My best advice for your content marketing strategy is to plan and schedule your content in advance as much as you can. This will not only keep your audience engaged by giving them something to always look forward to but also it will save you time. We all know we could use a little bit more of that every day, right? A content calendar is very similar to an editorial one. It should connect with your brand’s vision, the current happenings of the world, as well as your product or service launches. Creating a content calendar helps you focus on the day to day tasks better, as well as increase your audience’s trust, your authority and increase eyes on your business.
Where are you going to assemble your content calendar?
There are a variety of options when it comes to where to assemble your calendar. The location of your calendar is important because this will dictate how easily you can share content across your teams, how connected it will be across various business operations, and how easy it will be for you to create content and then automate it.
We recommend doing your research on the platforms or applications that help with this. Some clients start out as simple as in a Google Doc or Google Sheet, others like to get a bit fancier and use a Trello Board. If you are already using ASANA for project management you can develop a neat looking content calendar inside that application as well.
We are currently developing a framework that will give you the ability to adopt a content calendar in virtually any location. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to get updates on this new project. We love using Social Sprout as an agency but we’ve also used a content calendar like CoSchedule. The tool depends on the complexity of your functions across your team. So if you are a solopreneur, we recommend keeping it as simple as possible.
So to recap, where your content calendar is housed is important. Some things to consider before making the decision as to where you will set up your content calendar are:
- Ease of sharing: How fast and easy can you share content within the calendar with other team members.
- Tasking capabilities: Can you task within the calendar for example, your copywriter, so that they can write the social media captions for your next week.
- Ease of uploading: Can you upload or store media (images, videos, audio files) inside the application
- Publishing automation: Can you automate the content once it is approved and publish it from the application into your social media platforms.
- Approval Capabilities: This is just a bonus, but having approval capabilities in the platform can cut your process times significantly so that you can focus on more important tasks throughout the day.
What information are you going to include in your content calendar?
After you have a home for your content calendar, then you need to figure out what information you are going to include in it. Is this content calendar only going to be for blog content? Is it only going to be for social media? Are you going to combine both or have separate calendars?
Once you figure out what content this content calendar is for then you need to think about all the details for each piece of content. I will break this down for a blog content calendar and a social media content calendar to give you a better idea as to what I mean.
For Blog Posts: Some items to include in a blog content calendar are the main basic details about upcoming blog posts such as the:
- Blog Title
- Keywords to Include in Content
- Link to Google Doc/Word Doc
- Create a staging system to let others know where that the piece is at brainstorming, writing, editing, published
- Date Published
- Published Link
Other things that you could include are blog ideas, links to inspiration, resources, and blog images. Essentially you want to have all your blogging content in one place.
Social Media: Some items to include in a social media content calendar are the following:
- Create lists per social media platform
- Create a card for each day you are planning to post
- On the card include the day the content will be published, the copy, attach any assets (video or image), assign the team member working on the content and a due date for when the content needs to be done by
- Create a tagging system that lets others know what the stage the content is at: in progress, review, approved, and scheduled
Other items that you can include in your content calendar: a content bank (extra content), archived and inspiration.
How to Maintain Your Content Calendar
I know you may get caught up with other aspects of your business, but it is crucial for you to maintain and update your content calendar whether that’s on a weekly or monthly basis. Do whatever works best for your schedule.
I suggest that you make this a commitment and block time off in your calendar to make sure you are creating and scheduling new content that is relevant and beneficial for your business. Because at the end of the day your business does depend on it for the reasons that I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this blog.
If you don’t have the time to assemble and maintain your content calendar then hire a content marketing specialist or a virtual assistant to help you. There are ways to make this happen. Just do everything in your power to make sure it does happen.
After you have content created for your blog or social media content calendar then you must be thinking – what parts of content creation can be automated? Head over to read that blog to find out what you can automate for your content creation.