5 Steps for Implementing a Successful Content Calendar
Great businesses differentiate themselves through strategic efforts to gain market share. This is not a ground-breaking statement and is something as a business owner is obvious. But, what may not be as obvious is the fact that much of this strategy within the digital marketing space relies heavily on Content Calendars. Content creators and marketers rarely live day by day or without a strategy. We utilize our content calendars as a way to methodically reach our goals.
Before we dive into these steps it’s important to understand what a content calendar is and how it can serve to amplify your digital marketing strategy. Then, we will provide our strategy and best practices in implementing a content calendar of your own.
What is a Social Media Calendar?
Social media content calendars allow the user to plan their strategies in the future through automatic posting and targeting. What’s great about these tools is it allows the poster to create content in bulk strategically and with purpose. Social Media content calendars automate the following items:
- Date and Time post goes live
- Which social media platform it will be shared on
- The copy and content used
- The medium, graphics, videos, images etc.
- Can include, stories or posts on varied platforms
- Posting on multiple Social Media Platforms with identical or varied content
Depending on your project these Social Media Calendars can be as simple or as extensive as you need given the project. Today, there are so many tools available to be able to execute the simplest or most detailed projects imaginable. Later in this guide, we will cover many of the favorite web tools we use to execute our client’s social media strategies.
Why use a Social Media Content Calendar?
1) Organization saves time:
You can plan 30 days / 60 days or even 6 month long strategies in bulk. The best strategies are derived from perfect planning ad a social media calendar allows for that! We suggest doing a bulk of your posting 1-2 months in advance that way social media managers only focus on client engagement i.e Comments, messages and likes etc.
2) Posting is Consistent and Predictable
Followers or people that regularly engage with your content prefer consistency in messaging. Similar to age-old marketing plans with goals to create a consistent voice and brand messaging so the expectations of your ideal customer are set.
3) Fewer mistakes more detailed content
Work on your profile and your strategy when you are most alert and have the most time. It’s no secret that we all have times of the day we are most focused. Utilizing tools to plan your content strategy takes advantage of this fact. Additionally when considering holidays or the seasonality of some posting these tools are essential so you never forget!
Step-by-Step Guide for Content Calendar Creation
1) Audit your current social media or blog marketing strategy. Understand and evaluate the following.
- What will give the most ROI
- What are your competitors doing or not doing?
- Is your profile up-to-date
- Who’s going to be in charge? Internal or external?
- What are the goals or KPI’s (Key performance indicators
2) Choose the Right Social platform
Take the time to identify your target demographic and be clear about your goals. Chances are your marketing strategy will not encompass all available “top social networks.” Some work better for others or match your marketing budgets or strategy better. Chances are you will entrust your social media marketing manager or agency to assist in deciding this.
3) Select some tools to help you along the way
No Social media content calendar or blog writer does so without a list of tools to help connect with a client and execute the strategy. Decide which is best for you by referring to the data in your marketing audit. Here are a few of the platforms we use and how they help us better serve our clients.
Slack – Keep connected at all times share files with groups and create multiple projects to manage on one platform.
Google Docs – All your documents and images to support your business and strategy all in one place
Canva – Endless ability to create creative content in images, graphics, movies etc, and share them on all platforms. Easily upload your own content or create your own!
Loomly – Automated posting when and where you want. Loomly supports multiple platforms for both stories and posts to manage and develop all your content in one place. Add your client for additional oversight and management.
4) Store and Create one central location for all your digital assets.
We recommend utilizing Canva and Google Docs to store your information in the cloud keeping all your designs and digital assets in one location. This will allow for efficient ways to create new content utilizing previous templates etc.
5) Get to work!
Start curating your content using your posting calendar. Begin implementing different posting strategies ensuring you’re focusing on balancing engagement posts, advertisements, reputation management, location awareness, and how-to tutorials. Create a strategy that keeps the posts engaging and fresh while sticking true to the brand vision. Be sure to use different styles of imagery including photos, carousels, graphics, and short videos.
Blog Content Calendars
While much of this guide covered the process and general practices of implementing a social media calendar the same concepts and advice can often be applied when planning blog content. The caveat here is there is far more data available through google analytics and SEO reporting to provide content calendars that are far more effective. While Social Media posts apply more of an array of posts or strategies almost like a trial by fire. Blog posts are a very methodical approach.
By focusing on the user, and utilizing resources to understand what your target customer is searching for, when they search, and where you will develop blog posts that assist your reader along with the purchasing decision. By creating content that user enjoys reading or finds helpful while targeting searchable terms you can develop a strategy that will both drive traffic to your website but educate your potential clients. These SEO strategies are highly effective when considering low-cost and long-term strategies. They just don’t achieve results tomorrow. Want to know more about UX design practices? Check out our article detailing current UX design practices for SEO!
This is why @Lane Digital Marketing we want to #handlethehassle by combining a mix of both strategies to achieve results now and in the future.