While we’ve previously relied on more traditional forms of advertising to fill your marketing plan, we’re fully in the age of digital marketing. This means you’re going to need to be generating content on a regular basis to ensure you’re taking full advantage of this innovative marketing tool. So, having a good digital marketing plan and social media strategy together will ensure that your marketing efforts are successful.
One great way that you can accomplish this is with a content calendar.
How do content calendars work
At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “what is a content calendar?”, and we’re here to tell you that’s a good question that we’d love to answer! Semrush informs readers that a content calendar is “a resource that helps you plan and organize your digital content for publication.” It’s a great tool that your marketing team can access and use as a tool to ensure that your business’s digital marketing strategy is consistent and effective.
A content calendar accomplishes this by:
- Keeping tasks in front of you and lessening the risk they’re forgotten about
- Increasing collaboration amongst your entire team
- Giving you a bigger picture of what your week/month/quarter will look like
Consistency is a great way to boost engagement and a content calendar is a proven method for accomplishing this!
3 ways a content calendar can boost your marketing plan
There are a variety of benefits that a strong content calendar can bring your business in addition to a consistent and effective digital marketing strategy. Semrush lists a variety of specific benefits including:
1. Helping you save time
Being organized about what your content is going to be for the upcoming month can help you save time by showing you when you need to carve out the time within your schedule to get the necessary content completed on time. Scrambling to get what you need together is not only stressful, but it can lead you to forget about what you need, take time away from other important projects, and cause you to create lower-quality material.
2. Reducing mistakes
There are a variety of errors that can happen when there isn’t a good content calendar in place for you and your team to use. This can include issues such as:
- Posting repeated content
- Forgetting about the content you wanted to post/create
- Hold up the workflow when you have a large team working together
- Editing and fact-checking getting overlooked
A content calendar works as a plan or a strategy to ensure that everything remains on track. Without utilizing this tool, you risk losing control of your digital marketing strategy and letting easy money slip through your fingers.
3. Helping you close the gaps in your strategy
When you use a content calendar to designate what you’re going to post or send out and when, you can use it to have a better idea about where your efforts are most fruitful and where you need to fill in the gaps.
What we mean by this is, there are certain days and times and content that will drive engagement and traffic to your website. With a calendar in place, you can focus on creating consistency to find these highs and lows. For example, let’s say you always post blogs on Tuesdays at 1:00 and Fridays at 12:00. You’re finding you’re getting a lot of engagement with Tuesdays’ posts, but not Fridays’. Moving forward, you can try different days and times to see if there’s a better time to post that second blog to increase engagement and traffic to your website. This is also commonly referred to as A/B Testing.
How to create a content calendar
Now that you know a little bit more about what a content calendar is and why you need one, we’ve got a few tips for you to follow when you’re ready to create your own! Some things you should be including in your calendar include:
- A focused and valuable title
- The type of content you need
- Topic columns to keep everything organized
- A buying stage to better monitor KPIs
- A section to denote who will be writing the content
- An edit date for those who have a team working in stages of content creation
- The date you’re going to publish the content
Creating the calendar you’ll be using is best done on tools like Google Sheets, WordPress Editorial Pages, Excel, Semrush Marketing Calendar, Evernote, Asana, and Trello. You’ll also want to design your content calendar collaboratively with those who are going to be using it. This way, you’ll ensure that each piece that needs to be included for everyone makes its way into the final edit.
The bottom line
There are so many ways a content calendar can help you boost your digital marketing strategy and, in turn, drive your sales up. While you’ll need to invest time and resources into creating and using this tool, it can help you increase consistency and efficiency as well as just giving you better results overall!