According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers planned to produce more content this year than the previous year. With an increase like that, it’s more important now than ever to have a corresponding content calendar that allows you to plan and prepare accordingly. However, content calendars can track more than just your upcoming blogs. If used correctly, businesses can track every form of inbound marketing, from content queues to social media posts. Below are five reasons you need to start making content calendars, along with a series of brief instructions for how to do so.
- The main reason for a content calendar is to remember key dates. These dates can include holidays, events, launches, campaigns, blog releases, and more. Planning ahead for these key dates and being aware of them ensures that you don’t end up scrambling for content for those dates.
- Another, somewhat obvious, benefit to content calendars is their ability to keep your schedule organized. It’s a clear benefit, but you would be surprised as to how many brands fail to use them! Staying organized not only helps you remember important dates, but it keeps you updated on what you are publishing, when and where.
- While consistency in social media marketing is key to a digital marketing strategy, staying consistent internally is a large piece of this. Content calendars allow businesses to foster collaboration with their marketing teams and potential partners. It’s the single source of information for what’s being published and when.
- Rather than making last minute arrangements and coordinating campaigns on the fly, you are saving time, money and resources. With content calendars, you can plan ahead, assign duties and copy in advance, provide ample time for research, and never miss a deadline.
- Careful planning also leads to clearer results. As you generate and share content on a regular basis, you will regularly be able to see and monitor results. It will be easier for you to judge which content performs the best. You will notice patterns, and therefore, you will be able to consistently generate more successful content and give your audience what they want.
Bonus: How to Create a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar is very easy. For my clients, I tell them to start with a simple calendar graphic, such as a template found in Microsoft Word. Then, think about your audience. What are some of their “frequently asked questions?” What do they search for and ask about constantly? Create blog titles around this, for either a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly publishing schedule. Then, search for upcoming daily and monthly holidays that are relevant to you and your business. If you are a massage therapist, Massage Therapy Awareness Week would be relevant to you, and so would regular holidays like Thanksgiving or the Summer Solstice. Incorporate these major events onto your calendar, and include launches, functions, campaigns, blog publish dates, or anything that marks a key date for you. Create social media posts around these events. Alter their character count, length, and imagery for the platform you are working with. And voila! You have a content calendar.