It is a well-known fact that content marketing is a powerful business tool. Now what’s more powerful is planning integrated with all the content you wish to roll out. A content calendar is a comprehensive plan laid in advance for all your social media posts and their behind-the-scenes. It serves as a framework to rely upon to create content and schedule its posting.
Nothing compares to the benefits of planning. A good amount of planning always leads to the sweet fruits of success. Hence, the reputation of content calendars for the social media of your business precedes itself. Social media is a double-edged sword. In order to harness the good it has to offer, one has to travel to great lengths in terms of planning and efforts.
Content calendars, in the most basic sense, streamline the entire process behind content marketing. You create a calendar, plan your posts, allot work, track progress, schedule posts, decide the kind of promotion a particular post needs and voila. Plus, you get to avoid spamming all your channels with similar posts. You can decide the content which best works for a particular social media channel.
An added advantage is being able to document all your work formally and have it stored for future references. Documenting your progress leads to an overall optimisation of your organisation’s day-to-day procedures. It helps you achieve heights of success by helping you bridge any and every gap in due time.
Tools to create content calendars
Content calendars can be curated using many freely available services as well as paid services which usually have a lot more to offer than the former.
Google Sheets and MS-Excel are the most commonly available services. You can use basic tables with n number of columns and rows to suit your need. They also offer an option to collaborate with your teammates and have as many people as you want to be able to edit your calendar. Multiple websites offer ready-to-use calendar templates for Excel which are also editable to a certain extent. Trello is another partly free service out there. It allows you to organise your content under various categories and in a rather fun way. It has a very user-friendly interface. Another cherry on the cake is that its pricing plans are comparatively less complex than other services out there.
Other services offering a partly free interface include – Asana, Loomly, ContentCal, Falcon, Brightpod, Airtable among many others. Certainly, all the services have one or the other edge over another. The pricing plans of all the mentioned services fall in a similar price range, so make sure you choose what works best for your day-to-day marketing goals.
Scheduling using a content calendar
As discussed above, a content calendar houses a date of publishing. The date of publishing is when the post(s) is(are) scheduled to be posted.
Most of the services discussed previously also offer an option to schedule posts to be put up on the desired time and date. Yes! You can avail of these services to actually put up posts that you create for you instead of you having to sit and do it manually. This feature addresses the uniformity in terms of posting at the most beneficial times of posting and help boost your content’s reach and grow your audience.
What makes a good content calendar?
A content calendar serves not only as a tool to optimise content marketing but also as a means to keep everyone in your organisation in the loop with the tasks assigned to them and for you to track the progress of your employees and your organisation. Hence, certain things should definitely be adhered to while deciding the heads of your calendar.
A good calendar should cover all aspects of content writing. Suggested heads to cover the most important aspects of content writing are-
Title, Author, Word Limit, Publishing Date, Social Media Channel, SEO terms, Call to Action, Shareable Document, Suggested Edits, Feedback. A good content calendar also touches upon the factors which occur after posting. These include – Analytics and Audience Reception. These are very essential to help you effectively plan ahead.
Depending upon your model, you might need to add a separate column to allot content and funds for your ad campaigns as well. The calendars will, in this case, also serve as a record of your investments and help you decide the kind of content which works for your ads.
All the above-mentioned heads will help you create a calendar that is both pleasing to the eye but also lead to great efficiency in terms of work allotment. It will also help your content writers improve with each piece of content they curate. Once in place, you will slowly be able to recognise the type of content campaigns that work for you.
Plan your content calendar for the holidays
Imagine it is the festive season and you are figuring last-minute strategies to boost your sales. At the same time, your employees are yearning for a break and you yourself are constantly thinking about getting back home to your family. That does not sound pleasant, right? Now imagine having a holiday content calendar at your disposal. All your content is scheduled to be posted without much manual involvement required. Sounds better, right?
Therefore, content calendars tailored to your expected sales for the festive season are a must. Besides the above-mentioned heads, there is, of course, an extra emphasis on ads. Make sure your holiday content calendar addresses your requirement for ads. Allot funds to the various campaigns with the help of your data from your previous calendars. Schedule posts and ads well in advance to be able to give both yourself and your team a well-deserved off on festivals.
Content calendars are a business owner’s living document for tracking the marketing of their organisation. And we know, an organisation with an ironclad marketing strategy in place is bound to achieve the best. Sometimes sticking to a calendar might seem overwhelming or impossible. However, it is important to remember that the discomfort does not really last long. While the advantages of creating creative and comprehensive content calendars are both long-lived and highly efficient. Remember to let it grow on you for it to drive you to a leap of efficiency and success. Need to know more about the functionality of content calendars? Contact us at Shaktiki to schedule a free marketing consultation call right now!