Content calendars are an essential tool for 2016
What is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a plan that shows your marketing content. You could describe a content calendar as a marketing resource. It is often created as an Excel sheet or online tool, to help plan your content and social media marketing. They’re not only a way of making sure what’s being published is in line with your digital marketing strategy, but in the right place and at the right frequency.
Calendars are usually shared between members of editorial or marketing teams to ensure everyone’s aligned on the publishing schedule, but can be used even for individuals wanting to grow their personal blog.
Other useful content terms are shown here:
What is content marketing?
Content marketing has been around for a long time, helping to generate leads by reaching new customers, and building conversations around brands. Content can include a variety of digital formats, from editorial copy and blog posts to SlideShare presentations and social media content such as tweets and Facebook posts.
There are different types of content that you can use when planning. Evergreen content includes items which could be published at any time. They are not date specific and it is useful for a company to develop a range of material in this area. Topical content is based on what’s happening. They key is to ensure that any content based on topical or breaking news, should have some connection to the business. Many organisations are involved with planned events such as exhibitions, shows, conferences and this content can be prepared in advance and built into the content calendar. User-generated content comprises reviews, parody of brand-created work as well as other feedback. Finally questions asked by many customers can be transformed into useful content shared over a period of time.
Why do you need a content calendar?
With multiple channels and all those different types of content floating around, it can be overwhelming trying to work out what’s being published, where and when. A content calendar will help to show exactly how your company content will be distributed throughout the week, month, or year; it also makes it easier to plan content across key dates, such as national holidays, the seasons, or particular times of focus for your company, like a product launch.
Content calendars are also an easier way of visualising how your content is distributed across the internet, meaning you’ll be able to sync up your marketing strategy across multiple social media and editorial channels. Planning your calendar will give you a broad view of your marketing activities over a longer period of time, so you’ll have a good overview of which subjects, products or content types you’re focusing more on during any particular time period, or alternatively which areas you’re missing out on!
Whether you’re running a digital marketing blog by yourself or as part of a marketing team of 20, it’s important to create a content calendar in order to execute your content strategy and maximise your social media results.