A content calendar is an essential part of your content marketing strategy. The calendar will assist with coordinating all of the content activities and tasks while keeping everyone in the team on the same page. Content calendars help organize tasks in a streamlined manner and help ensure that projects get completed on time. A well-devised content calendar can ensure alignment both within your marketing department and across various departments.
Furthermore, it allows you to find gaps in content planning, giving you more time to complete content instead of having to rush at the last minute. Most importantly, creating a content calendar makes it easier to stick to a fixed schedule for posting content. This is crucial for consistent brand messaging, engagement with existing customers and reaching out to a new potential audience.
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A spreadsheet is simple and effective
Perhaps the simplest method of creating a content calendar, yet a highly effective one is to create a spreadsheet. If you prefer, you could also download an application or a premium tool to manage your content calendar. You could even use a hard-copy printed calendar. Regardless of your chosen format for the content calendar, you want to include the same information.
As you create the spreadsheet, be sure to include all of the following elements.
Including the type of content on the spreadsheet allows your team to brainstorm on repurposing content in the future. For example, you may be able to convert a blog into an e-book. You should be able to repurpose old content by using it as inspiration, expanding on it, or even combining multiple past blogs into a large whitepaper.
If you want a balance between the various types of content, you could even colour code them. This will let you see at a glance if you need more blogs, videos, or something else. This tip can be useful regardless of the proportion of each type of content you want, as you can easily view what you need more of at a glance.
Your content calendar should include all of the content that your team is working on and will work on during its timeframe. This includes blogs, social media, email campaigns, podcasts, videos, printed newsletters or brochures, printed magazines, digital magazines, and any other project.
Working title and publication channel
The working title will provide an idea of the topic for the content and the direction that you plan to take it. This section will let you know if you will be posting on your blog, to Instagram, to Facebook, or somewhere else.
Given the word “calendar,” your content calendar should include the date that you plan on publishing content, as well. This is an essential inclusion, as when you combine it with the working title, you will be better able to plan for milestone events or holidays, from national holidays to your company’s anniversary to planned product releases.
Assign task and indicate the status
Include a section for who will be creating the content. This eliminates confusion regarding assignments, lets team members plan ahead and helps you determine who to assign new tasks to.
Indicating the status of the content is important and should include options such as unassigned, in progress, and completed.
To stay organised, it would be wise to use colours to distinguish the various status of the task. For example, you could use green to indicate completed tasks and red for urgent ones.
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Let the calendar be a repository, as well
Ideally, you will set up your content calendar so that it doubles as a repository for the content. In other words, it will include additional areas for unscheduled content. This way, you have additional content on hand that can be used whenever the need arises. Content that you keep in your repository on the content calendar should ideally be evergreen, so the timing of its publication does not matter.