Your marketing team’s quarterback. Do you want to win the Heisman or what?
WHAT IS A CONTENT CALENDAR?
A content calendar is like the quarterbacks you see when you watch a football game. These key players have a wristband with every play written down and in the huddle, the quarterback gets the signal from the coach, translates the signal to the corresponding play, relays that information to their teammates, and knows when the ball is snapped everybody knows where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
Similarly, your content calendar allows you to schedule your team of writers according to their task so that they know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
How to Use a Content Calendar
When using a content calendar you can effectively document all of your content activity from brainstorming topic ideas, to how the content should be written, when it should be written, and most importantly, when it should be published.
A content calendar is a must-have when managing your content from the days, weeks, months, and even years of every different marketing channel that you provide content for.
Aren’t convinced? Here’s a closer look at everything you’ll gain by using a content calendar:
- You will write stronger content. When your content is being produced from a refined plan, you can spend more time perfecting that content.
- You will manage your time better. Keep your content creation team on task with defined timelines for each aspect of content creation.
- You will control your resources more effectively. Once you determine what content you are going to create, then you can line up the designers, writers, and others to create the content in a machine-like manner.
- You will assemble your team to their strengths. All your team members will know what they need to complete and who they need to collaborate with to stay ahead of deadlines. Plus, having a bird’s-eye view of your team’s output allows you to find each person’s individual strengths and celebrate them.
- You will define your team's responsibilities more clearly. Writing down who is responsible for what and by when will allow you to better utilize your team's time spent on content creation.
- You will review your team's progress more efficiently. You can schedule a time to review the performance of a particular piece of content and make adjustments where needed.
- You will keep your marketing message more consistent. When you plan your content creation you can keep a more consistent voice to the brand across your different marketing channels.
When you use a content calendar, you will create a far superior pieces of content that your clients will come to rely on! And you will give them quality content every time you create for their brand. It’s a touchdown no matter how you look at it.
Creating the Content Calendar
One of the first aspects of creating a content calendar is how much information you will need to document in the calendar.
There are several good online templates available for free that can have you a Content Creation Calendar in mere moments, or if you need to get a bit more in-depth for that special client, Google Sheets has a good option for your calendar.
After you get a clear picture of your team, your resources, and your clients, you should be able to zero in on the ideal content calendar that works for you.
Elements of a Content Calendar
Every effective content calendar needs to have:
- Topics or ideas for titles and subjects. Even if you cannot come up with a title you will have some idea about the topic or subject.
- Important dates. Keep every element of the content on track by keeping key players accountable.
- Content type. Know where the content you create is going. Social media, website content, blogs, press releases, etc.
- Notes. Give yourself plenty of room for those all-important notes. Even if you came up with an idea at lunch and scribbled it on a napkin, keep plenty of notes on how your content should be written, when it should be written, and of course where it is going.
Also, leave yourself plenty of room to get those keywords just right. Keyword tools and other writing tools you use to create your content can be worked into given spaces on your content calendar
Content Calendars are the Fuel to a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Once you have tried out a content calendar you are going to ask yourself, “why have I not been doing this for years?” (Your inner monologue is right, by the way. You should be doing it, so don’t wait to start!)
When you find the right content calendar template and you outfit it with all the specifics of your content management team, you will then see how effective a content calendar can be to fuel your content!
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