If you’ve ever done social media marketing for a business, then you know how difficult it can be to keep a consistent, day-in-day-out schedule. It’s easy to let just one day go by without posting something, and before you know it, two weeks have passed without a post.
This kind of “stop-start” social media marketing is not good for your brand image. Your audience might start to think that your brand is inconsistent or unreliable, and no brand wants to be known for that.
But the fact remains that it’s quite challenging to keep a regular flow of content going out to your various channels! That’s where a content marketing calendar comes in. What is it? The answer is built-into the name: It’s a calendar for planning all of your content marketing, typically a few weeks or months ahead of time. The schedule is shared with everyone on the content marketing team, and it serves as a home base for all your content marketing efforts.
(Note: We need to get something out of the way before we go into the specifics of content calendars: A content calendar isn’t the same thing as a marketing strategy. Content calendars are designed for scheduling out and planning content, while a marketing strategy document is focused on a long-term master plan. A content marketing strategy is just as important as a calendar, but it’s a topic for another day.)
Let’s explore why you need a content calendar, how to choose the frequency with which you post, and how to make a calendar.
Why a calendar is needed
A calendar helps your content marketing to be more consistent and organized. For example, you can look ahead to any local, national and international dates and incorporate them into your calendar. A calendar also allows you to space your posts out correctly. To illustrate, you could post a famous quote every Monday and a behind-the-scenes photo every Tuesday. This type of organization saves you a lot of time as you don’t have to think of a new topic every day.
A calendar gives you the chance to be strategic when it comes to delegation and communication within your team, as well as outsourcing work, and it forces you to plan your content marketing with purpose. It can also help you think about your strategy in weekly and monthly blocks of time.
How to choose post frequency
How often should you post on your business Facebook page? You’re the only one who can answer that question because you’re the one who best knows your business. There are no hard-and-fast-rules on how often and on which platform to post content. However, there are some guidelines. Here are a few examples of successful businesses’ content calendar.
Redbull, for example, schedules 11-12 blog posts, 9-11 Facebook posts, and 7-8 Instagram posts per day. How can they get away with sending out this many posts without irritating their followers? It works because they understand their audience: 20 to 30-year-old men. People in this demographic regularly use social media and don’t mind a lot of content. In the case of this demographic, Redbull’s posting strategy works well, however, if they were marketing to a different, older demographic, it could be too much content.
Another example. Modcloth, in comparison to Redbull, has a quite conservative approach. They send out 2 blogs per week, 2 or 3 Facebook posts per day, and 1 or 2 Instagram posts per day. Does the lower number of posts mean that Modcloth has an inferior content strategy to that of Redbull? Not necessarily. It could simply mean that Modcloth’s audience doesn’t have the patience for as much content. Instead of pumping out loads of content, Modcloth has decided to aim for quality over quantity.
How to make a content calendar
There are 8 core elements to a helpful content calendar. Let’s go over them.
- Title. The post’s title should be bold, relevant, and on topic. It should be based on your SEO research.
- Publish Date. If you want your content to be posted consistently and in a timely manner, then you need to have a publish date on your content calendar.
- Content Type. Specify the type of post on the calendar. Is it, for example, a long-form blog post, an infographic, a carousel post, etc.
- Media Type and Entity. Is your post owned, paid, or earned? Where are you posting the content? These details need to be on your calendar.
- Writer. Who is responsible for writing the content? For example, a freelance writer, an agency, or an internal writer.
- Author. The author is the person whose name is formally attributed to the content. Perhaps you had a ghostwriter working with a company executive to create a piece of content. In this case, the writing would be attributed to the executive.
- Status. Make sure to label the post’s status. Has it been started yet? a work-in-progress? scheduled? or posted already?
- Buying Stage and Persona. Include some details about the specific buyer personae, as well as where your target audience is in the marketing funnel.
Now you’re all set to create a content marketing calendar for your business. If you need help with your content calendar, or if you want general content marketing advice, contact us today for an initial free consultation.
By Devin Odear