Do you know what you are going to post on social media next week or what your next blog post is going to be about? If your answer is NO … you need a content calendar.
What’s a content calendar?
A content calendar is a document that helps you plan, organize and schedule your online content including:
- Blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Social media posts
- Online advertising
Why do you need a content calendar?
Content is the new black in the online marketing world. It takes time to create and publish it, so you need to be strategic about it. A calendar will help you leverage that content to grow your traffic and improve your business.
Planning your online content in advance will also:
Make you more efficient. By knowing what important dates are coming up, you avoid the mad dash to create content because you forgot. We all know that sinking feeling when you realize that Mother’s Day is coming up in two weeks and you haven’t started to promote it yet.
Help you be consistent. No more posting 5 times a day on twitter for a week and then be absent from the platform for a month or more. Or posting on Facebook consistently and neglecting your other platforms.
Keep your team on the same page.
Ensure that you always have quality content to share with your followers.
How to create your content calendar
Find out what resonated with your audience on your blog and social media platforms.
A way to do that is to look at past blog and social media posts to see which were most successful by using Google analytics for your blog and social media analytics for your social platforms.
Brainstorm a list of ideas and topics for your blog.
Get your teams involved including sales. Answer your frequently asked questions.
Look at seasonal holidays if applicable for your business.
TIP: I use a blog idea folder on my desktop and have a secret Pinterest board with images, quotes, ideas that I can turn to when I have a major case of blogger’s block.
Create content categories for your social media posts based on what has been successful in the past:
- Blog posts
- Third party posts. Curated content shows that you are on-top of industry news and brings other perspective.
- Behind-the-scenes shots
If you are just starting out, experiment and try new content categories.
Determine how long it would take to create the content.
It’s important to know how long it takes to write a blog post, to create graphics, etc., especially if you depend on others such as a graphic designer to create some of the contents.
Decide how often to post
This will depend on your industry, your audience and the channel social platform you publish your content on. Always keep your ideal target customer and audience in mind.
Check this great infographic to help you determine How Often You Should Post To Social Media.
In a nutshell:
- Facebook: 1-3 times per day
- Twitter: at least 5 times a day
- Pinterest: 1-3 times per day
- Instagram: at least 1 time a day
Set your content calendar
Pull out an actual calendar, either on paper or online, and start scheduling content into it. Use a master calendar (such as our marketing calendar) where you can see everything at a glance.
Add your “must-do” such as trade shows, product launches, promotions, relevant holidays or events to the content calendar.
Fill in the monthly themes that you want to use to promote your products or services when applicable.
Work backwards, for example, how much time will it take to write a new post? Give yourself enough time to deliver quality work. Place specific dates and datelines on the calendar.
Create your content calendar with Excel. It’s an oldie but a goodie (see below.)
Google offers a free Google Calendar, learn more here.
So, you created your content calendar…
You are not done yet. Monitor your results with social media and Google analytics, keep refining and adjusting the type and schedule of content accordingly.
Do you need help creating your content calendar? We are here to HELP YOU GET IT DONE. CONTACT US for a free consultation.