All the best marketing campaigns started with a plan.
Knowing how great holistic content can be, has encouraged many marketers to create a content calendar.
A content calendar is essentially a plan that details the specific times when content will be posted and promoted. Whether it is being used for blogs, social media or both, it is important to stay organized and have a plan in place.
Often times, blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, and even print media are released according to a content calendar.
Your schedule can include various forms of content and can cover a span of time, whether it’s a week or even months. Building a schedule requires knowing how to coordinate content research and creation with forecasted publishing dates.
Like most businesses, Eternity has its own unique approach when it comes to creating a content calendar. We are here today, to share our approach with you.
Before we dive in, we want you to understand the full content development process. Whether you do most of your work based on the planning, creation, or management side of things, you must be aware of how the process works.
The first essential step is content planning. This consists of lots of research, including
topic research, keyword research, and competitor research. When the content in your calendar is focused around a theme or a series of topics, the same amount of research can offer multiple benefits.
The next phase is content creation. This step consists of setting up templates, copywriting, graphic and video design, along with editing. This part of the process is crucial, as it pays to create pieces of content that flow well together. In the long run, it will produce a better result, while also requiring less work than a series of separate, unrelated content pieces.
The last phase in the process is publishing. This is where your content is actually released to audiences. Keep in mind that it is never good to keep your audience waiting for content. The deadlines you set for yourself are the calendar’s focal point, though they do not necessarily symbolize the end of the work. Remember, after your content is published, you still need to monitor, update and promote the content.
Critical Decisions to Make About your Content Calendar
Your content calendar represents what you want to deliver to your audiences. There are three important decisions you will need to make about your content calendar, each one will affect the overall success and outcome.
What type of content will you focus on?
Whether you are focusing on a single type of content or multiple types of content, consider content that flows well together. Perhaps you are putting out magazines or planning out a long-term email newsletter. Give your calendar some variety, and highlight top data points with the intent of building awareness.
When will you publish content?
We have found that the most important part of your content is deciding on the times in which the content will be published. In addition, sticking to the time you chose is critical. If you need help determining your schedule, refer back to the content development process.
Ask yourself how long it would take you to research and create content for your chosen topic. Based on that amount of time, you can get a rough idea for a publishing date. This is where planning ahead can help. For a series of related content pieces, a lot of research and even some content creation might overlap. Ultimately, this requires less work and fewer resources.
How will you adapt your calendar in the future?
While you are developing your calendar, create a structure and organization that allows for easy adaption. Perhaps you make discoveries about challenges with your current format or even opportunities to improve it. Take time to review your results and assess whether each piece from the content calendar is offering some type of return.
If you have three blog posts per week and multiple Twitter posts per day, and you decide to implement a new social platform, do you have the resources necessary for a successful outcome and positive results?
If your results are not what you had expected, you can change the direction, tone, and
style of your content to alter your results.
Choosing a Template Option for your Content Calendar
If you do not have time to create a content calendar completely from scratch, there are many templates available that you can rely on to help you. Using a template for your content calendar is great for a couple of reasons.
The first being that it enables you to begin planning more quickly. The second reason is that it helps guide you and give you direction.
Many companies have great content, but they do not know how to craft the perfect schedule.
Content Calendar Overview
Maybe you are used to operating on a schedule. Content calendars put your publications on that same rigorous timeframe, all while delivering great results. Remember, keep your
Consistency in terms of content marketing is key.
This means publishing on a regular basis so that your audience comes to expect content. Ultimately, this will lead to more
traffic, leads and followers that your brand seeks. All of these things will drive the ROI you are looking for.