An editorial calendar, also known as a content calendar, is a maintained schedule of when, where, and what content is to be published. Typically, a calendar would include status updates, promotions, partnerships, and more. But, here’s a question – why do you need one in the first place? After all, random posts on social media can still reap significant results.
Well, if you’re only using social media channels to publish occasional posts, you probably don’t even need a calendar. In contrast, if you’re using content marketing to grow online presence for your business, well, that’s a whole different story.
How does a Content Calendar help?
Typically, there are three ways in which a content calendar can help with your social media handling.
- Helping you Stay Organized
First of all, a content calendar would ensure that whatever you plan to publish on your social media channels is published. In short, it helps you stay organized with your content plans.
Consider this; as a business owner, your core responsibilities do not include content marketing. Nonetheless, you’d still need to have an idea about the same. However, if you’re too consumed with content marketing strategies only, you might lag on your core responsibilities.
With the help of a content calendar, you can get an idea of what is to be published and what has already been published. And at the same time, you can stay organized with your core tasks and operations. That’s like hitting two birds in one blow.
- Helps Coordinate between Teams
This is especially true if you’re a marketing company or have teams to handle your marketing tasks.
Consider this; you’d probably have different employees working for the same goal. However, not all employees will be performing the same tasks.
Some of your employees can be into storybrand strategies and content creation. At the same time, others could be handling the optimization tasks for your social media channels.
And they’d all need to coordinate with each other. Now, this is where a content calendar can come to the rescue.
In short, a content calendar would help all your teams stay on top of the tasks and deadlines.
- Keeping Track of your Goals
Last but not least, a content calendar would help you track the progress of your operations and measure the goals and achievements. Think of it this way- your content marketing strategy may have more than one goal. The calendar would ensure that no two similar content posts are published at the same time.
Likewise, the content calendar would also ensure that all of the posts created and published are according to the goals. And as a result, you can expect overall growth for your social media channel, including engagements and brand visibility.
A well-organized content calendar would help your business stay on top of your content marketing strategies. It would keep track of your goals and ensure they are achieved within the proposed or anticipated time.
Please note that all this could be achieved if you have a well-organized content calendar.
So, how do you do that? Keep reading, and you will find your answer.
How to Create an Effective Content Calendar?
There are a few practical ways you can plan and create your content calendar.
Understanding Key Elements
Content calendars do not need to be too complex. Instead, they should be as easy to understand as possible.
After all, it is meant to make social media handling easier, not complicated.
Here are four key elements that your calendar must have:
- The editorial part is essentially the content that you’ll be publishing in the coming weeks or months. Please note that there is no perfect time for pre-deciding your editorial posts in advance. Depending upon your resources, it can vary from a week to a month, or in some cases, even for the whole year.
- The platform is the next critical element that your calendar should include. Essentially, this part of your content calendar would entail which platforms will be used for which posts.
- Promotional items are the next most important piece of your content calendar. As the name suggests, this part will include a plan for promotions of your posts.
- Future Ideas are the content pieces or strategies that you’re not actively working on yet. These could be anything from ideas that come randomly to expected future trends. Notably, this part is usually not included or shown in the final calendar.
Now that you’re familiar with the four elements of your content calendar let’s tell you how to create one.
Step 1. Make a list of your Content Ideas
The first step is too apparent, yet it’s worth mentioning here. For a clear insight of what content pieces you’ll be publishing, it’s better to have a list of the same.
Step 2. Decide the Frequency of Publishing
The next step is to decide the frequency at which you’ll be publishing your content. For example, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll be posting once a week, or twice a week, or once a day or more.
Additionally, you’ll also need to decide the channels and accordingly determine the frequency of the content.
Step 3. Schedule your posts on Calendar
The last step is scheduling your content to be published. Ideally, there are several tools available to ease this task. But we recommend you use specific tools offered by the social media developers.
For example, Facebook offers Creator Studio for scheduling posts on Instagram and Facebook. Likewise, LinkedIn offers a separate tool to schedule your posts.
And it’s done!
You have your content calendar ready for whatever period you wish to plan your content strategy.
That being said, here’s a piece of advice before you create a content calendar, we recommend you try different content ideas. It should help you measure what type of content is more likely to bring you returns on investment.
Creating a content calendar comes at a later stage in your content marketing plan. However, your content marketing does not end there. Every calendar needs to be revised from time to time. And so would you need to redesign and adjust your calendar.
On this note, we suggest you get started with your content marketing plan on social media.