Do you use a content calendar to plan your marketing efforts? Without a content calendar, implementing your marketing plan will be high on stress and low on success. On the contrary, planning out your social media posts allows you to stay organized, create consistent messaging, and collaborate with ease. Let’s have a look at why content calendars are so important and 4 simple steps to create your very own!
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is just a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish your future content. This can be as simple as a paper calendar or a google sheets calendar, or as advanced as special software that helps large teams collaborate on content. The important part is having your content mapped out in advance!
Benefits of a Content Calendar
Keeps you organized and efficient
Using a content calendar to plan your posts well in advance allows you to allot time in your schedule to create quality content. When you plan ahead, you can use your highly creative time to make a batch of content to be used throughout the month and beyond.
Ensures consistent brand messaging with a good mix of content
Marketing is all about building a relationship with your customers. When you plan your content in advance, you can be intentional and consistent with your messaging. Planning ahead also means higher quality posts. No more scrambling for your Monday motivational post! When creating your content calendar, you can ensure that a variety of content is planned, such as freebies, updates, and interactive posts to keep your followers engaged.
Collaborate with ease
Using a content calendar puts you in the driver’s seat. If you want to ramp up your marketing efforts, your content calendar provides the perfect framework. Whether you hire an assistant, work with a marketing professional, or collaborate with another entrepreneur, your content calendar will help you collaborate with ease.
How to Set up a Content Calendar
Step 1: Perform a Social Media Audit
Make sure you start with your target market in mind, and think about where you can best reach them. Do you have a presence on those social channels? Have a look at the types of content you are currently posting and which ones have been most successful? Auditing your current situation and setting your social media marketing goals will help you create a plan.
Step 2: Decide on a Content Strategy
As mentioned, it is important to post a good mix of content. If every post is a sales pitch, your followers will disengage with your brand. Conversely, if every post is informational without a call-to-action, then you will miss out on generating high quality leads. Create a strategy that includes your ideal ratio of informational vs sales posts. You can tweak this ratio to find what works best for your followers.
Step 3: Create a Space for Ideas
It is so hard to start creating content when you are looking at a blank page. Consider creating a central place to save your ideas for future material. When your brilliant ideas are flowing, you will have a safe place to store them right away, knowing that they won’t get lost and that they will come in handy in the future.
Step 4: Fill Out your Calendar
Decide how much content you need to post on which channels every month. What are your competitors doing and is it working for them? What times of day are your followers active on which platforms? Is there a holiday or special promotion coming up that you need to plan for? Fill out your content calendar with your game plan and colour code as necessary. If you missed it, check out our recent blog post on Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses! You will find some helpful tips about the 4 most popular social media platforms.
Your content calendar is an important tool in your marketing toolbox. Follow these steps to take control of your marketing efforts and drive success for your business. Reach out today if you want to get started with a marketing professional!