If you are looking forward to boosting your content, there is no more effective way than to create a content calendar. A content calendar can support your online marketing plan because, with it, you are sure that you can never miss important dates. Also, it teaches you how to organize content well so that you will not only remember dates but also know when, where and what you are publishing. A content calendar will help ensure you are making regular posts to your social media accounts so that you can keep your followers updated. You’ll be consistent in the way you communicate your brand.
Social media content calendars can also help you collaborate well with your team members and the various stakeholders. You can even host your calendar on a cloud platform such as Google Sheets or an Excel file in Dropbox. Content calendars save time, can effectively allocate resources and can make you have a deeper understanding of content.
How to Create a Content Calendar?
So how do you create a content calendar? Here are some steps.
1) Planning/Selecting Content to Create
First, think about your target audience. You can accomplish this by creating audience personas—those who will likely read your content. Think about what content they would like to see; their wants, needs, goals, and dislikes.
If you have existing content, it is best that you look at it and examine whether it worked or not. What content got the most likes? What content got the most comments and shares? What content got the most views and has the highest engagement rate? Do you have usable content that can be reused?
2) Plan/Schedule Content for Social Channels
The next thing to do is to plan and schedule your content for social channels. The best thing to do is to create a calendar in the form of a doc, a spreadsheet or even an actual calendar that can map out important events such as holidays, events, features, product launches and campaigns.
Decide how often you should publish to each social network. Then plan and schedule your social media posts ahead of publication.
3) Plan/Schedule Content for Email
After scheduling content for social channels, you should then schedule content for your emails. Emails are actually an effective marketing strategy if you know how to use them. The first email should introduce the benefits of your product or service. The next schedule will be to follow up with your customers or clients to keep them engaged until they actually make sales.
4) Plan/Schedule Content for Blog Content
Blog content should also be scheduled to increase engagement. It isn’t necessary that you schedule your blog posts every day; even once a week or once every two weeks is okay as long as you post regularly. If you post regularly from your blog, the search engine bots will crawl your updated content and your blog or site will have higher search engine rankings.
5) Plan/Schedule Content for Vlog Content
Next, it’s time to schedule your video blog posts, otherwise known as vlog posts, on YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites. In general, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the best days to post vlogs.
Here are the best hours to post for each day of the week:
- Monday to Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm
- Thursday to Friday: 12pm to 3pm
- Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 11am
6) Plan Promotional Posting
The next thing to do is to do a Google search and find the events happening in your industry and location so that you can add them into your calendar. These events are the best times to do the promotional posting. Like for example, before Halloween, you can offer sales or discounts so that you can encourage more engagement among your viewers and potential customers.
Creating a Content Marketing Calendar: Scheduling
Once you have done the above things, you can then organize your posts, add team members and set dates.
1) Using Color Codes for Organizing
To create a content calendar, you should set up everything on a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheets or Google Calendar. Fill in the days of the week on the top line of each sheet, then fill out your calendar. Use color codes for organizing data. A color coding scheme can help you quickly identify content and events on your calendar. Use different colors for different social networks.
2) Adding Team Members
Next, you are ready to add team members. Choose a person who will manage your calendar. This manager should notify members if the projects are nearing a deadline. He or she should also make sure that there is perfect timing for all content and should inform you if things go wrong.
3) Using Descriptions
In writing your post copy in your calendar, write down the social network, then the first post, then the image, then the link. Continue doing this until your calendar is full.
4) Setting Due Dates
This part is with regards to your team/staff. You should make sure to stay on top of submission of all final articles or content pieces so that content is released on schedule. Make sure of this by having due dates for all content created.
5) Posting Rules (Time Zones, Time Frames, Types of Posts (Informational, Educational, Promotional, Funny)
The most favorable time zone is the Eastern Time Zone (EST) since 80% of the US population is under it.
On Facebook, the best days for posting would be Sundays and Saturdays and the best times would be 9AM, 1PM or 3PM.
On Twitter, the best day is Wednesday and the best times would be 12PM, 3PM, 5PM and 6PM.
On LinkedIn, the best days would be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and the best times would be 7 to 8AM, 12PM and 5 to 6PM.
On Pinterest, the best days would be Saturday and Sunday and the best times would be 2PM, 9PM and 2AM.
On Instagram, the best days are Monday and Thursday while the best times would be 2AM, 8 to 9AM and 5PM.
1) Google Calendar
Google calendar is a cloud-based platform that syncs to any Google account. It loads quickly without the hassle and you can easily update your calendar anytime. It is free to use.
Asana is a project management software that is available both in free and paid versions. Though it takes long to load sometimes, it is a good tool for team management.
Do you want to know more about content scheduling and management? Contact me now!