Time to get strategic! Deliver quality content in a timely manner by outfitting your team with a content calendar. Content marketing is alive and well, and has the potential to drive serious traffic to your site, but only if you’re willing to manage the process appropriately.
Many of us feel the need to fly by the seat of our pants when delivering blogs, posting on social media, or releasing exciting new infographics that have the potential to spotlight our brands. Although, if you’re looking to make a positive change in how you deliver content on a monthly and yearly basis, consider setting up a content calendar.
Why Set Up a Content Calendar?
The mission is simple: Create a shareable, organizational tool that can be accessed by your marketing team to more effectively plan the year’s content activities. While some businesses create bullet point lists of their content ideas, this isn’t helpful in a strategic planning sense. The calendar format helps lay all ideas out on the table in an organized manner. It also allows the marketing team create tie-ins to seasonal events throughout the year.
Having a content calendar can help instill a sense of consistency in your editorial routines, too. As long as you stick with the calendar, you can commit to delivering your ideal number of blogs and social media posts each month. You can even use the calendar to schedule re-posts of existing content.
Now that we’ve discussed the merits of a content calendar, let’s dive right in and talk about the execution phase.
- Audit your previous content: Before adding anything to the calendar, search through your previously released content and analyze how much your audience liked what you posted. See what was successful and what fell flat. Then, leverage the characteristics of these popular posts when deciding what and when to post. Ask yourself: is total reach, number of responses, or clicks the most important metric? Or, are you vying for all three? Once you understand what type of content best supports your overall strategy, you can move on to the next phase in the process.
- Determine the frequency of posts: Think like your target audience. Decide how often you should post based on the preferences of your key demographics. Communicate often enough to stay top of mind, but not too frequently that you’re replacing quality and relevance with quantity. New content on your site each week is a must. Then, when it comes to social media demands, a much more intimate level of involvement is necessary. When determining the frequency of your posts on popular social media sites, set up guidelines that keep your content relevant, fresh, but not overwhelming in quantity.
- Assess if your team is prepared: Before jumping in and filling out a content calendar with all kinds of terrific ideas, make sure you have a team in place who can manage through the process with you. Do you have a communication strategy in place? Do you have individuals assigned to source images, graphics, and other support pieces? Who will edit and review content and do so in a timely manner to respect the terms of the calendar? And, who will keep tabs on the analytics as you move forward?
- Use the right tools: Once you’ve decided on the overall process and you’re sure that you have the right people and support systems in place, you’ll want to find the actual calendar to use. Conduct trial and error sessions, or use two or three calendars simultaneously to weed out the under-performers. Some popular options are Postcron, HubSpot, Editorial Calendar for WordPress, and CMI’s Excel calendar.
By adding a sense of empowered organization to your content marketing activities, you’ll create added value and more effectively reach out to your target audience. A content calendar is used by all of the leading internet marketing agencies today. It can help you to stay organized, boost your brand, and dominate your market by emphasizing the strategic implementation of high-quality content.