Stop Creating Content Randomly: The Magic of a Content Calendar
Imagine this: it's time to work on a new article for your blog and you have no idea where to begin. How many times do you go to the office and wonder aloud "What the heck am I going to write about today?".
Companies that set out to develop and maintain a blog prioritize coming up with new engaging topics that their community will love. And though this process is exciting, it's not always easy to come up with fresh ideas to write about. Don't panic!
A content calendar is an easy solution to help you control your content, keep up with your workflow and organize your tasks and projects.
Why is a content calendar useful for you?
Recent statistics show that enterprises are increasingly interested in documenting their content marketing plans. In detail, this 2016 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found out that only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, meaning 48% of them follow and implement a verbal-only strategy. One year later they repeated the survey with some surprising and impressive results. According to the most recent data, 46% of respondents reported that their company has a documented strategy for content marketing.
The above data clearly shows an evolution in content organization, and the need for a plan that allows everyone to literally stay 'on the same page.' And a key piece of any documented content marketing strategy is the content calendar.
What is a content calendar?
There are many types of calendars that can be used for marketing purposes including a social media calendar, editorial calendar, blog calendar etc. Whatever the name, their basic purpose is pretty much the same.
A content calendar can be anything used to plan, schedule, and coordinate content and other marketing projects.
A well-defined content calendar always helps keep all of your marketing efforts focused on the same goal. It allows you to view your campaigns, and work together with your colleagues so you’re able to design a better action plan for your overall marketing strategy.
4 reasons why the content calendar is useful for your content marketing strategy
Organised content: The first important reason to use the content calendar is as simple as it sounds; to organise your content. You have plenty of interesting topics in your mind for your blog and that's awesome. On the other hand, there are days when you may have zero inspiration and you don't know where to start writing. A content calendar helps to structure your ideas and to maintain a logical content flow on your blog.
As a content marketer, you might produce 2 to 3 articles on a weekly basis, which requires self-organisation and creativity. Since you're always on the lookout for catchy topics to write about, if you stumble upon an interesting theme, add it to your content calendar. This way, you always have a sufficient content basis to write about and you can also have a bird's eye view of the trends in your field.
Don't miss key dates: One of the key things a content calendar must include is the important dates that matter to your company - holidays, events, product launches, campaigns, conferences, workshops etc. As a marketer, you have to be aware of those dates to create a successful content marketing plan and avoid missing key dates.
For example, you might discover that during the Christmas season, the click-through rate gets very expensive. This is valuable information which will affect your next Christmas marketing strategy. It is worthwhile information to highlight in your content calendar, so that you can plan accordingly.
Enhanced collaboration: If your projects require multiple levels of organisation and coordination, then you'll need to find a solution that empowers your team's effectiveness and collaboration.
At Intellyo, we are aware of the complexity of the writing process and project management. For this reason, we have integrated a content calendar in our software. It allows you to have a clear overview of the ongoing and upcoming projects as well as the number of collaborators involved in each of them.
Save time and allocate resources in a smart way: Rather than making last-minute requests from your team members, you can predefine the key priorities and requirements. Plan and assign tasks and roles to each of them. Provide ample time for proper research and creation, so you never miss a deadline. Having a content calendar means you're more likely to publish your content within your planned timeline and at the quality level you and your audience expect.
How to create a content calendar
Map your audience
Good content should always focus on the needs and wants of your target audience.
Your first goal is to identify and analyze your community and create buyer personas. These archetypes provide a window into what your ideal customers would look like and what they are keen to learn about. Based on demographics, you will be able to understand their struggles and their real expectations. Your content can be a great help to build trust and strong relationships with your community.
Once you create your buyer persona, simply ask yourself what content aligns with your community's interests. Be focused and don't waste time and resources on irrelevant thematology.
Using the content calendar as a tool, you can maintain a consistent and logical content flow for your audience to follow. Solve their problems and build your brand's expertise in your field.
Find the most successful published content
In order to build new content, you have to find out which of the already published content ideas was the most successful. Discover what your audience likes to learn about.
First, dig into your Google analytics and your social media analytics. The article with the most likes or the most comments or the most shares or the highest engagement rate is clearly the winner!
So, what next? Create a similar type of content and build a consistent content strategy around a specific thematology.
Update your existing content
You have probably invested plenty of hours and energy in creating articles for your blog. And you have probably invested a lot of time in identifying new trends and stories that your audience will be excited to read.
Now it's time for an evaluation. Review what content you have already created and update it. Add new videos, catchy case studies and webinars and republish it!
Even old and outdated content can be easily changed or paraphrased to fit your target audience expectations. Just don't forget to list it in your content calendar.
Despite the fact that modern marketing requires a high level of organisation and massive production of new content, marketing departments tend to disregard the importance of using a content calendar.
Make your life and daily workflow easier and faster. If you haven't started yet, you can try out Intellyo's content calendar for FREE!
You and your team members will definitely love it!