No one likes to be behind on their work, we all have that internal drive to want to accomplish tasks, but it’s easy to get busy and put off things that should really get done.
So what’s the solution? Creating a calendar to plan out when tasks need to get done. Specifically for marketing, we’re talking about creating a content calendar. It might seem like it’s going to be more time than it’s worth on the surface (another thing that I need to put into my schedule?), but trust us, it’ll pay off down the road. How? Let us explain . . .
So . . . What Is a Content Calendar?
We’ve thrown the word around a bit, but really it’s exactly as it sounds, a calendar of all your media including blogs, social media, press releases, and so on. It can be as granular as planning pieces to the minute or as broad as planning on a daily or monthly basis. They can even be integrated with your email campaigns or newsletters so you know what’s going to be sent out when and with which content.
The best content calendars will have goals for what each piece should achieve and have a unifying strategy across the board for the year. Otherwise, you’ll end up with content duds and nothing to show for it other than time you could’ve spent focusing on something else.
Why Is a Content Calendar So Important?
You’ll Be Able to Visualize Your Content Plans
Being able to physically see what content you’re going to release might change your mind about what you have planned. By creating a content calendar you can adjust the media you’re sending out and ensure you have enough variety in your plans.
It also makes it easier to reference past content since you can go back and see what was posted and grab the details from that.
You’ll Be Able to Save Time
Obviously creating the calendar itself and updating it takes time, but you won’t have to scramble to hammer out content for any given day without using said calendar. Even better, if you don’t end up using created content, you can build an archive of reserve posts. This way, when you have those writer’s block days you still have content you can send out.
You’ll Know Where Everything Is
In a lot of ways, your content calendar is like a marketing hub. This makes it really handy when you want to find out what’s being posted ahead of time. Plus, you won’t have to hunt around for specific documents that list social media content for that week. A content calendar works for all sizes of teams too, whether you’re running your own business and want to manage your social media or are working as part of a marketing team to organize pieces for the month.
You’ll Build Consistency and Thus, Improve Results
Ever notice how some channels on YouTube only have 1 video per month but it almost always manages to get millions of views? It’s all about consistency (and quality content). With a content calendar you hold yourself accountable for content that has to be posted that day, hour, or minute instead of just doing it as you have time for it.
This will also help to build your audience—if people know they can expect quality content from you on any given day, they’ll be ready and waiting to engage with it like a shark about to pounce on a hapless tuna.
You’ll Be Aware of Everything Being Celebrated
You wouldn’t want to come back from a big company retreat only to realize you never bothered to plan for social media and now don’t have any photos of the event. Content calendars are great reminders for major events coming up, whether that’s holidays, conferences, workshops, etc. It comes back to that point of holding yourself accountable again.
What’s the First Step to Create a Content Calendar?
Not sure where to start? You can create a content calendar in whatever way works best for you like a spreadsheet or shared document. However, we’d recommend getting a dedicated program. There’s a ton of online content calendar tools you can use, and it’s up to you what you’d like to pay for (though many are also free). Some have easy scheduling tools across all social media platforms, whereas others focus on analytics you can get from each post.
We personally use Asana for all our content management needs at Sayvee and love how you can create content in a sort of list view to easily visualize what content is being posted. The best part? It has a base free plan with tons of functionality for what you’re getting.
If you think a content calendar would be perfect for your business, but you don’t have the time to set it up or write enough content, we can help you achieve that. Contact us and we can sit down and discuss what’s best for your business.