3 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
With the demand for consistent, high-quality web content growing on a daily basis, creating a content calendar is the best way to coordinate and organize your content marketing efforts and ensure that your brand remains top of mind with your core audience.
Content calendars will vary from organization to organization, but by compiling all of your goals, assets, and ideas in a single document, you’ll be able to piece together what can turn into an otherwise unruly and chaotic puzzle.
1. Organize and strategize
Your website content calendar will allow you to plan out your editorial strategy for as far into the future as you see fit. Use this as an opportunity to map out content that will tie-in with larger organizational campaigns and business goals.
By doing so, you’ll be able to draft content that directly supports those goals and drives readers toward some sort of action that will help you achieve them. You should also plan out which platforms you’ll use to share your content (website, blog, social media, etc.)
Don’t skimp on the details. Include every piece of information that you could possibly need within the calendar. That way, when you look back at the calendar in a few days/weeks/months, you’ll save yourself the headache of trying to recall that “brilliant” idea that came to you in a caffeine induced and/or sleep deprived hallucination.
An effective tactic for larger campaigns is to break your content into smaller pieces that can be easily digested and shared across your chosen platforms. For example: if you publish a 30 page research report, consider pulling out specific data sets, images, charts, or quotes and use them to peak interest and drive traffic to the larger piece of content.
2. Share it with the team
Even if you’re the lone wolf who’s responsible for managing, drafting, and posting content, be sure that the rest of your team has access to your calendar, or at least has a vague awareness of it.
Whenever possible, get outside opinions and ask other team members to contribute ideas/content from time to time. Planning out an entire year’s worth of content on your own is a noble venture, but one that is likely to leave you crying under your desk before you get to March.
For larger organizations with multiple contributors, sharing the calendar with the entire team will create another level of accountability for content authors. They will be able to view the calendar and know exactly when their content is due, as will every other stakeholder.
3. Determine the degree of flexibility
This one depends on the organization, the team, and the goal(s).
For some, having an iron-clad, never changing content calendar will keep them focused and allow website projects to be executed with the least amount of frustrations possible.
For others, the content calendar is best used as a general guideline for the content that you want to create. By allowing things to move and change, you’ll free yourself to react to last-minute changes and to capitalize on unexpected events, new trends, and announcements in your industry.
The key is to make sure everyone understands the purpose of your content calendar, and how it can help influence/dictate the content being produced for your website.
Plan it. Share it. Do it. Then get more website tips and tricks from our on-demand webinar “Website Consistency – Why It’s Important and How to Sustain It”.