As the name suggests, a Content Calendar is used to schedule content distribution across different digital channels. And for most small businesses, these channels are Website, Email, and Social Media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.).
Why You Need A Content Calendar
Without a content calendar, your content is likely to be disorganized and not targeted. For example, you are far more likely to write about a subject you are currently thinking about, rather than what your audience is truly looking for. Furthermore, it's difficult to publish consistently without a content calendar - and we know consistency is crucial to successful content marketing.
Lastly, a content calendar will answer essential questions like "What is the primary purpose of this content?", "Who is your core audience?", "Which specific keywords do you need to use?", and "Who is responsible for creating the content?".
How Do You Create A Content Calendar?
For most small businesses, a simple content calendar is all you need. Also, you can use a spreadsheet (e.g., Excel), a document (e.g., Google Docs), or an actual calendar (e.g., Outlook). Irrespective of which format you chose, a content calendar should include entries like:
- Topic (e.g. “How to advertise on LinkedIn”)
- Title (e.g. “Is Your Business Targeting Professionals? (How To Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Ads)”
- Target Audience/Customer (e.g. “Business Owners, Marketing Professionals)
- Target Keywords (e.g. “LinkedIn, LinkedIn Advertising, LinkedIn Ads, How To, Targeting Professionals”)
- Content-Type (e.g. “Blog Post”)
- Digital Channel (e.g. “Website”)
- Assigned To (e.g. “John Doe”)
- Status (e.g. “Published”)
- Date/Time (e.g. “10/1/19 1:30pm”)
You can always add additional fields later on (e.g., KPIs, Notes, etc.)
Content Calendar Template (Example)
Click here for a detailed (high resolution) image.
Content Calendar Tips:
- Consistency is essential to building an audience, so schedule content regularly
- Not every piece of content has to be in the content calendar — for example, unplanned social media posts
- A content calendar is not a repository of all your content ideas. Use a separate document/list/spreadsheet to store your content ideas (e.g., content backlog)
- A title can break or make your content, so give it the attention it deserves
A content calendar is an essential component of all successful content marketing strategies - it keeps the content focused, consistent, and timely. Also, after the initial setup, a content calendar requires minimum effort to manage, so try it for a few months, and you will undoubtedly see your audience grow.