Creating content for your social media presence can be time-consuming but you want to be prepared and have a system that helps you stay consistent. Having a content calendar is one of those tools that will help you keep organized and on-track with your goals.
A content calendar is beneficial when setting goals and defining what success looks like before creating content. It gives you a better overall perspective of your marketing strategy and it helps you get clear on the purpose of each piece of content.
Creating an effective content calendar ensures you keep track of your strategy and goals, preventing you from drifting too far from your brand and your voice.
The following are tactics that will ensure that you are using your content calendar effectively:
Choose A Content Calendar Format
Choosing a format that fits your process and team is important to make effective use of your content calendar. Keeping a clear and concise content calendar helps to map your content and keeping your team on the same page. Organize your content calendar with the date your posts are being published, the caption, if there’s a link or an image attached and if the post is being repeated. It’s also important to assign tracking codes to specify if posts are in progress, if they need proofreading or if they’ve been scheduled and published.
“Social calendars give your team an overview of what content needs to be published, what’s coming next, and the strategy behind why content is being published at a certain date and time.” — CoSchedule
Determine Post Frequency
Determining how many posts per week or month you’ll be writing is an effective way to start thinking about the content being shared. It will help you narrow down your work and determine how much time you’ll be spending when creating content. This will also allow you to create consistency across your social media channels.
“The 3 Cs of content marketing might as well be consistency, consistency, and consistency. The key to always being on your audience’s radar is offering them educational, relevant, and entertaining content day after day.” — SocialPilot
Prioritize A Social Channel
Once you’ve selected the social media platforms you’re going to be creating content for, an effective way to start populating your content calendar is by prioritizing one of your channels. That way you will have a starting point when creating content and it will make it easier to reformat and multiply your message according to the other channels.
“Preparing your content calendar with all the platforms in mind helps you to present your content differently to fit that channel’s audience.” — Spinutech
Planning ahead helps to remember key dates and thinking strategically. Organize your upcoming content starting by covering all the holidays and special dates. Determining the type of content you’ll be sharing will also help you send content with intent. It allows you to craft the best possible post for each occasion instead of coming up with something last minute.
“To populate your calendar with these kinds of ideas, consider implementing monthly or seasonal themes, or types of content that recur on certain days of the week (i.e. “Friday’s Featured Employee”).” — Business2Community
Keep A Content Library
Keeping a directory of content used — whether it is curated content or your own — is important to keep track of what has been shared on your channels. You can also highlight your evergreen content to remember to reshare on your platforms.
“Monitoring evergreen content and taking cues from what has and hasn’t worked in the past will help you plan and curate better and more sustainable posts in the future.” — Like A Voss Blog
Your content calendar can be as simple or complex as you need. These effective ways will assure you are using this tool the best you can to follow your content marketing strategy.
A content calendar is great for short and long term planning, and it helps you visualize content over time and across platforms. But remember to be flexible and leave some space for things that might come up or change.
Being flexible is part of the content marketing game, and it shows you are really listening to your audience and paying attention to insights to make your online content bring you even more effective results.