If you are doing an e-newsletter, posting to social media, or spending any money advertising your business, you should be using a content calendar to make your life easier.
A content calendar is a resource you create and can share with others on your team to plot out all your marketing activity. We use this on a monthly basis for our clients to outline all the social and blog posting we do. Here’s a very simplified example so you can see what we’re talking about:
|7/1||Blog||Blog Post 1||Our blog page||Use image abc.jpg|
|7/2||Social||Social post on xyz||Use image cbd.jpg|
|7/3||Eblast||Monthly Newsletter||To subscribers||Use content and images for June Specials|
As you can see, your calendar doesn’t have to be complicated. We find that plugging everything into Excel works best but do whatever is easiest for you. The idea is to create a central place where you can plan for future events and marketing initiatives. You can take things a month at a time, or better still, plan out a whole quarter or even half a year of your marketing efforts.
Here’s how to get started:
- Identify your topics/audience – Look ahead at the month and see what types of things you want to cover. If you are working on social postings, how many times a week will you post? Next work on what you will post and add that to the calendar.
- Take stock of what you have on hand – Do you have the content you need to carry out the tasks? Do you need images to post to your blog or social media sites? There are several low cost stock photo sites where you can purchase stock photos to use in your content.
- Schedule your content – Once you know what you want to promote, schedule it. Did you know you can schedule blog posts and social posts weeks or months in advance? There is no need to visit this calendar daily because you can preload your content and let the schedulers take it from there.
- Measure your results – Don’t just set it and forget it. See what people are responding to and develop more of that content. Make sure if people are responding to social posts, you are thanking them and keeping up the conversation.
A content calendar can be a great time saver but besides that, it helps schedule out what you are doing each month to promote your business. This will soon become a valuable tool you look to each month to help with your business success.