Creating a content strategy and don’t know where to start? The process of publishing a website, posting regularly on a social network, or creating a series of blogs begins with developing a content calendar. It is important not just to draw up a schedule of publications for a certain period, but also to work out the sequence and the common thread or topic across them all that not only informs the reader, but also drives a customer to want to acquire your services.
When a content calendar is in place, it must represent each of the business’s communications platforms. It is better to prepare a manual with a list of content for each of them. The format that it takes depends on what works best for the majority of the team. More often, however, content managers make a plan using Excel or Google spreadsheets, to be able to populate content easily and copy and paste from platform to platform. It also helps in tracking additional metrics following implementation and develop the overview of what works and what needs refinement. Once you have completed an entire year of content – you can now go back and see what works best and regenerate or refine posts year after year.
From the definition it is clear that the main task of writing a content plan is to decide what information you are going to publish and when. But there are a few other reasons to start preparing your content calendar rather than create as you go:
- Proper Promotion and Strategy – With the help of content, you can gently lead readers to the right actions using a call to action, generate interest, develop trust, entice them to look at more content available, perform searches, convince them to buy and share content. The calendar helps to follow the intended purpose, not to forget about the output of posts and to build a thread of activity from them at any stage.
- Consistency of Work – When several employees are involved in the project, especially remotely, a content plan helps to achieve synchronous and coordinated work of the whole team. Each team member from different departments can plug in their content needs into the calendar with an editor and publisher overseeing the final activity of posting.
- The Ability to Plan a Budget – Knowing how many articles or posts need to be published for a given period within a campaign or advertising schedule, you can calculate the cost of the content, its placement and promotion.
- Quality of Content – Having the calendar of work, it is possible to prepare materials in advance, to coordinate them and to bring them to perfection at the time of publishing. Creating content for immediate publication develops an additional layer of pressure that means content can be rushed and poorly thought out. Having the time to consider and create brings meaningful content.
- Regularity of Publications – Regular placement of content is one of the conditions for focusing the audience’s attention and future growth. The scheduler helps to supply readers with portions of interesting materials in a timely and consistent manner.
- Feedback – You can record reactions to posts right in the content calendar. This gives an understanding of which posts work well and which ones were unsuccessful, offering continuous learning.
- Saving time – When a content calendar is made in advance, you won’t have to spend time coming up with the topic and content of articles later. You can even note the structure of the posts when developing the document.
How Far in Advance Should You Plan Content?
A typical period for a content plan is one month. Some people prefer to schedule it for 3, 6 months, and sometimes even a year. If this is the first time you have to work with a content calendar, it is better to choose a shorter period, such as 7 or 14 days. This will help you analyse the key posts, the reactions of the audience, and also decide which posts were successful and which ones were left out.
Many factors can influence the popularity of content with the audience: platform, method of presentation, originality, theme, and so on. In simple words, the same information, presented in different ways, may cause a huge response or remain unnoticed. Regardless of publication’s format, remember that there is demand for content that is the most useful and interesting.
Creating a content calendar from scratch is never easy, so here are some Top Tips, to help you get started:
- Know your Audience – When choosing types of content, you should be guided by the interests and peculiarities of your target audience. For example, podcasts are unlikely to be suitable for selling furniture, but articles and video instructions would be the best option. At the same time, for the blog of an educational company, podcasts may be quite useful.
- Variety – All topics should be distributed by week, month, and quarter. The publication schedule is based on the needs and capabilities of the content manager and copywriters. Content in the table can be catalogued by types of posts. It is important to follow the division by topic, which will regularly rotate. This is the only way to keep different groups of readers interested.
- Stats and References – Articles take up a large part of the content plan. That is why it is necessary to pay special attention to them. Proper material planning and following a certain algorithm will save a lot of time and effort. To begin with, you need to prepare the facts. Importantly, these should be written out in the same document. It is important not to stop here: the more facts will be collected, the better.
- Balanced Content Length – There should be a balance between long articles and short posts. Too long articles can bore the reader, so they can be broken up into several shorter ones. It is also necessary to remember about the balance, in which the material will be well accepted by search engines and at the same time useful to readers. This requires high-quality SEO-processing of each text.
How Pennypop can help you with your content strategy
Pennypop is a full-service marketing agency that will help you build your brand. We offer all the benefits of having an in-house team without the overhead cost. Our marketing support packages provides a dedicated 3 to 6-month content calendar to get you started on your content planning journey.
With just one point of contact, we’ll give you great value for money and help you focus on your core business while we develop your brand. Our range of services are broken into four pillars to help you navigate. Content Creation, Design and SEO optimised blogs are part of our online services plan. So, contact us to get started with the support that you need.
A content calendar helps you define your marketing goals and set priorities. It allows you to plan your work and ensure that all marketing effort is goal driven. With a documented content calendar, you can ensure that every bit of effort put-in by your team translates into tangible results. A precise plan for posting topical content helps you follow your marketing strategy, which makes it more effective. Focusing on specific deadlines, you can select authors and prepare good content in advance. If the business spans several social networks, the content calendar will help not to forget about any of the sites and create a fluidity in communications to your key audience.
Need some help developing your social media content strategy? We can help, contact us today HERE
About the Author
Founded in 2022, Pennypop is an Irish Marketing agency specialising in Marketing and Communications. The business is based in Louth, Ireland and supports businesses across Ireland, UK and USA.