8 Steps for Creating a Strategic Content Calendar
A content calendar is nothing but a calendar that contains the details of your future content posts for a given time. They help you save a lot of your time and any confusion in the future and help you stay organized. You can create your calendar in the calendar view format or a spreadsheet format. I recommend a calendar view format if you have a large organization and deal with multiple platforms and an excel spreadsheet format if you are new to the market or have a medium to small size business.
But creating a content calendar requires some time and effort. There are certain steps that you can take to device your own content calendar. Here are a few steps that you must undertake while creating your content calendar.
- Perform a Social Media Audit
Before you build your content strategy for the future, you must look at how well your content has performed in the past and on what channels. You may not consider future posting on channels that have not performed well. You would be able to determine what type of content has performed best and whatnot, how people have reacted to certain types of posts, etc.
To analyze such things, you can use social media analytics such as Facebook Insight for Facebook, Google Analytics, etc. You should post on high performing channels and eliminate those which have not brought you desired results. You may also use tools such as ‘Design Wizard’ to better design your content and make it look eye-catchy.
2. Define content as per your brand persona & niche
You must consider your online brand persona. What kind of industry are you in, is it a serious one or a more casual one. Determine the issues of the customers that you may address through your posts. If your industry is facing frequent changes than determining how your content will deal with it. You must define how your content would help you attain customer retention and acquisition.
3. Perform a Content Audit
Check out the content you already have. Which content is obsolete and needs to be eliminated and which ones can be updated. This will guide your content creation decisions. Identify those posts which have performed really well in the past and how those can be reused. For example, a blog can be converted into a useful infographic and so on.
Also, take a look at your competitors’ posts. Analyze what they are posting and what results they are getting. This will also give you an idea for your future posts. There are several tools to analyze your competitors’ content performance. One such tool with great features is Buzzsumo.
4. Create a Topic Schedule
If you have posted content in the past years, you already have an idea of the frequency at which you should post in the time to come. It is important that you schedule your posts in advance for at least a month. For example, you may decide to publish fresh content on weekdays days or the weekends alone.
This is the time when you should look at your demographics and understand user behavior. This will help you decide when to share new posts. Also, decide the type of content you share each day. For example, you may post “how-to” articles each Monday while on Thursdays you decide to share user-generated content.
Whatever you decide, one thing that you need to make sure is to be consistent with at least one post a week. This not only keeps your users engaged but also helps you achieve higher rankings in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
5. Create a Content Repository
After you are done with the above-mentioned points, consider creating a content repository. Creating a spreadsheet for this purpose is the best way in my opinion. This will help you and your team to be updated each time about what to do next. Your spreadsheet should include the following points.
Title of the post
Type of content (video, blog, podcast, etc)
You may also include any other information that you consider relevant to your content calendar.
6. Create a Supplementary Content Schedule
After researching the topics on which you would like to share content in 2020 and created a content repository and schedule, you must consider creating supplementary content also. These can be created in the form of lists or infographics which can give you an overview of the type of content you plan to share. It will help you add more credibility to your brand and finally enhances the user experience.
7. Assign Duties
After planning and scheduling your posts, its time to assign duties among team members. You must give an overview of your content calendar to your team so they may be able to know their duties in advance and work is accomplished hassle-free. To avoid any confusion, you may assign duties based on various criteria such as sourcing images, writing, and editing, publishing, etc.
8. Keep Editing your Content Calendar
Once you have created your content calendar, you need to make sure that you update it from time to time depending upon current market trends and changes in your industry. Your content calendar should never be a static one. You should always have room to make changes to your calendar as per the needs.
You should always take advantage of recent stories. Look at what your competitors are doing and what is working and not working for them. This will help you take your content decisions.
Also, keep a check on your analytics. It is possible that some of the content that you have planned to post may not work as per your anticipations. It could be on any of your social media platforms or it might not be a good fit for the industrial sector. In such cases, you need to make changes to your calendar.