How to create a content calendar in 7 easy steps
Updated: Jan 19
Why should a business create a content calendar?
Creating a content calendar is an absolute must for any business owner. I always practice what I preach and create one for my business at the start of each year.
It will help on so many levels ensuring you:
Provide content of value that delivers strong engagement
Have the right mix of content, using different formats so your audience don't become tired of the same type of blogs and posts
Tie in with your business proposition ensuring everything is aligned from your brand vision, company values, customer service policy and nothing disconnects
Tap into pertinent topics and themes that your target audience would like to hear about built around your audience personas
Leverage keywords to help your search engine optimisation (SEO)
Don’t miss out on key opportunities as you’re looking at things more strategically and having the time to plan
Repurposing evergreen content and leveraging key assets you have access t
Leveraging content across all your channels and not just your social media platforms to get maximum value
The result will be better content and huge time savings in the long run. If you're planning upfront and not scrambling around at the last minute to create blogs, you're far more productive and everything should work far more cohesively.
How to get started
Here are a few tips to help create a content calendar. It is important that this doesn't replace a content strategy. Your content marketing strategy needs to be developed before you start to define the role that content marketing has in your business and agree the objectives.
1. Month & date - use a diary, spreadsheet or online tool to make a note of key dates for your business. Include all major events in your business from product launches, promotions, trade shows, new staff joining etc.
2. National events - research national events and awareness days from holidays, seasons, and key business dates to more industry-specific dates
3. Business topic - brainstorm all topics that may be relevant to your audience and tie into your business. You may want to have a topic of the month or week.
4. Format - consider varying your content so you are not churning out the same things all the time. Will it be a video, a long article, case study or infographic. There is no right or wrong mix but do think about what is realistic factoring in time and budget constraints, and what will be of most value to your audience.
5. Image - consider how you will represent your topic visually and include the final link to help you plan. Use free image libraries to help.
6. Channels - which channels will you use? Your blog, your newsletter or social media platforms? Remember to leverage content across all your channels and ensure there are no conflicting messages. Consistency and reinforcement of message are important to build a strong brand.
7. Business as usual posts - include your regular posts and leverage popular social media hashtags such Friday feeling, Wednesday wisdom, small business Saturday etc to communicate the softer and more human side of your brand.
You've made the important step - you now have a content plan for the year. Now, you need to commit to it. Remember this shouldn't be the sole responsibility of one person or marketing. Delegate and let the whole team across the business contribute. This is vital for it to be sustainable.
There are lots of free templates and tools to help you get started. HubSpot offers a free guide. For further tips read developing a thought leadership programme or a wider marketing strategy or drop me a line for a free 30-minute consultation to see how I could help your business take your marketing to the next level.