What is a Content Calendar and Why do I Need One?

What is a Content Calendar and Why do I Need One?

You’ve probably heard marketers talking about creating a content calendar and wondered what the heck they are talking about. We are here to not only tell you what that is, but we will also give you tips on how to make a content calendar and how to use it effectively for your business.

What the heck is it?
So what IS a content calendar? It’s also called a marketing calendar or a social media calendar. Basically, it’s a hub; a place you keep track of all of your content for your business to help you keep a schedule and stay on task. You can make your content calendar in a variety of ways. You can use spreadsheets, draw or write them out in a physical calendar or notebook, or you can use an app or website like Trello, CoSchedule or Sprout Social.

Social Media Audit
First things first, before you get started building your content calendar with everything under the sun, conduct a social media audit. Find things like what platforms is your audience on? Which platforms does your company perform well on? Which platform draws in the most social media engagement?

Finding out these things before you get started can help you to figure out where to focus your time and energy. Your company may have a Twitter account, but if you only have 20 followers and haven’t heard much from them, maybe that’s not where you want to be. Conducting your audit takes some time, but will help you to not waste any time in the future.

Start with the Basics
If thinking about your social media audit has you overwhelmed start with the basics. Looking at your calendar highlight days that include events you know you want to post about. This could be holidays or company events. Once you have those, then you can start thinking about the content you need to generate.

Building your Content
Once you have figured out where your audience is you should also be able to see the times they are online. This can help with planning times to post on social media. Posting at times when your audience is most likely to be online can help generate more engagement for your business.

So you have the time frame, now what are you going to post? With your social media audit you should have also been able to find out the types of posts that you have been posting that generated more engagement from viewers. For most companies, links, images and videos tend to see a higher engagement rate than simple text. Start producing content with these items in mind and fill in your calendar.

The content you produce doesn’t have to be brand new. Take a look at your old posts and see what could have done better. Maybe it was a post with just text, reword the post and add a link or image. Track how well this post does versus the other and this can help you with future posts as well.

Calendar

Why a Content Calendar is a Great Idea
There are a lot of great things about using a content calendar. You can use it at your own pace. Whether you want to plan out the next 3 months, 6 months or even the year, you can break it up the way you want to and do what works best for you.

It gives you a chance to plan ahead. Using a content calendar lets you have time to bust out a number of posts and have them ready to go. This way you can easily pop them into your social platform and they are ready to post. You did all the big thinking ahead of time, next is the easy part. With that comes the worry-free feeling of knowing that you have enough things to post online. No more freakouts mid-week thinking “Oh no! I don’t have a post ready for Facebook tomorrow!” You have everything ready to go with your content calendar.

Now that you know more about a content calendar, why not give it a shot? There are multiple platforms that you can use to create your content calendar. Maybe you want a digital calendar like Trello or your computer’s calendar app or something that will automatically post for you like CoSchedule and Sprout Social. Or stick to the classics and use pen and paper or a store bought planner. Do what works for you, there are no wrong ways to set up a content calendar.