At their most basic, content calendars keep you organized. They provide a shareable schedule for all of the content you have, the stage of production it’s in, and where you want to publish or share it. Finding a system for keeping track of your content is essential because businesses need a near-constant stream of relevant content to communicate with customers and subscribers.
Let’s say you want to create a new piece of content for your business and decide to publish a new blog post once a week. At first, finding ideas might be easy for you, and you develop a habit of writing your blog as you need it. You share on social media as you want to, with no timetable.
Eventually, you might start to have trouble thinking of ideas for your blog. You might begin running behind on your posting schedule and forgetting to share your content consistently across platforms. This is where a content calendar shows its value.
You can create a title for each blog post and then follow it from idea to publication. This way, you’ll know if a piece of content is in development, in the editing stage, or ready and scheduled to post to your website. You can also keep track of the types of content you have. You may differentiate your content as evergreen material, seasonal, promotional, or something more in-depth like white pages, case studies, or e-books.
By keeping track of the types of content you have, you can schedule your publications well in advance and avoid oversaturating your audience with too many similar content pieces back to back. For instance, if you’re writing a new article on how-to content and repurposing a similar piece of evergreen content, seeing it side by side on your content calendar might make you realize that you want to space those two items apart. Content calendars can also show you where you’ll be posting your content, so you know when it will be on your website, as well as when you’re going to share it on Facebook or in your company’s newsletter.
In addition to keeping track of the content you have, you can also track how well it performs. This can help businesses striving to get more traffic and engagement— which is essentially every business.
- Finding out which of your content draws the highest number of visitors to your website can help you create more of that content type. You can also easily see which content you can reuse— it’s perfectly acceptable to update an older piece of content with relevant information and then republish it.
- Easily avoid too much self-promotion. By flagging content as promotional, you can avoid being too pushy in promoting your business. Remember that the number one rule of content creation is that it should be helpful and relevant to the user to ensure that they have a good experience on your website. Be sure to publish more quality content than promotional content.
- An easy-to-understand big-picture overview. Another reason content calendars are unique is that you can easily see all of the content you’ve ever used. This view of your content can show you how your company is growing— you can track the changes you make based on how your content performs. If you veer off track, you’ll be able to see where.
Depending on your business’s size, you may need to consider more sophisticated platforms to host your content calendar online. Most platforms allow multiple employees to work on assignments, keeping your whole team up to date on where things stand in the production of content. Even a single person needs somewhere to host a content calendar.
For small operations, you can’t go wrong with creating a spreadsheet on Excel or Google. You can easily color-code different cells to differentiate between pieces of content and use separate sheets for your various platforms and content type.
Of course, we’re always here to help you keep track of your content needs— from ideas to posting; we’re proficient at keeping a content schedule on track. Reach out to us today to help you set up a content calendar for your business!