Creating A Content Calendar

Everywhere you turn these days you’ll hear phrases like “Content is King” and “It’s all about your content”. The core of every sales and marketing strategy is content and you need it for everything including your website, brochures, videos, photography and social media. Content is so much more than just what you think of which is typically blogs and newsletters!

When creating content, it’s vital to ensure your message is unified across all media types. Your audience (and your bottom line) benefits most from content with the same voice and core message everywhere it is used. And once content is created for a specific purpose, it can often be repurposed into various other formats. Planning this in advance ensures that all of your content is cohesive, conveys the same message and that it can be easily reused in numerous other formats. One of the best ways to plan all of this is using a content calendar. 

Creating a content calendar

What Is The Purpose Of A Content Calendar?

The purpose of a content calendar is to help organize all of the different pieces of content that you need for your marketing tools and campaigns. It is also to craft specific messaging that can be utilized in all formats. 

A content calendar allows you to plan out your themes for a set amount of time to ensure your activities align with the specific goals and targets of your company. For example, if you offer mobile tire sales, changes and repairs, you will need to plan to market tire changes at the appropriate time of year and will want all of your content to be ready in advance.

When you use a content calendar, you can easily see what content requirements are upcoming and schedule production accordingly. This allows you to have everything prepared in advance of when you need it. 

How Do You Know If You Need A Content Calendar?

If you have a multi-dimensional approach to your marketing, use various mediums and media types to connect with your audience, have seasonal offers or specific goals, you’ll want to use a content calendar to get better organized. A content calendar also allows you to be more strategic in your marketing efforts. 

Essentially, almost every business can benefit from creating a calendar to track their messaging, manage marketing efforts, keep organized and meet deadlines.

What To Include In A Content Calendar

When building out your content calendar, you’ll want to consider the following items:

  • What are your marketing goals?

  • What topics are important to share with your audience?

  • When is the best time to offer this information?

  • Which content/media types will you use?

  • What platforms will the content be used on?

For example, if your company offers virtual assistance and you want to grow your customer base, you may decide to focus your content on monthly topics such as time savings, increasing efficiency, improving effectiveness, etc. 

You can build out messaging around each point, then create a video and a blog fully explaining each benefit of using your services. The video can be published on YouTube and the blog can be used on your website, but then they can also be used in an email campaign or newsletter. Clips from the video can be used to create TikToks and Reels and copy from the blog can become social media captions.

The most common places for content to be used include:

  • Website

  • Blog

  • YouTube

  • Social media – TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

  • Brochures and printed materials

  • Online instructional documents or videos

  • Email campaigns

  • Podcast episodes

Steps To Creating A Content Calendar

Here are the steps we use to create a content calendar:

  1. Define goals for the upcoming quarter or year, depending on how dynamic your industry is and how often your strategy needs to pivot. 

  2. Map out any seasonal or thematic campaigns. Ensure each section of your calendar has a core topic or topics that match what your marketing goals are for that time period. 

  3. Determine what your core tactics will be for each theme and/or section. Include what pieces of content are required for your campaigns and which platforms will be used. 

  4. Decide which content pieces will be the core or most robust. In most cases, this will be your full length videos and/or blogs. 

  5. Work back in your schedule to set timelines for when each piece will need to be created. In some cases, significant lead time may be required. Leave enough post-production time to repurpose your longer form content into smaller pieces. 

  6. Ensure everyone on your team is aware of the goals, tactics, requirements and timelines. 

To give an example here, let’s assume your business is a mobile tire sales, repair and change service. Your goal in the fourth quarter of the year would be to sell winter tires and provide tire change services as people switch from their summer to winter tires. 

Some core content themes may look like:

  • Sharing when tires should be changed and/or replaced

  • Communicating the value of switching to winter tires

  • Discussing tire storage options and the benefits of using a service

  • The benefits of mobile sales and change services vs the dealership

Getting this information out to your past customers may look like using email, social media/YouTube ads and/or SMS campaigns. You may also update content on your website for the season and publish videos and blogs on this topic to help with your SEO rankings and search visibility. 

In this case, you’ll need video content, website content and blogs. These can be repurposed into emails, video snippets can be used for social media and the content can be cross-posted on your YouTube channel, website, social platforms, emails and more. 

When you need a video created, the timeline is usually 2-3 months in advance. Scripts need to be written, shots storyboarded, equipment and/or a videographer needs to be hired and you need time for editing and capturing the still images and clips you need for other tactics. Blogs require research, writing and graphic creation so they usually need about 2-4 weeks lead time. 

Tools To Help You Manage Your Content

Once you’ve created your content calendar, you’ll also need some tools to help you manage all of these objectives. Some CRM’s and calendars will allow you to manage tasks and ensure your work is getting completed. In most cases, you’ll want to use project management software such as Asana or Trello to keep track of progress, and deadlines, and keep everything in one place.

Tools like Hootsuite, Creator (Meta) and MailChimp can also be very helpful since you can pre schedule your social media posts, ads, email campaigns and more. You can prepare campaigns in advance and have them ready to launch on time, while also keeping track of your results. 

Planning and managing a robust content strategy for most business types is a full time job in itself and unless you have someone on your team to manage these tasks, you may be losing out on opportunities. These are either opportunities within your marketing campaigns that you could be taking advantage of, ways you could repurpose your content even further, or even the business opportunities missed because you’re busy working on your marketing campaigns. Let us take the weight off your shoulders and free you up to grow your business. Contact us today to discuss ways you can optimize your marketing and your time!

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