November 03 2022
How to Create a Content Calendar for Your Business
Want to start including more content in your marketing strategy? Now’s the time to develop your own content calendar. Content calendars assist in organizing ideas, prioritizing data-driven pieces, and keeping up with important dates related to your business. This process also promotes visual workflows and gives a content creator (or team of creators) the ability to schedule their work daily, weekly, or monthly. Additionally, content calendars can help you monitor content types, authors, promotional channels, and publishing dates. Now let’s break down the full scope of content planning and how to successfully execute this plan.
Before You Start Writing
Align your content calendar planning with your business goals. Work with other departments within your organization to understand both short and long-term business goals. If your business goals include increasing sales from current customers, you might prioritize content that discusses the benefits and features of certain products or services. Your content may also include helpful statistics and case studies to show the success of those products and services.
Identify your audience or audiences. If your target market is prospective employees, the content you create will look much different than if your target market were investors. Your audience will also help determine what channels to place your content in.
Determine your channels. If you are a B2B business, chances are LinkedIn and a company blog may be more effective than Instagram and Facebook for content publishing. Establish a baseline of metrics on your blog, social channels, and email campaigns to set yourself up for proper growth tracking.
Blogging Can Be a Major Part of Content Planning
As we’ve discussed before, blogging can be a good addition when creating the best marketing plan for your business. A blog keeps your website fresh with monthly, if not weekly, content, keeping your clients or customers informed. As much as 77% of internet users say they regularly read blogs. Therefore, making this a part of your marketing strategy is highly recommended.
Struggling to decide what topics to write about?
One place to start is to check organic search queries in Google Search Console. This type of search is not influenced by advertising and is a direct reflection of how your audience is searching for information in Search Engines. You can find this information by looking in Google Search Console within Google Search Console> Performance > Search Results > Queries.
Helpful Tip: Use the “Query” filter to search for queries that include “How”, “What”, or other questions.
Site search queries are an easy source of information, which only you have access to. The site search terms will show you exactly what your audience is looking for when they visit your website. To find what your customers are looking for when visiting your site, go to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.
Next up are paid search queries. Using tools such as Google Keyword Planner can assist you in finding keywords and monitoring search volume statistics and keyword ideas that people are currently searching.
Using social media as a source for blog ideas can be extremely helpful because you have access to quality information from influencers, industry competitors, and other entities related to your business. LinkedIn for example is a wonderful platform for blog and article suggestions.
Did you know? Some people use Facebook simply to discover answers to their questions. Join Facebook groups that are focused specifically on your industry to see what topics people are buzzing about. This will help when you and your team are brainstorming.
Competitor research is also a helpful tool. This doesn’t mean stealing from your competition. However, there can be something inspiring about seeing another business execute what you want to do with your brand. Therefore, check out content from your competitors that get the most buzz. Platforms like Buzzsumo can get you this particular data instantly. Competitor research is a great approach to finding the best blog article suggestions that will assist in increasing your social media shares.
Content Planning and Calendars
Now that we have discussed different ways to go about looking up content to post, let’s talk about how content planning and calendars can really take your marketing plan to the next level. A content calendar (or editorial calendar) is an ongoing project that will evolve as your business goals change. It will also change as you develop and scale your content strategy. You can create a calendar in several different ways.
Traditional Calendar or Calendar App
Whether you are using a traditional desk calendar or a digital one, this is the most direct way to go about creating your content calendar. However, there is much more to content and project management than deadlines and publishing dates. Therefore, a calendar may not be the most efficient on its own. Tools like spreadsheets are always helpful when planning content. Spreadsheets integrate data in one place while organizing the information into neat rows and columns. Entities such as Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel are highly user-friendly and accessible. One of the best advantages of using spreadsheets is that they are easily compatible with calendar apps and content management tools. They also allow you to share edits with collaborators and contributors in real time.
To take your content calendar to the next level, however, may require you to use a platform that is specifically curated for content management. This type of platform will typically include both project management tools and a calendar, and they are a great option if you have a high-volume content marketing team. Examples of these platforms include Monday, Coschedule, and Loomly.
Setting Up a Content Calendar Via Social Media
As you may already know, there are several ways to set up a strategic content marketing plan. However, if you are looking for ways to start building up your content planning now, here are some tips that can help you when posting via social media.
Examine your social networks and content. Before you can begin building your social media posting calendar, you must have a clear vision of your current social media accounts. This includes auditing outdated or spam profiles, account security and passwords, goals and projections for each branded account by platform, audience demographics, and more. Additionally, make a note of how frequently you post currently on each social network. Lastly, check the analytics for how your audience interacts with past posts and overall engagement.
Choose your social platforms and content mix: Deciding the type of content to post is a key part of your social media strategy and significant to creating a social media calendar. There are a couple of basic content mix formulas you can utilize to start planning and that is the “social media rule of thirds” and the “80-20 rule.” These strategies help you to understand what percentage of what type of content to post for your viewers. Consult with Topspot today to learn how our team can help you execute these strategies.
Decide what your social media calendar should consist of: To gain the most out of your social media calendar, outline the information and functionality that is significant to your business. For example, start with the basic info: the date, platform, time and zone, copy, visuals, link to assets, etc. Additionally, you may want to add more advanced details such as the specific platform format (story, reel, Livestream, etc.), the related vertical or campaign (contest, product launch), geo-targeting, and much more.
Although there is no specific way to go about standardizing how frequently you should post, there are some general practices to use as a foundation. However, the key factor is to have a consistent schedule to abide by. Sticking to a schedule is essential so that your followers, clients, and customers know what to expect. It is also suggested that you take the opportunity to use your schedule to come up with clever weekly hashtags that your audience can always look forward to.
What This Means for My Content Marketing Plan
Understanding the concept of content planning and calendars can take your company’s digital presence and engagement to the next level. It also helps you provide tailored content for your target audiences. Get organized and take control of your marketing plan today by consulting with Topspot to find out what content marketing plan is best for your business and brand.