It has happened to all of us that we have entered a website to find the answer to our question and after browsing through the content of the website we have realized that its content is repetitive, or it publishes new content after a long interval, or the title of the website does not match its content. It doesn’t exist and this causes users to leave the website. This problem happens due to lack of purposeful planning by content producers, and to solve it, a calendar is needed for purposeful planning and quality content production; A content calendar gives a certain order to the content of the website.
The content calendar helps the content production team to have their accurate and principled schedule, produce content suitable for the target audience, increase the quality of their content and prevent errors in content production.
If you plan to work in the field of digital marketing and manage your site or become a content producer, you should increase your studies in this field.
In this article, I am going to introduce you to the content calendar and how to create it and why it is important.
Table of Contents
What is a content calendar?
Everything you share about your business online (posts, photos, videos, stories, and ads) is content. A content calendar is a way to plan and organize your social media messaging schedule.
The content calendar will include the following:
What is shared, when it is published and where it is published.
Why is a content calendar important?
1. Save time
The most important benefit of having a content calendar is that organizing and planning ahead saves time and energy. Instead, this time can be spent on more creative work on the marketing strategy.
2. Reducing errors
A regularly used content calendar reduces the chance of mistakes. For example, it handles duplicate content errors in channels.
By planning in advance and specifying responsibilities among team members, you can ensure that all necessary work steps proceed smoothly. This is especially important among larger teams that are likely to have responsibilities such as editing and proofreading. Rushing the process can lead to costly mistakes.
3. The possibility of cooperation
Content calendars make it easy to collaborate effectively, both in-house and freelance. The accessibility features of content calendars mean that everyone knows the status of each post without having to contact individuals individually.
4. Preventing false publication of content
Scheduling content through an editorial calendar prevents mis-publishing and helps identify potential content gaps. It also makes it possible to make changes ahead of schedule if necessary. Continuous posting helps create real connections with your target audience and increase their reach.
5- Help to improve the content
A content calendar can be a great resource for A/B testing, allowing you to experiment with content and posting times to clearly identify what works and what doesn’t.
6. Strengthen creativity
A content calendar allows more time to be spent on creativity elsewhere. This might mean thinking about ways to bring an A-game to your social media strategy or spending more time producing high-quality content.
Elements of a successful editorial calendar
Editorial calendars come in all shapes and sizes. How broad the content calendar category is depends a lot on individual or team needs as well as the industry in question.
The following features are important components of content calendars, but not necessarily all of them can be used in every business, so you can choose which one to use according to the desired business area.
A headline is important to ensure that the real buyer is being targeted. Ensuring that content is focused on the needs of the audience can be applied to companies large and small.
Adding headings to your content calendar helps clarify the content presented and can also inspire more content.
Type of content
The type of content, such as a podcast, email, video or guide that is used to reach a specific audience is important to all marketers because it clearly defines how to plan content. Writing this article helps to identify gaps in content types as well.
Having this context is especially important for larger companies, where content may be distributed across a wide range of sectors (lifestyle, travel, music, etc.). Not having a topic column can make the calendar less transparent for team members.
It can be helpful to add a buying stage group that deals with the audience’s stage in the marketing funnel. This step can help you monitor KPIs more effectively.
Having a revision history section is highly recommended for teams where content needs to go through multiple processes and be seen by multiple people before publishing. The revision date specifies when the content should be reviewed by all relevant team members.
Date of Release
Publishing dates are important for both freelancers and businesses. Whether it is one person managing your site or a team of 50 people, this responsibility ensures content completion.
The part that is important for larger companies and where the content is produced by the team or external freelancers who help to produce the content. Tags can be used to make it clear who created the content.
Track production progress
A column that shows the status of the content is important for both freelancers and companies. For freelancers, it can provide clients with peace of mind. For companies, this column eliminates the need for individual contact with people. Using this category, it may be decided to separate it into other sections such as original content date, edit date, and publication date.
Stating where this content is posted is up to all marketers and having this section can be used to analyze how this content is performing better.
This section shows how to promote content created that can be used by all businesses, large and small. Color-coding them (such as pink for Reddit, green for newsletters, or blue for Twitter) can add clarity to the calendar.
Future content ideas
Whether you’re creating content solo or as part of a larger organization, it’s helpful to have a section for content ideas. This means that all ideas are stored in one convenient place and are useful when brainstorming future content creation.
For those with a significant international audience, it may also be useful to have a section to target the content.
Paid or organic?
For larger companies, defining whether this content is for paid or organic search makes things more transparent. If the goal is organic, an SEO strategy is necessary; if the content is paid, adding budget information can help team members.
For a piece of content, supporting media such as e-books or videos may be available. Having a media support column simplifies the process of getting content ready for publication.
