A content editorial calendar is probably *the* best tool for those looking to be strategic in their social media marketing efforts.
In order to develop a strong content editorial calendar, you need to understand exactly who your audience is, what inspires and motivates them to take action, what information they like to consume and how they prefer to connect with you.
What is a Content Calendar:
A content editorial calendar is, in essence, a planning document that details how you’re going to curate and create content across a variety of platforms.
It’s your one-stop-shop for organizing and compiling all of your ideas for content and topics, and functions as your publishing schedule for all marketing channels.
A content calendar guides your organization on how you’re going to be intentional and deliberate about your marketing strategy.
Through creating and utilizing it, you’ll become clear on exactly who you’re talking to online, where you’re reaching them and how often.
The process of utilizing a content editorial calendar helps you stay organized and see opportunities for increased engagement with your audience.
Why you need it:
A content calendar keeps you organized.
It also helps save time developing and implementing a social media marketing strategy.
Here are 4 reasons why a content calendar will be a game-changer your business:
- Strategy leads to success: By planning ahead, you ensure that you’re producing high-quality, digestible content that resonates with your audience.
- Focus on goals: A content calendar makes you focus on your goals, whether it’s growing your audience or increasing your website traffic. Your content calendar will help you work backward to develop a plan to reach your goals by the intended timeframe.
- Consistency is critical: The calendar forces you to be consistent in your content creation and promotion. Consistency in posting, sharing and engaging is critical for audience growth.
- Audience appreciation: This tool encourage you to develop a diverse set of content topics and post types. Your audience will appreciate a wide variety of updates in your feed, and it’ll keep them coming back to consume more.
What it looks like:
When it comes to creation, you may as well stand on the shoulders of giants. There are tons of free templates available that you can use.
The best content calendars are easily digestible. They don’t overcomplicate, yet provide enough detail to guide your strategy.
Often times, they start on paper.
Why? Why not go digital?
When using a paper calendar, you have something tangible (that you can pin to your desk as a visual reminder) to use to plan out the calendar.
But hey, that’s just my personal preference.
Regardless of your industry or format, you definitely want to include the following in the calendar:
- Time: Dates and days of the week you’re posting
- Channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Type: Link, status, photo, video (You could get super granular by including the exact photo and/or URL being used for each piece of content.)
- Topics: The different topics you’ll post about such as promotional, community, etc.
- Content: The actual copy being posted
How to get started:
It all starts with planning out a general social media strategy. (You can snag my free social media starter guide which will help you do just that.)
Now that you have a framework for your social strategy, it’s time to start applying it directly into your content calendar.
When starting to fill out your calendar, you need to keep in mind the goal of using the tool: to stay organized and strategic in your content creation.
This tool is intended to save you time by providing a framework for what, how often, and where to post.
Here are a few steps to get started on the right foot:
- Annual Overview: Start by marking the most important dates in your calendar year, such as your annual report, product launches, holidays and/or biggest event. Get these down on the calendar first, as you’ll want to start planning ahead months in advance for your social and promotional strategy.
- Topics: Create a set list of topics that you’ll post about throughout the year. Some might be promotional, community-oriented, motivation or inspirational, or educational. Once you’ve got the topics, you can plan for the type of content you’ll create for each of these buckets such as blogs, videos and/or imagery.
- Canned Content: You’ll want to develop a canned content bucket that is filled with softer content that can be moved around in the calendar as needed. Some of that content might be promotional, some might be inspirational and/or community-oriented. Create a few pieces of canned content for each of your content topic buckets so that you have a place to go to if you’re ever in a pinch for content.
If you want to succeed on social media in 2017, you need to plan ahead.
Without planning your content ahead of time, you aren’t likely to move the needle on your business goals. Even more, you miss out on key opportunities to develop diverse types of content and avoid content overlaps.
You need a content editorial calendar to ensure that you never miss important dates and opportunities to create value and connections with your online audience.
You want to inspire, entertain and educate your audience by posting highly relevant, useful content that they can’t help but smile when consuming.
That’s why I developed The Social Media Content Marketing Planning Workbook – to help take the guesswork out of establishing a smart, strategic social media content editorial calendar.
The workbook will help you:
- Plan your content ahead of time: by the day, week and month
- Create content diversity: ensure you’re posting a wide variety of topics and post types
- Brainstorm ideas: for the types of content to post across each channel
The workbook includes:
- Recommendations: best practices on posting frequency across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Topics: a list of topics to post about on social media, regardless of your industry
- Template: a calendar (that you can customize yourself) with suggestions for the type of content to post each day of the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Take the next step to success by purchasing The Social Media Content Planning Workbook !