Whether you’ve dabbled in content creation or have an entire team focused on crafting blogs, captions, and videos, you likely know the importance of strategically planning not just what content you’re going to post, but when. The issue then becomes keeping all of that information organized and making sure it gets approved by the right people in a timely fashion. If you’re running into roadblocks or finding your content creation or posting processes are getting all tangled up, you need a content calendar—and fast.
A content calendar will help you keep an equally keen eye on your SEO tactics and the mediums through which you’ll post. Believe it or not, getting all of those ducks in a row has never been so easy.
How Do I Make a Content Calendar?
Developing a content calendar sounds pretty daunting, but it’s nothing of the sort. In fact, getting organized now means enormous payoff in the weeks and months to come. Let’s take a look at a few baseline requirements for creating your own calendar.
Getting Started: Develop a Spreadsheet or Template
Spreadsheets are a well-known classic—the little black dress of content strategy, if you will. Not only do they allow you to keep your schedule neat and tidy, but they can also be used to sort and analyze data across tabs and cells, making them great for asking those “what-if” questions. After all, it’s not only important to examine the data your brand is working with at the moment, but to analyze, predict, and plan accordingly for the future.
Go on, set up either Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel on your computer, and share it with your team. A streamlined, one-stop-shop for content due dates and ideas means your team will not only be on top of their assignments, but able to measure their progress in relation to their teammates as a whole. In short, you won’t be in for any unwelcome surprises as the year unfolds.
Not a fan of the spreadsheet format? There are hundreds of free and paid content calendar templates available online (but if we’re being honest, we’re partial to a classic spreadsheet, ourselves).
Guide to a Successful Content Calendar
We’ve developed a checklist of at-a-glance ways to ensure that your calendar is as immaculate as possible. When reviewing your content strategy, keep in mind the following:
- Inform everyone (across all departments) what’s posted, and where. This will reduce duplicate efforts on your team, and keep unpleasant surprises and wasted work to a minimum.
- Look for content gaps. Is there a period when you don’t have much content scheduled? Or perhaps there’s an upcoming holiday or historical milestone that your marketing team would like to commemorate? This will keep your brand relevant to the current cultural climate and give your team plenty of time to plan content leading up to the big day(s).
- Capitalize on SEO. Allow your team time to both generate several topics and develop a keyword strategy. When performing your research, keep an eye on keyword trends so that your content stays current. Google Trends is ideal for just that, but you could also look into other free or paid keyword research tools.
- Set specific, data-driven goals. Let’s say you’re looking to improve your B2B content marketing strategy this quarter. You can use your content calendar to plan out two to three B2B-centric blog posts over eight to 10 company blog posts a month, utilizing at least four or five SEO keywords per post. You can monitor all of that data on your calendar.
- Review the big picture. Does your written content follow a consistent pattern, style, or tone? Do you shuffle through your posting topics regularly, or in a way that makes sense? Is your whole team on the same page about where, when, and how the content will be released, as well as who is assigned to what tasks?
Check-In Regularly With Your Team
Being this organized doesn’t eliminate the need for checking in with your team to field questions and map out upcoming content. We recommend getting the entire team together at least once a month to formulate a content strategy that is timely, flawless, and relevant. You’ll want to commit just as much time to plan the dates, times, and channels through which you’ll post. After all, how you post says just as much about your content as the words themselves!
When you’ve developed a game plan, see if your team has any lingering questions about the month ahead. In a field with as many moving parts as digital marketing, crystal clear communication is a must.
Keep Up That Steady Stream of Quality Content With Snap
Looking for a methodical approach to creating your content calendar? Need some help generating ideas for blog posts, developing your SEO keyword strategy, and setting clear, measurable content goals? That’s why Snap is here.
You may already be falling behind in the content game, but that’s no reason to fret. Shoot us a message today; we’ll have you proactively developing consistent, high-quality material in no time.