If you’re not sure what a strategic content calendar is, it’s simply a roadmap of how you plan to execute your content marketing strategy.
Some content can be so broad that you need such a tool to help you oversee what kind of content to write, when to post it, and on which online platform. This documented schedule extends over a few weeks, even a few months before it is refreshed and new topics and briefs are added to the sheet for the new cycle.
Creating a content calendar can seem overwhelming, more so if you’re building from scratch. Not to worry, we’ve put together this quick guide to help get you started on the right track.
What goes in a content calendar?
A strategic content calendar should be able to tell you what kind of content you’re posting, blogging, or sharing across social media this Tuesday and the next few Tuesdays after that (or any day you prefer). The greater the detail, the more useful the calendar will be when implementing your content strategy.
With that in mind, here are a couple of items that are generally included in a content calendar:
- Type of content (blog, guest post, Youtube video, Instagram graphics, etc)
- Name of the content to be published or shared (title and headlines)
- Date and time of the publication
- Keywords utilized in the content
- The platform where content will be published
- Paid or organic?
- The author of the content
- Completion deadline
- Completion status
- Analytics of each post (engagement numbers, likes, shares, comments, etc)
Creating your content calendar
The more you understand how to use a strategic content calendar, the better you can tap into its wealth of benefits. Here’s how to get started.
1. Decide what type of content to publish over that period
Your target audience and the industry your business is in will be crucial in determining what type of content to create. For instance, if you’re in the restaurant business, your content strategy will likely benefit more from videos and rich graphics than long-form content.
Determining what type of content to create gives you a broad picture of expected timelines, completion periods, and everything in between. You can start to plan realistic publishing dates and times according to the resources available to you.
2. Decide where you will publish and share the content
At this stage, you should already know your target audience and where to best reach them. Even if all you’re doing at the moment is a weekly blog post, you can decide to share the link on Linkedin or Facebook.
It is important to note these minute details. They can go a long way in making sure the actual execution is smooth and free flowing.
If you plan on publishing across multiple platforms, remember to factor in the time needed to make the content well suited to each platform. For instance, let’s say you want to share a blog URL on Facebook. It’s better to share the link with a dedicated graphic design instead of just pasting it bare with nothing to draw attention to the post. Include that in the planning.
3. Decide on the frequency of publications
How often do you plan to post? This is not a decision to take lightly. Look at the data to help you make an informed choice.
Your analytics report can show you if you should be posting more or less within the week? You’ll also want to consider the size and efficiency of your team.
Lastly, consider why you’re publishing the content in the first place. Every design, every post should serve a purpose and not simply for the sake of publishing content.
4. Allot time for proper topic research
Whatever topics you generate will dominate your business online presence for that period. Take the time to do research and come up with interesting, informative topics that establish your brand as an authority in the industry.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, there’s always something new and exciting just around the corner. Stay updated on real-time changes in the industry and assess how they can bring value to your audience.
5. Fill in your content calendar
Now that you have sufficient data on hand, use it to fill in your content calendar. Again, be realistic with your timelines and expectations. There’s no sense in making a calendar that your team cannot reasonably handle.
The calendar should also be dynamic and respond to changes affecting the business. This way you don’t have to start from scratch again anytime a change in direction is warranted.
Content marketing is the foundation of every successful digital campaign. What you say in your message, how you say it, and to whom you say it — everything leads back to content marketing. Having a strategic content calendar in place is definitely worth considering.
Need help setting up your strategic content calendar? Perhaps you need an expert to oversee your business’ content marketing strategy? Talk to Tulumi Digital Marketing today and let us provide the solutions you need, tailored to your situation.