Any business that wants to capitalize on the potential returns from content marketing should have a content marketing calendar. This is an overarching calendar, or schedule, of all forms of content marketing performed within an organization. Ideally, this schedule should be broken down into each component of content marketing that is used and then also compiled for a big picture of all efforts. This schedule will manage all content marketing activities and provide trackable data on how these items play into the overall marketing strategy for the company.
What does a content marketing calendar include?
A content marketing calendar will list all content sharing from the company, such as social media, blog posts, guest blog posts, articles, and infographics. Along with these items, there should be a description of each and dates related to creating and publishing this content. Ideally, the calendar should be stored within sharable means so all marketing team members who are affected by the scheduling and who play a role in content marketing should have access to viewing.
However, to prevent confusion, one person should be responsible for editing the calendar. Having one person oversee this calendar will also allow for ensuring that certain topics are not overused or that no key themes are overlooked. Also, seeing the complete picture at one time can help to find ways for produced content to do double duty, such as a blog post that can have articles branched from it, or a video that can be written out as an e-book.
All team members should be made aware of the deadlines posted in the calendar and held accountable for their required actions in a timely manner. For the best results, the calendar should at least project content marketing projects for a year out, allowing for flexibility, but also lending structure to the planning. This detailed schedule will also allow for targeted marketing to be performed through content throughout the year.
How do I begin creating a content marketing calendar?
1. Find something to build the calendar in
The first thing you want to consider when creating a calendar of content marketing items is a spreadsheet type of program to list information on. There are several programs that work this way available on the internet, but a simple spreadsheet can also work. Most spreadsheets come with search capabilities that can be handy for searching for keywords and topics. Also, data input on spreadsheets can be manipulated in various ways to create graphs and sorted by different values.
2. List each project
Plan each content marketing project for your company projected out a year in advance. Collaborate with other marketing team members on what types of content are best used within your market and get ideas on holidays and other events that may affect your marketing strategy so you can plan accordingly. Use a new row for each new project. The columns for each project should include the following information:
Project description—what is the name of your project? What is this project about? Who is responsible for producing this content?
Content type–If your company uses various social media platforms, list each one separately, with its own column. For instance, if your company uses Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, give each a column. Also place blog posts in separate columns, as well as articles and guest blog posts. E-books and videos should also be listed.
Schedule due dates for content—when is the content due? Make sure to send out reminders to those responsible for providing the content.
Schedule publication dates—schedule the date the content is to go live and where.
List keywords to be used—list the keywords to be used in each piece
Status—what is the current status of the project?
Once your content marketing calendar is completed, make sure the responsibilities of everyone involved are clearly indicated. The editor of the calendar must ensure the dates and statuses of projects is updated continually so that at any point that someone accesses the calendar, they immediately know what is going on within the content marketing arena of the company.
As the needs of your business change, you can change the editorial calendar for your content to accommodate and always remain on track to getting more customers through producing high quality, thoughtfully planned, content.