Hannah doesn’t usually procrastinate.
But with the end of summer and the start of the third quarter approaching fast, she procrastinated just one of her many tasks- creating a content calendar for the upcoming year.
Hannah had no clue that things would fall apart, or that her content strategy would not work. She wished to post the right content at the right time. But without a content calendar, this task was exhausting and muddled.
Have you found yourself in Hannah’s shoes? What happened with Hannah can easily happen to anybody who is not using a content calendar. To save ourselves from the stress Hannah must’ve faced, and we’ve dedicated this blog post to ‘content calendars.’
A content calendar is a summarized plan in a calendar format of all the content that you wish to publish. The time frame can stretch from a week to a year or more throughout the year. Content includes your blogs, social media posts, or lead magnets like videos, templates, ebooks, or any other desirable form of communication.
The motive of a content calendar is to plan what you will be posting every day or at least every week. After all, who doesn’t want to reap the benefits from planning ahead and being organized? It’s not just that; there are more reasons to use a content calendar.
Content calendars help you save a great deal of time. Plus, they help you get organized. Since you have to brainstorm ideas to fill in your content calendar, it enables you to identify opportunities for creating content that drives results. Moreover, content calendars establish a plan to execute these opportunities.
Planning has its own benefits. In this case, when your complete schedule is planned out on one calendar, meeting concrete deadlines becomes a bit simpler, and you can be more productive. Furthermore, instead of struggling at the last moment, you’ll have all of your content set and preferably ready to post ahead of time as well.
No matter what kind of communication you produce, the content calendar you use will have a similar setup. Here are a few steps to build a great content calendar. Complete these steps before you start filling in a schedule.
An organization hardly publishes content to only a single viewer. Most businesses and companies have various groups of stakeholders or customer types, and each of them is interested in different kinds of content. Content calendars will give you a clearer picture of what you are promoting and to whom. This will also ensure that everything you publish online works simultaneously to help you attain your business goals.
To learn about your ideal buyers, you need to use a simple tool- buyer personas. But is it really that simple? We’ve answered this question for you here. Plus, we have a free buyer persona template for you. You can also listen to the live interview of Adele Revella- the buyer persona evangelist.
When should that unicorn blog post be published? Is it after campaign #1 or before campaign #2? Which lead magnet will be public with this blog post? Is the promotional email approved and ready to be shipped? Is the email list finalized yet? What happens after a viewer is attracted to the lead magnet?
Well, all these details must matter to a digital marketer. Your content should foster relationships with your readers and guide them to the next step in their journey of achieving the desired target. You need to lay out a target path or a customer journey. If you have a clear picture of the content in hand, guiding your viewers from one post to another is more natural, and much more effective.
Developing content categories for your posts will not only help you to stay focused on your complete plan but also save your time when you sit down to create your content. Content categories can smoothen the process of designing a customer journey and providing prospect customers with what they need the most.
Hold regular editorial planning meetings between everyone involved in content creation. Do this before each publishing period. A monthly or quarterly planning meeting is ideal. Moreover, these meetings can be used to plan the publishing content from your depository with reasonable time frames.
These planning meetings can also be used to review the visitors, engagements, and stats from previous publishing periods to evaluate which kind of content is most successful and which needs improvement.
Don’t depend on your calendar entirely. Make sure you check current trends to take advantage of news stories. Also, keep tabs on the activities of your competitors. Make sure that you’re observing your competitors for new ideas or strategies. Watch your content and change it if it’s not working.
For content creators, there’s no better organizational hub than a well-planned content calendar. It organizes your content, helps you categorize it, saves your precious time, and most importantly, helps you identify golden opportunities for creating content that drives results well in advance.
Good luck with your calendars! Stay tuned for a free template. Happy Marketing!