Bill Gates, in an essay published on the Microsoft website in January 1996, first used the phrase “Content Is King”. In his essay, Bill Gates stated that content will be where most of the “real money” in the Internet’s future years. It is interesting to note that what he said over two decades ago about the Internet is still true today.
Content marketing is a popular form of online marketing today. More than 70% of its users use it to drive their advertising KPIs. You’ve probably tried this field before and know how hard it can be to create regular content flows and distribute them to the right channels for the right audiences.
Let’s take a look at some ways that you can use a dedicated content calendar to manage your content in a smart way.
What is the purpose of a content calendar?
A content calendar will help you increase your content marketing skills exponentially. A content calendar can help you plan your workflow and tell you what to publish when.
- It allows you to post regularly and on time. Consistency is rewarded by social media algorithms. Consistency in your content will keep your audience engaged and increase your brand recall. For a personal experience, you can be creative and plan out holidays, events, and times of year that are important for your audience.
- This helps to reduce errors and mistakes. You can proofread your work multiple times to correct any typos and errors if you have everything organized and planned well in advance. Plus, because there are multiple eyes looking at the calendar, everyone can spot mistakes and correct them immediately.
- This saves time and helps you stay organized. A content calendar allows you to keep track of ideas and then compile them when you have the time. You don’t need to multitask. This makes it easier to think up and create ideas faster, which allows you to spend more time on other things.
- It will help you improve your content distribution and social media strategies. It gives you a clearer view of what has happened with your social media accounts and the other sites you post your content. You can then plan for the future and develop long-term strategies.
- This helps you keep up-to-date with trends. You will get more traffic if you comment on current topics. You can use a content calendar to mark the trends and create content according. An example of a simple example is an Instagram hashtag contest to promote a trending campaign.
- It allows you to track and improve your content performance. You will be able to quickly identify and fix any gaps. You can use your calendar to plan A/B testing until you find the content that attracts the most attention.
- This tool allows you to collaborate with your colleagues. Many calendars offer dedicated team collaboration tools. These tools allow you to share your calendar with your coworkers and have multiple creators and editors on the same calendar. This allows the team to stay informed about what’s happening and works together efficiently.
What should be included in your Content Calendar?
We now know what a content calendar does. Let’s look at some key points to help you get started.
A basic content plan can be used to start the month. It will include everything that must be created or implemented on certain dates. You could have content to post each day, as well as things in the pipeline and some action items for your content team.
Information about the Content
The content title should be included along with a brief description of the piece. Additional information, such as blogs, social media posts or landing pages, can be added to aid your team.
Project management tools like Asana are typically used to assign tasks and tag people on the calendar. You can also explore Hubspot or KanbanFlow if you are interested in other productivity tools.
Source Social Media Today
Type of campaign
Different campaigns have different content plans, so it’s a good idea for the campaign type to be included directly on the calendar. Separate tags can be used for SEO campaigns, blogger outreach, paid ads and off-site posts.
You can either tag campaign owners directly here or use a separate tool. The idea is to communicate the plan promptly to all parties, so there are no delays.
It’s great to have deadlines, especially considering that some people work best under pressure. You should mark the dates that you want to have things done, then create them and post them. However, you must give enough time to your team to ensure they aren’t forced to compromise on quality.
Content briefs can be quite detailed, so it is a good idea to upload them somewhere else and then add the link to it to the calendar. Google Docs is a great resource.
Link to Publication
Once you have published the content, you can add the URL to the calendar. This will allow you to quickly find older posts without having to search through the archives.
There are many options for content calendars. Some people use apps such as Hootsuite or Social Bee. Others use Google docs, Excel sheets, Google docs, and Google docs. It is all about finding the right tools for you and your team. Below is an example of a Content Calendar.
Source Digital Opportunity Trust
How do you use the Content Calendar?
These four tips will help you get started with the content calendar if you are overwhelmed by the task of managing it all.
1. Collect Requests from All Departments and update your Calendar
Once you have started to scale up your content strategy you will need to include content ideas from other departments within your company. In an average tech company, the technical team might ask you to create case studies for projects, while the sales team might request business email templates. Marketing might request videos and a different roadmap.
First, gather all requirements and arrange them in priority order. To help the requester communicate their needs effectively, you can create a template for requirements documents and share it with them.
After you have completed the content request for the month and updated your calendar, you can move on to the next step.
2. Requests versus Resources
Before you communicate the deadlines to your team and set them, it is important to do a basic analysis. This will help you determine if they are feasible. There might be limited financial or human resources, so not all requests can be fulfilled on time.
If you have the resources necessary to meet the request, you can place it on your priority and move on to the next step. You should communicate your limitations to the appropriate department and inform them of a better plan. Companies often have limited human resources, so they plan their campaigns to ensure that no one is overwhelmed and that the quality of work is not compromised.
3. Execution, Repurposing and Distribution
This is where the magic happens. Now you have the content brief and all the resources needed to complete the task. You can now put the content into practice.
This role is usually filled by the content manager who ensures that content creation goes according to plan. The calendar is updated with all actions and deadlines. You can also manage any revisions or approvals that are required for content directly on the calendar.
You can easily reuse long-form content for other channels, such as social media posts, short videos or infographics. To explain an idea more creatively, you can create animated GIFs from a blog post and then share it on another platform.
It is easier to plan distribution and repurposing if you already have the content category tags. Simply tag a post to indicate the content form that it can be reused in and the platforms where it should be posted.
4. Performance Monitoring & Optimization
Publishing content is only the beginning. It is important to monitor the performance of your content using all analytics available. Google Analytics will give you the data you need to track how many people visited your site, clicked on it, and shared it. If you are on social media, your platform’s analytics should be sufficient.
You can also set a time period for the posting of content. After that, you will keep track of all performance metrics and then update the calendar with them. To see where you stand in relation to your goals, you can compare the actual and expected performance. You can track basic metrics such as impressions, clicks and conversions, website visits, and so on.
What are the results of using a content calendar?
It might seem difficult to get your team used to a new content management system. Once they learn the system, however, things will begin to flow.
You will begin to see a rise in the speed of your content strategy over time. You will see a better connection between your team members and a greater level of collaboration. You will become a better manager by being able to understand your team members’ daily lives and be better equipped to assess their performance.
You will be able to start distributing content regularly, work-wise, with little or no interruptions to your content plan. There will be no downtime and there will not be any delays. You will achieve more with the little budget you have and the small group of people who work with you.
Content marketing is not about just creating random content and hoping your audience will fall in love. It is important to research your audience and capture their interests in your content. A content calendar allows you to do this in a more controlled and organized manner. You can try one out and, if you like it, you can use it frequently for your content management needs.
What content should be included on a content calendar?
Content calendars usually include content plans, status updates and planned promotions. Additional tags can be added for the content category as well as the platform for which it is intended.
How can I make a content planner?
A basic monthly calendar can be used to start. It will include the content for each day. Once you feel comfortable with the calendar, you can add more information, such as content briefs, requirements, owners and deadlines.
How can I create a Google Calendar for Contents?
Google sheets are great for creating content calendars. The month you wish to plan your content can be chosen and formulas used to fill in the rest of the weeks. Once you have this information, you can add content information and basic design elements to make your site look professional.
Scoop.it Blog published the article How to Use a Content Calendar To Improve Your Content Workflow.