“Oh, snap! It’s time for our monthly newsletter – quick, let’s throw some blog posts together and put a bow on it. Oh, shoot! When was the last time we actually posted a blog? Oh, crap! We left HootSuite on autopilot, and it’s been posting the same outdated event since before the pandemic hit.”
If any of these thoughts have echoed in your head before, it’s time to get real about a content calendar. The content calendar is a marketing MUST that puts panicked thoughts and actions at rest and allows your company to invest its marketing efforts with confidence and purpose.
Creating and maintaining a content calendar doesn’t have to be an arduous task – in fact, it can be quite fun, motivating, and liberating. Here are some steps to get you there:
Select a tool and structure that will work for your business. There are dozens of free templates on the internet along with free/paid apps, and you can even go old school with an Excel or Word file to structure your plan. The important thing is thinking through your various tools for communicating with your target audiences and then marry that with a calendar going out as far as you’d like to plan (we actually recommend no more than 1-2 quarters out).
Next, consult your strategic marketing plan. Which tools are most effective with which target audiences? How frequently should each tool be used? Do you have adequate resources in place to match with the frequency? Are your target audiences receptive to those frequencies?
The real fun starts with the content ideas – these are often brainstorming activities within your core team. What do your target audiences need to know? What are they asking for? How can you be of value to them – what content will be compelling and interesting TO them? The longer your list, the more zen you become with reliable content to deliver.
Put it all together! Map your content ideas into the calendar and the appropriate tool. Look at ways to repurpose content or chunk it into a series. Repackage the most popular content with new twists or updates.
With a living content calendar that’s updated with a reasonable frequency, panic no more. Work the calendar for marketing efforts that pay off – and keep you sane.
We live to develop content calendars at CSR – contact us for help for your business!
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