Yes, your online marketing would be that much better with a content calendar. Why? Oh, for so many reasons....where do we begin?
What is a content calendar? Before we get into that, let’s get you hooked first: if you are investing in online and social marketing and you’re not using a content calendar, you are likely spending more time than necessary (and probably more time than you have), reading, posting, replying and more. Yet, your results may be inconsistent and incohesive.
A content calendar, simply, is a spreadsheet where you plan out, organize and schedule what and when you plan to write about or post on social media. To start, you need to sit yourself down and brainstorm about topics and themes you want to cover and plot them in a content calendar. You don’t have to rustle up an entire year’s worth of topics, but mapping out your intentions for a few months at a time can seriously help you focus your marketing efforts.
Take your content further with a social media calendar
Is this social media thing even worth it?
Well, yes, social media can be worth it, as it creates a social link between you, your customers, potential prospects, and more. It’s a way for you to express your company’s personality, and connect with the people who want to do business with you. Here’s the kicker: just like written or video content for your blog, a good social media strategy requires planning.
We recommend scheduling a set time to focus on your social media efforts. That may be 2 hours every Wednesday or 6 hours on the 1st of every month - whatever works best for you. This has been scientifically proven (in the Admin Slayer laboratories) to be more satisfying than scrambling over morning coffee to find something, anything to post that day. During your scheduled social media time, whether it’s writing content for a newsletter or finding posts or articles to share, copy titles and links into your content calendar. This can be as simple as having a separate tab in your content calendar just for these random finds. As more and more curated content is laid out before you, your polished, cohesive, organized social media strategy will start to come to life. You will finally feel in control of social media.
Remember our June Productivity Tip on Social Bookmarking? These apps can be extremely useful tools if you run across share-worthy articles outside of your scheduled social media time. Share the link with your app and when you’re back at your desk, copy the link into your social media calendar.
Here’s a simple example of what your social media calendar might look like:
Note: the format for each platform is slightly different, so you’ll want to vary the language a bit for each. Check out our post on social media tools, too.
One of the things we at Admin Slayer love about content calendars is how easy it is to delegate pieces of this. We can help you create your own content calendar, help curate content, post on your social media channels, and manage your newsletters. All information for these marketing endeavours is maintained on your content/social media calendar making this a no brainer to offload - because you can always stop in and review it at any time.
Steps to creating a content calendar:
- Start with a spreadsheet (or better yet, a Google Sheet, ideal for sharing).
- Decide how frequently you can realistically commit to writing. You may be tempted to publish something every week, but consistency is more important than frequency. Once a month is fine, and can actually be quite a bit of work.
- Plot out a row for each interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc), and think about what your audience will be doing around that time. Pick a theme that fits with your industry and service offering.
- Set a deadline for publishing, and put a reminder in your calendar, with time set aside for writing.
- Also, writing is just one format for content. If you feel more comfortable on video than in writing, video content works too.
Benefits of using a content calendar:
- You’re more likely to stick with your content development habit and publish consistently.
- It’s much easier to write when you already have the topics laid out in advance.
- It’s easier to collaborate with people outside of your organization, and even request guest submissions.
Is it time to make a change to your social media marketing efforts? Yes, we do that!