How to create a content calendar
Whether you are blogging on your website, running a Facebook page or managing a professional twitter account, when it comes down to effective content marketing you need to have a strategy in place. Especially if you are using various channels, you need to combine your efforts. So things add up consistently towards your desired brand image. Even if you want to work on your personal branding on LinkedIn it is good to have a content marketing plan. A content calendar can help you structure your messages and stay on track. Here is how to start.
1. Listen to your audience
First you need to identify which topic areas are of interest to your audience and determine if they are relevant to your business. If you don’t know: just ask them! Since I want to help marketers develop better plans to get more impact in their markets with their brands, I decided I would focus on the different aspects of marketing in this constant changing business environment.
2. Follow your passion
But also include topic areas that are close to your heart. What do you love to write about? Where lies your passion? This makes you stand-out and gives you character. Being “middle of the road” is boring. I have a “thing” for personal development. So I am mixing both subjects, because I believe you can only become a great marketing professional if you also develop yourself. (But that is a topic I will address in another blogpost…)
3. Plan and schedule ahead
Have at least a two month overview of the content you want to share with your audience. This not only gives you an overview of what needs to be done, but also allows you to touch upon certain themes or special holidays. Let the rhythm of the seasons provide you with inspiration. Don’t forget to include your email newsletters on there as well.
4. Choose the right format
Do what works best for you and your business. Experiment with different content formats (photo, video, eBooks, blogs, case studies, etc.) and stick to the ones that resonate best. Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone. But also let your personal preference determine your content calendar, since you want to aim for a long term connection with your target audience.
5. Creation vs Curation
You don’t have to create all your content yourself. You can also filter and curate relevant content for your audience. For example by putting together a list of top 5 interesting articles you have found or sharing an inspirational video, you can keep your audience engaged. I use a mix of both.
6. Measure impact
Track the effects of your content marketing efforts. Dive into your website or Facebook statistics regularly. It has never been more easy. See what works best and simply do more of that. That is a strategy I live by.
Have fun creating your content calendar. Do share your tips in the comment section below. If you need help with your content marketing planning, free to contact me.