A content calendar is a shareable resource that allows your team to visualize how your brand’s content will be curated and distributed throughout the year.
It keeps your team in alignment on what kinds of content will be published and where (which platforms). It also allows you to plan ahead around important dates, events and promotions.
Planning your content in advance also allows you to see gaps in your programming. For example, you might have a ton of existing content for December, but nothing for July. Creating a content calendar allows you to identify voids early on giving you the time to create engaging content to fill out the year.
Perhaps the most important argument for creating a content calendar is that it helps to ensure consistent posting. Social media sites like Facebook use algorithms to determine who sees your content and how often – consistency is factored into that algorithm. Social media sites favor brands that post fresh, original content consistently.
Build a content library
Create a repository of all the interesting content you can get your hands on – even if it’s not relevant now, it might be later! You’ll want to have as much content at your disposal as possible. For content creation ideas, check out your competitors’ websites, catalogs and social media pages and do some research on what’s trending in your industry.
While your team will certainly be working hard to create new content, there is no need to produce everything from scratch. You may already have tons of existing content at your fingertips! Old slide decks, video footage, research papers, infographics and press releases can often be repurposed with fresh copy and graphics.
It might be helpful to write a list of all of the types of content you want to curate and then work to collect content for each item on your list. Here are some examples,
- Blog Posts (e.g. how-to articles, product-related success stories, new team members, company history, etc.)
- E-Books (e.g. product how-to’s, other uses for your product(s), whitepapers, etc.)
- Landing pages (design these around sales, promotions, holidays, events, etc.)
- Social media posts (e.g. links to blog posts, infographics, quotes, quizzes, etc.)
- Email newsletters
Once you know the types of content you want, then you can start filling in your calendar and actually creating the videos, blogs and images you’ll be posting.
Once you’ve decided what types of content you’re going to publish, you’ll need to determine how often you’re going publish that content. It could look something like this:
- Post on Facebook/Instagram daily
- Publish two blog posts a week
- Publish one podcast a week
- Publish one video each month
- Email company newsletter monthly
- Publish one e-book each quarter
Keep your content calendar fluid
It’s important to remember that we live in a dynamic world with ever-changing political, economic and social influences.
While scheduling content months in advance is highly recommended, you don’t want to be so tethered to your calendar that you miss important opportunities or appear tone-deaf to current events.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a great example of how brands had to quickly pivot from planned content to new content.
It’s also important to keep an eye on analytics (Google, Facebook Insights, etc.). If a particular type of content isn’t resonating with your audience, pull it! Don’t feel obligated to continue posting content that isn’t working just because it’s on your calendar.
In short, a content calendar can serve as an invaluable tool for keeping your team in alignment. Your coworkers should all be aware of the platforms you’re utilizing and the types of content you’re curating. A content calendar also allows you to stay ahead of the game by planning months in advance and spotting gaps in content early on.