Steps to create your own personal content calendar
Deciding on types of content
When planning your content calendar, you first need to produce the content you want to publish. This section may include the following:
EBooks, case studies, opinion pieces, landing pages, podcasts, blog posts, videos, newsletters, presentations.
As you begin to gather ideas for your content calendar, you should chat with your sales and customer service teams to learn more about the questions your prospects are asking and what they need to know to make a purchase.
Then, share this information and brainstorming with your marketing team to determine what topics you haven’t covered yet and different content strategies you can use to reach your target audience.
Use of research tools
A variety of research tools can also be used for different types of content to find more detailed information that leads to better results.
The right keyword research tool can help you create a successful content strategy and find the right keywords to target for your SEO and PPC campaigns.
After brainstorming and selecting keywords, using a tool like topic research can reveal relevant topics, recent headlines, and questions people are asking on search engines.
The content audit tool analyzes the pages on the site and suggests which content should be rewritten, updated or removed. This tool can create the main idea of content production by using existing content.
You can also use Semrush’s content audit tool to analyze a competitor in your industry.
Choice of social media channels
It is necessary to make sure that the target audience is chosen correctly and which social network has the best target according to their demographic profile.
After you have audited your content or your competitors, you will begin to view the process. You can use this information to your advantage to create your own content calendar. Pay attention to the theme, time and date of this content as well as the platforms in which they performed best.
Specifying production steps
Each stage of the content process can be defined before publication for the types of content that will be created. This is useful for a freelancer, but practically necessary for larger organizations, as content may already go through several steps to achieve publication.
After the definition, by adding these sections to the content calendar, the name of the person responsible for each step should be recorded:
Decide on a schedule for the release
Based on content audit and data analysis, it can be determined how often to publish content to increase the level of engagement with your target audience.
Having a content library
For marketing teams, it’s worth keeping all your media in one content library, accessible in your content calendar via Dropbox, Google Drive, or an internal database link.
Remembering evergreen content
Some content should be scheduled in such a way that it is not limited to a specific date or time. This can be useful when there is a delay in the application and evergreen content can be used instead.
Making last minute changes and publishing content
After creating your content marketing strategy, you should also consider who should approve posts before publishing, for example in a large organization. In this case, it’s helpful to have an instruction section in the calendar so that helpful processes and resources are readily available in one place.
When will the content be published?
When creating a content calendar, ask yourself:
When are my customers online?
When do I have free time to be available to post and moderate comments?
What days and hours can I usually send the product?
Where to publish?
Content should be shared where the target audience spends most of their time.
Ask customers which social media platforms they use most.
If a competing business is present on a particular operating system, you can create an account for your business there as well.
Send the same or similar content on multiple channels (this is called multi-location posting).
Social media content calendar highlights
Scheduling frequent postings through social media channels in your content calendar is important for brand visibility and awareness. But how often should you post? Some of this comes down to personal analysis, but below are recommendations according to SproutSocial:
Facebook: 1 or 2 times a day
LinkedIn: 1 or 2 times a week
Twitter: 2 to 10 times a day
Instagram: 2 to 5 times a day
Pinterest: 3 to 15 times a day
Content calendar flexibility
A social content calendar shouldn’t be seen as something rigid. Be flexible for any possible last-minute changes or unforeseen trends.
The best editorial and content calendar templates and tools
A calendar tool, program, or plugin in your content management system can make the process of creating an article calendar easier and more efficient. Each calendar tool has different advantages, some of them offer ready-made content calendar templates or some have ready-made editorial calendar templates.
Below is a selection of the best calendar tools, plugins, and platforms available to take your content to the next level:
The tried and trusted Google Sheets tool may not be glamorous, but it’s easy to put together a social media calendar or content that’s efficient, easy to share, and easy to share.
WordPress editorial calendar
WordPress Editorial Calendar is a free WordPress plugin that is useful for those with smaller teams. Posts can be edited through the calendar.
Semrush Marketing Calendar
This calendar has several built-in task management tools and can be easily integrated with other Semrush tools. All the actions and trends of your campaigns can be mapped on the calendar, allowing for team collaboration.
This note taking app has customizable templates that can be adapted to fit the needs of the team and campaigns.
The free version of this tool allows you to add notes and related links, as well as the ability to add a calendar view. It’s easy to add tasks, posts, and track progress through its boards, and it’s great for teamwork.
The Asana Content Calendar allows you to have different views of the calendar and to view your personal to-do list and team projects separately. It also includes a content filter per project to quickly identify content priorities or approval status.
Tips to get started
Once you’ve figured out what you want to create and when and where you want to share it, create a process for consistently creating content.
You can set aside time to do this once a week, take photos and videos throughout the day, or do a combination of both.
When you consistently share content, people are more likely to remember you and want to buy your products.
A content calendar is an efficient way to plan and organize your social media messaging schedule.