If you are wondering what a content calendar is, it is a simple calendar that has details of the content that your business must ideally create within a given duration of time. Easy to create, these content calendars are extremely hard to stick to. However, they make an incredible tool for organizing your content marketing strategy. Having an organized approach to producing quality content helps you save a great deal of time and energy. It also helps in enhancing the engagement levels of your readers by ensuring that you stay regular with your posts and that your posts do not get repetitive.
Are you excited to create your very own content calendar? This blog gives you 8 clear steps to follow towards creating a content calendar that would help you with marketing automation.
1. Generate ideas that go well with your Brand Persona
Think of content that goes well with your brand and how you wish to position it among the target audience. Answer the following questions while brainstorming content:
- What is your online brand persona? Is it professional or fun? Serious or Casual?
- How will your content reflect your brand persona?
- Will the content help your potential customers address an existing issue? If yes, then how?
- Do the norms in your industry change often? If yes then does your content help you establish yourself as a trusted source of information regarding the same?
2. Set an objective and indentify requirements accordingly
Set a clear objective that you wish to attain through content marketing. Your objective could vary as per the current requirement of your brand. For example, if you are a new player in the market, you may want to create brand awareness among the target audience. On the contrary, if you are already an established player in your niche, you may wish to further enhance lead conversion rates through your content marketing plan. Therefore, decide on a goal and then identify what all you would need to make your strategy a success. Collect any data, images or research findings required.
3. Use Keywords
Once you have a topic idea after your brainstorming session, note down at least 5 keywords that relate with the topic as well as target audience. Having keyword rich content helps in improving the SEO ranking for your blog and you are able to garner greater visibility. Also, while working on probable topics try and follow the 80/20 rule. This rule implies that 80% of the content that you produce must be what the readers would want to read while only 20% of it must be related to the prime objective that you are eying.
Do not wait for the last moment to work on your content calendar. Work well in advance so that by the time you are required to start putting up posts on your blog, you have everything ready. Some large publishing houses start planning about 6 months in advance so as to be able to produce content regularly. This helps them collect all the desired data they could require for content creation well in time.
5. Create your Calendar
Once the planning phase is over, it is time for you to work on your calendar. Prepare a calendar that ranges from 1 to 6 months. As discussed in point no. 4, schedule some content such as social media posts well in advance and add them as forward time. For larger events such as interviews, product releases, conferences and webinars, you can add their schedules as and when you decide on a date. Use color coding for categorizing social media or blog content.
6.Test your content
Before you make a note of probable topics that you would want to write about, re-study them to see if you would really want to include them in your content. Check the following:
- Does my content marketing brand profile match my content?
- Is my content of interest to my readers?
- Does my content encourage social media likes, comments and shares? Does it utilize SMO (Social media optimization)?
- Would I share my content if I were a reader myself?
7. Be flexible
Do not blindly stick with your calendar. There may be times when you would be forced to re-schedule publishing some content, be open to it. Remember that your calendar will guide you on how your content marketing strategy could be implemented but it could need to be reworked upon from time to time.
8. Be attentive
Be alert and take note of changing trends in your industry or niche. Do not be entirely dependent on your content calendar. Keep a check on how well your content has been working for you. In case it is not reaping the desired results, revamp your calendar. Be cautious of the new ideas and processes being implemented by your competitors; make sure that you stay well ahead even in the ever-changing world of online marketing.
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