A Content Calendar Can Help You Make the Most of your Marketing Efforts

diamonddog hands-typing-on-mcbook-air A Content Calendar Can Help You Make the Most of your Marketing Efforts

Experience Organization and Many Other Benefits with a Content Calendar

You have many great content marketing ideas that you would like to execute.  However, it is critical that you carefully plan out your marketing efforts to guarantee that you make the most of your time and budget when creating every piece of content.  A content calendar, which is often called an editorial calendar, will help you do just that.  This written schedule details out not only when or where you plan to publish upcoming content, but also includes other valuable information to keep your marketing team on track.  You can purchase many different types of content calendar templates from companies such as Monday.com, and Asana or you can build for free a custom calendar in Excel or Google Sheets.

Key Categories to Keep your Content Creation on Track

A content calendar provides one central repository with many pieces of valuable information to ensure new and varied content is being produced on a timely basis.  Below are key details to include in your content calendar:

1. Type of Content

Lay out the different types of content that will be produced.  It can range from traditional types, such as white papers and brochures, to videos, podcasts, infographics and more.  By placing this information into a content calendar, you will produce a variety of marketing materials that will keep your audience engaged.

2. Publication Date/Frequency

Creating content can be resource intensive; therefore, it is critical to set dates on your content calendar.  However, your expectations should be realistic.

3. Name the Author/Owner

An owner/author should be assigned to every piece of newly created or revamped content.  Accountability is key to ongoing production.

4. Working Title

Every piece of content should have a title from day one.  However, it may be revised before the content is finalized.

5. Content Description

Each item should include a brief description, which provides details about the topic being covered.  This should be included for new as well as revamped content.

6. Marketing Goals

Your marketing goals may be varied.  Perhaps you are producing a piece of content to support a step in the buyer’s journey.  Another item may be created for a product launch, trade show or sales meeting.  Your goal is to generate content that will be valuable to your target audiences, ultimately turning prospects into customers.

7. Publication Channels

Next, you need to determine how you are going to distribute your content.  Different channels are best suited for certain types of content.

  • A blog is ideal for providing informative content that also shares insights about your business. Blogs are particularly popular with Millennials and Generation X.  Overall, 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
  • Your website should include landing pages with gated content such as white papers, case studies and infographics.  These types of content will help to increase your database of leads and turn many prospects into customers.  Also, videos are a critical component of today’s websites.  Updating content on your website frequently will elevate your search engine rankings.
  • Social media networks should be used for promoting new content and building brand awareness.
  • Email campaigns are perfect for targeting specific audience segments with press releases, seasonal content, and new product information.
  • Events are ideal for distributing new case studies, white papers, or collateral about a new offering.

8. Keywords for SEO

Before you begin writing any new content, you should conduct keyword research.  Keeping track of keywords in your content calendar will help ensure that you incorporate a wide variety.  Your website will be found easier when you target different keywords in your content.

9. Status

You should label a column in your content calendar as status.  Each piece of content can be tracked as draft, finalized, published or on hold.  By keeping track of each piece’s status, you will be ready to take the next steps to advertise it right after it is finalized.

10. Metrics Tracking

You should track the metrics for each piece of content.  These can include the number of downloads, shares, likes, and comments on your social media pages, and bounce rates on your website.

The Benefits of a Content Calendar

A content calendar can provide many other benefits besides keeping your marketing efforts more organized.

1. Consistent Content Production Schedule

If you document production, you can avoid gaps in your content marketing efforts.  It is important that content is generated consistently to meet business goals.

2. Diverse Range of Content Topics

By tracking topics on your content calendar, other tangent ideas may be generated for follow-up pieces.  For example, a blog can be written on website design, and a complementary piece drilling down into website content strategies may be developed next.  This will result in a diverse range of content.

3. Efficient Teamwork

Naming an owner for each piece of content will ensure there is no duplication of effort.  Budget and time will be used more efficiently.

4. Accountability

Team members are more likely to step up to the plate when they are accountable for producing a piece of content.

5. Content Planning

A content calendar will lead to better planning for marketing efforts targeting holidays, trade shows and product launches.  Content related to these events will not be an afterthought.

6. Balanced Mix of Content Formats

Not only will a content calendar help track a diverse range of content topics, but it will also ensure a variety of content formats are produced.  Short as well as lengthier pieces should be included in the mix.

7. Metrics

Finally, metric tracking will lead to more effective content creation.  If your audience is more receptive to videos, then you may consider turning your next case study into a video or your next blog into a vlog (video blog).

The Hub of Your Content Marketing Efforts

A content calendar is one of the most important tools that a marketing organization will use.  It not only keeps your marketing efforts organized, but also maintains a clear and concise channel of communication for your team.  Whether your content calendar is organized in an Excel spreadsheet or in a specialized template, it should not be overlooked.

If your organization needs assistance with developing a content calendar, please feel free to contact us at info@diamonddogmarketing.com or 847-269-1422.

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