Content Calendars are the best way to organize all of the content you have. It is the most efficient way to strategize all of the content in the different channels you are using. Social media, blogs, lead magnets, and landing pages are a lot to keep up with!
If you aren’t careful and don’t plan ahead, it can all begin to snowball on you. Overwhelm, confusion, burnout!
This blog is all about setting up a calendar that helps you stay ahead of the pack and prevent burnout and all-nighters!
We will cover:
- Overview of your content
- Content Strategy Roadmap
- Content Strategy Planning
- Content Channels
- Editorial Calendar
First, let’s spend some time reflecting and honing in on what you need to assemble for your content calendar. You need a calendar template you can easily adjust and move items around on.
You could rock old school and build a chart on a word doc. Or use an excel sheet, but I suggest you search the internet for some pretty awesome and affordable software platforms that have content marketing calendars for free or a minimal cost.
At the end of the blog, I’ll list some of the better known marketing sites. For demonstration purposes, I am using Atlassian’s confluence software to illustrate the different areas of marking and planning content strategy.
Gain an overview of your content planning
Planning for three months, six months or a year ahead allows you to see the bigger picture of strategizing your marketing content. Your business may be tied to different factors which need to be emphasized at different times. Holidays are a good example of this. Most retail or service oriented businesses promote sales or special deals during the holidays.
Mapping out themes, specific holidays are good to begin the work of a year’s worth of content.
If you aren’t sure what you want to include on the list, brainstorm with your team or with people who know your business. It’s not important to get every month, or day laid out on the calendar. Just begin with the dates you know you want to include.
Content strategy roadmap
Consistently post on the selected social media platforms to raise levels of daily visits to the website. Consistency is very important in building your brand. If you provide the value your customer needs on a consistent basis, you are building credibility, interest, and yes, a fan club of sorts who will advocate for your business!
For the content strategy roadmap, you might want to use a gantt chart as well as a calendar to map out the content. A gantt chart is a timeline where you see what is happening at each point of the timeline you create. Project management software is a great way to track all of your content planning.
Atlassian’s Jira & Confluence software platform has deeply layered attributes that you can easily use to create project and content calendars. For the purpose of this blog, I will use some of the many templates they provide to plan a content calendar. These include different calendars that help you stay organized. These calendars are found in the Confluence side of planning and information, and if you need to assign items to others, you have the choice to create a project with tasks on the Jira side. The two link to each other for ease and convenience.
Types of content calendars:
There are three basic calendars that help separate the areas of content strategy.
- Calendar Planning
- Content Channels
- Editorial Calendar
The calendar planning deals with the overall planning, while the content channel calendar points toward what channels (areas of content) you will use. Posting content on every variation of social media is not necessarily the best plan. Understanding what audience you appeal to may depend on what you are offering and who is most likely to see it.
With a content channel calendar, you can also codify and track what social media or advertising platforms work best for you. By tracking either with google analysis or another social media analysis (such as Facebook) you can also record the metrics and decided if you need to tweak the content structure, the tone, or not use the particular content channel.
The last calendar is the editorial calendar. This is a space for the specifics of each posting, campaign, or webinar you are planning. It’s also the space where people are assigned the various tasks. With Atlassian’s platform, the individual people can be notified and assigned these items.
Resources for content planning:
As mentioned Atlassian is this author’s favorite software platform to use, but there are others in the marketplace.
There are many other platforms that either exclusively focus on calendar content and strategy or it is a part of their other services offered.
Here is a list of these with quick links:
And if this seems too overwhelming and you have the funds, you can hire companies to source your content and get it to the right audience.
Content Calendar’s Measure
Tweaking your content, the channels where you post content, and whether to add more or subtract content channels is an ongoing process. Stay up on the newest ways to deliver content. Using the internet to research can result in finding free information through webinars, free guides, and blogs.
Use the analytics you have on hand to see if you are reaching the audience you desire.
Using a planned calendar(s) is a way to keep on task and achieve the content strategy you need for branding and bringing business to your doorstep.