Planning a content calendar may seem like a daunting duty, but don’t be deterred. Once you’ve taken the steps to tame the task, you’ll be in position to proceed with an orderly, impactful content marketing program that will help you grow your business! Savvy business owners understand that content marketing is a great way to grow your business, but, like most things in life, good intentions aren’t worth a nickel. In business, planning is essential! Creating a content calendar is not as difficult as it seems, so don’t delay, do it today.
Follow these seven steps and grow your business with an awesome content calendar.
But First… What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a calendar that helps you set and execute a schedule for creating and publishing content for your target audience. People often use an electronic task management platform. (More on this later…)
Make Some Content Marketing Goals
Before getting specific about topics and formats, consider what you want your content to accomplish. Are you trying to gain exposure? Be top of mind? Establish expertise? Familiarize people with your staff and establish personal rapport? Build a social media following or email list? Perhaps some combination of the above? Answering these questions will give your content calendar creation some direction.
Decide on Content Format and Topics
Social media posts are a good way to remain front and center, or to call attention to other forms of content. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the strength of each. Emails are a direct and timely method of announcing developments or highlighting promotions. Blogs or video content allow you to provide value and education to your audience. (If you’ve made it this far, let’s assume you find some level of value and education in this blog post. Fantastic!) Now is the time to determine what type of content you want to share, and how you want to share it. While you’re at it, avoid common mistakes.
Establish a Timeline
Now that you’ve established the what, let’s talk about the when. Daily posts? Weekly videos? Monthly emails? A robust schedule can certainly earn you more potential exposure, but only if you actually follow through with it. Overexposure can be hazardous as well. It really all boils down to your objectives and resources.
Create a Content Marketing Template
Where is this calendar going to exist? If creating and publishing this content is going to be a team exercise, then you’ll want to coordinate it through an online platform that can be accessed by those involved. Google spreadsheets might do the trick. There are a plethora of work management platforms featuring wacky names like Asana, Zoho, or Podio. At Peak Ed Designs, we use Clickup, which allows us to map our content in advance, establish who’s responsible for what, and track our progress. If you’re executing a simple content calendar and doing it alone, you might even use a good old fashioned paper calendar you got from your favorite auto mechanic or take-out restaurant. It doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it works for you.
Add Your Content to the Template
It’s time to populate this platform. What are you going to publish and when? Who’s responsible for what? When should each step be complete? The platforms mentioned employ various frameworks for assigning and tracking these details. Familiarize yourself with these functions and put them to good use.
Track Your Progress on the Content Calendar
Make it a part of your life. Note upcoming deadlines, topic ideas, and published posts. Communicate with your co-creators. Jot down ideas for future content as they occur to you, so you are ready to create the next piece of content.
Review Your Content Calendar
Look at all the progress you’ve made! Keep track of which posts, or types of posts, earned you the most exposure, engagement, or business. (Many platforms provide analytics that help provide some or all of this information.) Are you capable of building additional volume or consistency into your content marketing schedule? Maybe a hot tip for your clients on the first of the month, or a staff member profile on their birthday? It’s all about engaging your audience with the type of content that they respond to.
Peak Ed Designs is committed to building websites that highlight our clients’ personality and value proposition, and we often design areas that display their blog content. This allows the client to express their thoughts in a manner that is visually attractive and search engine friendly. We also include links to their social media accounts, further integrating the various components of their online presence. It’s part of our commitment to building websites that are not only visually appealing, but that work to further our clients’ goals.
I want a website that helps me grow my business.