For effective content marketing and success with your digital strategy, you need an organised content calendar. Just like it sounds, it is simply a calendar which plans out and details your content on a month by month or period by period basis. It allows you to have a properly organised approach to your content marketing and digital strategy.
You need a content calendar because you save both time and energy as you always know what content is due and you can keep on track without having to instantly come up with ideas and plans. Your content calendar ensures you’re satisfying your audience as you consistently deliver quality content and regularly updated websites are much more popular with the search engines too.
Building and Organising your Content Calendar
The following steps will help to ensure your content calendar is effective:
Begin with a Brainstorm
Think about your brand and your business, do you have a fully formed brand identity? What style of content and tone of voice do you use? This forms the basis of every piece of content you’ll produce. Look at the bigger picture, look at your competitors and put together content ideas which answer the questions your potential customers and audience are focused on.
Repurpose Popular Ideas
Many brands use similar ideas for their content but make them relevant to their own businesses. Theme-based weekly posts, how-to articles and other how-to content such as webinars or video series are very popular. Likewise, case studies and success stories relating to customers and/or products.
Your content calendar should cover at least a couple of months if not longer. The further you can schedule and plan in advance, the more time you’ll have available and the smoother your marketing processes can be. Of course, it is important to have space for additional content which is time sensitive, such as posts responding to industry trends or changes, but the bulk of your content can be fully organised in advance.
Test your Content
No content should be added to your calendar unless you have tested it and are sure it is a good fit for your brand. Are you always offering up something new, interesting and useful? Is your content likely to encourage discussion or result in shares? Considering the social media impact of your content is important, as is ensuring you are consistently putting together high quality pieces, rather than just filling holes in the calendar.
A content calendar can form the basis of your strategy but you need to ensure you remain up to date with change and developments in the industry and have space within your calendar for real-time and urgent stories and content. Equally it is important to track your analytics, if a certain kind of content isn’t particularly popular it makes no sense to keep it on the calendar.