A fast moving team needs nothing more than to make sure each member is moving in the right direction. Expectations should be set and proper plans laid to take guesswork out of initiatives. Creating a content calendar on a regular basis achieves these things and helps align strategy with execution.
It’s easy to fall into the cycle of posting and planning content in the spur of the moment. By doing so you could miss opportunities to create a stronger presence in front of your target audience and cut the reach of your content short.
A content calendar serves more than just days and times. It achieves the following:
Requires the development of an editorial strategy.
Before you can even plan the distribution of your content, you first have to know what content will become the focus for the month or quarter. What topics will you use to reach your audience? What CTAs will become important with moving prospects along the desired path to conversion? What keywords will be important to incorporate for organic search ranking?
This is the time to plan a strategy for your content and pull in your team for brainstorming pieces that will make up your library of content for the planning period.
Allocate resources most effectively.
By identifying what resources (or team members) are available to help in executing content pieces, you’ll be able to create deadlines and set up your content calendar by achievable publish dates. Start with the content that is the highest priority and what resources would be needed. Consider timing, seasonality, and key event dates.
Distribute content consistently over various channels.
Those days of rushing to find last-minute content because you haven’t posted in four days are over. A content calendar will position your brand to post content on a consistent basis. No guesswork. No last-minute decision making.
Our biggest pet peeve: posting the exact same content on every channel on the exact same day. Not every channel or social media platform is created equal. Focus your efforts on the channels where your target audience spends the most time. Repost and repurpose to expand reach.
Act as “big picture view” of the month.
Planning content on a monthly or quarterly basis will make your job easier. It will set your team up for success in creating relevant content by certain timeframes. It’s your map to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction and knows expectations at a glance.
What is our secret recipe for creating content calendars? Here are a few tips to keep your content calendar game strong:
- Start with your “Hub” moments first. What are your highlight moments (large promotions, event dates, etc.)?
- Distribute content evenly and avoid posting the same content on the same channels on the same days. Make each social media account valuable to your followers.
- Focus first on the channels that your target audience are most active and more likely to use. Make those the priority for your “stand-out” content.
- Plan content out in advance to avoid errors. Rushing creative or copywriting can result in careless errors or a lack of consistent brand messaging.