralised calendar.
- Curata – This Excel-based calendar is quick and simple to use, with a handy tutorial to guide you. It may appear a little sparse even when populated but it does the job perfectly.
- Quick Sprout – This option allows blog and ebook book creation; it also fully supports audio and video content. The language and layout are a little more complex, so it’s best for more advanced users.
- Buffer – Another slightly more comprehensive content calendar. The 21-step guide takes you through your content creation, which can include slideshow presentations, blog posts and more, all of which are fully downloadable at each stage.
A content calendar is the perfect professional management tool to plan and track your content marketing in a manageable way, with all the information that you could possibly need at your fingertips.
The Magic Number
There are just a few final tips we want to give about how to set yourself up for success. Always give yourself space and time to review your content and its goals. And remember, 10 is your magic number. Use the top 10% performing content to set new goals. Aim for 10 times growth month on month for an ambitious yet achievable goal. And don’t ever forget to write content that your audience wants to read. That is the first and final rule of all content marketing.
For a custom-made brand content calendar, contact Tush on 020 3289 2444 or email: email@example.com