A content calendar is a way to plan the written content that you will be sharing on social media, email, or your website over the next week, month, or year. The calendar allows you to visualize what content will be distributed when and allows you to collaborate with your marketing team to make suggestions about what content should be circulated next. The content calendar can include just general subject matter of the content, or it can include links to the material in full.
The advantages of creating a content calendar include the following:
- It provides easy accessibility to all those involved in your marketing efforts, to avoid surprises or duplication.
- It enables you to spot content gaps.
- It enables you to plan ahead to have a consistent flow of content.
- It can be easily updated as needed.
Content Calendar Tools
You can create a content calendar in a typical word processing document, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, or a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. You can also utilize standard project management applications, like Basecamp, Slack, or Asana. This is particularly helpful if you need deadlines set for drafting, reviewing, and finalizing more involved content, like blogs.
But there are also some useful custom apps that provide some helpful functionality. Here a few:
CoSchedule is a well thought out editorial and marketing calendar that also integrates with social media, WordPress, Google calendar, and Google Analytics. This cloud-based management tool works for individuals or large teams to coordinate, schedule, and manage online content. If you decide to change your posting schedule, you can simply drag and drop items on the calendar. You can connect CoSchedule to your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
This cloud-based solution helps manage content on social media platforms. Key features include marketing analytics, automated publishing, keyword filtering, multi-account management, and post scheduling. Loomly also provides users with a master calendar that helps them manage multiple social media calendars, calendar views, and post overviews. You can connect Loomly to your social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
DivvyHQ is a cloud-based content marketing solution that works well for larger teams. With this platform, users can create automated workflows and notifications. It offers a real-time dashboard and shared content calendars that lets users see status of their projects. It also supports integration with various third-party applications that include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google Drive and WordPress.
How to Create Your Calendar
Step 1. Take an inventory of your existing content access. Start with the material that has been most successful and consider using it to create new content. For example, a successful blog may be the basis for new infographics or video content. A blog popular a year ago can be repurposed by adding fresh updates. Several blogs on the same topic can be converted into a white paper. A single content asset can also often give rise to several pieces of content, which is referred to as content atomization.
Step 2. Decide on a publication frequency. This frequency depends on your specific content strategy. If you’re creating more of a social media calendar, you might publish multiple posts per day. But if it’s for a blog, you may only publish three to four posts per month.
Step 3. Use your list of content ideas to fill in your dates, according to the frequency you just established.
The term “content is king” has become something of a cliché, but there is an element of truth to it. Creating a content calendar helps you stay top of mind for your prospects and customers and delivers material that provides them with value.