Creating effective and powerful content (online material) is a key part of doing business today. Consumers and other businesses alike expect you to have a current, informative and professional online presence that showcases what your company does and demonstrates your thought leadership. Here, we look at how a content calendar can help.
Content enables you to communicate your knowledge and insight, and show engagement with your industry. But it can also lead to new business – whether directly, by impressing new customers, or through generating movement across your online presence.
So how do you structure your online activity? Create a content calendar, that’s how.
Creating a content calendar
To harness content as a marketing strategy, you need to plan and prepare your content with clear objectives and resources. Online engagement relies on regular content of a consistently high standard, tailored to your audience.
The best way to ensure this is through a content calendar, which you can use to plan all online activity – including blogs, articles, email marketing, social media and online PR. In fact, your content calendar is a great place to centralise your marketing and communications strategy, and create the backbone of your brands’ and teams’ activities.
Aside from making your content creation process easier and more efficient, having a content calendar also allows you to target spikes in traffic and social sharing by identifying optimising key dates and events.
There are also some amazing pieces of software out there that will create the perfect content calendar. Everything from DivvyHQ, Kapost and even Trello can be used. It’s all about working out what works best for you and your business.
What’s in a content calendar?
Your content calendar should determine which content gets published, when it gets published and what kind of communities to reach out to.
In your calendar, you should mark:
- important dates within your company
- relevant dates within your industry
- relevant dates for your customers
- holidays and observance dates
- Recognising these dates ahead of time enables you to create captivating copy and prepare breakout marketing strategies for events that are particularly valuable for your business.
When writing your content, always make your audience the centre of focus. Yes, you have a message to communicate, but how can you package it in a way that’s relevant for your readers? Think about who your key demographic is, how much time they’ll spend reading your post, and what tone of voice best reflects your company. You can also find tips for writing better online content to help you.
Managing a content calendar
Now that you’ve decided to create a calendar, a key part of its overall success will be to manage it in an efficient way. You’ll need to ensure that your content calendar is always up to date other members of your team are able to use the calendar with ease.
It’s also a great idea to review and evaluate your content calendar on a regular basis to see what forms of content are more successful than others when it comes to creating brand awareness and driving traffic back to your website. You can use a variety of tools to help you such as Google Analytics and remember to use successful content as inspiration for future pieces.
There is no doubt that a content calendar will help you achieve your wider marketing goals as it ensures that you are taking advantage of all publishing opportunities, and implementing a professional system to track all content.
Darren Clare is CEO of Stratton Craig.