So I think it’s safe to say that everyone is pretty busy, ALL the time. Between work, seeing family, eating and searching for a chance to see friends and exercise, it can be pretty impossible to post all your content consistently.
Whether you are creating content for your business, as a hobby, or to reach social media superstardom, a content calendar can turn a stressful and overwhelming schedule prerequisite for success into a manageable plan that can give you some great competitive advantage over the other content creators.
What Is A Content Calendar?
So let’s dive into what exactly a content calendar is. Basically, a content calendar is a scheduling tool that allows you to plan out your content ahead of time so that you are not constantly scrambling to create content in time for you to post.
Most people and companies plan their posts either for the week or month ahead. This means that at the beginning of each week or month, ALL the content is created, planned, and scheduled so that when it is time to post a particular piece of content, it is as simple as clicking upload.
While it may seem crazily overwhelming to create an entire month’s worth of content right at the beginning of a month, if you schedule out the first day or two of every month to create all that you need to post that month, it becomes incredibly manageable when you make it a habit.
This leads us to our next point, why would you want to create a content calendar? There are three main reasons that I feel makes planning a content calendar a must for any content creator:
- Free up time in the week – this is the main appeal for planning a calendar. As mentioned before, planning your content in advance may make one day of your week busy instead of making every day of the week busy.
- Organise content across multiple channels – once you start planning multiple strategies across multiple channels that you post your content to, it can get pretty crazy. So why not make it simple and keep track of what is planned for each channel in one place as a source of truth, so that you never get yourself confused or miss a post.
- Makes it easy to collaborate in a team and split up work – if you have multiple people contributing towards your content strategy, it can make life much simpler to have a content calendar where you can easily distribute posts for different team members to create and plan.
How Do I Plan One?
- Evaluate your posting platforms – take a look at your existing social media accounts and other content platforms and highlight which are the most popular and who the target audience for each channel is.
- Choose channels – choose the channels that you would like to apply a content strategy to.
- Research the most applicable posting frequency, day, and time for each channel – social media usually favors content that is posted every day or every other day, at peak hours 17h00-19h00. Whereas something like blog content may be more successful if posted once per week on a weekday morning.
- Create a content library – now that you know how often you want to post for each channel, create a library of content for each channel for either the week or month ahead.
- Input content and schedule into a content planner tool – there are many tools out there, each with its own benefits and layout. Some of the most popular are Hootsuite, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Trello, and Calendly.
- Craft your posts – this is where you fine-tune your posts using the content library you have created in order to finalize a polished product including images, captions (descriptions) hashtags, keywords etc.
- Double-check and post! – finally, time to have one more glance over each post and release it to the world!
- Review – make note of what works and what does not work in your posting schedule so that it can be improved upon. Each audience will have its own preference on how and when it receives content so it is important to test out a couple of different strategies and see what the audience responds to best.
It is so important that once you have created your content calendar and selected a posting frequency that you stick to it! Once viewers become used to seeing your content at a certain time every few days, they will begin to expect it at those times. If you fail to meet a scheduled upload it may frustrate the viewer who is expecting your content, and they may either go searching elsewhere for similar content or forget about you.
Subscribers/followers sign up to see your content regularly so if they are unable to consume your content as per a schedule, they may view your account as unreliable to their viewing needs and unsubscribe or unfollow.
Worried about creating a calendar that is too busy and a mission to maintain? This is a worry faced by every content creator so do not feel alone, but always remember that the more content you are posting, the more your engagement will exponentially grow.
While this tip may seem like a bit of a contradiction to posting consistently as there is a greater chance you may miss an upload. However, it is important to post as often as possible within your schedule and find the balance between posting a lot of content while still following the content calendar.
Well yes obviously, but I mean plan seasonable content and take advantage of global movements.
For example, maybe plan Christmas themes content or plan content that taps into global movements such as the COVID pandemic currently affecting the world.
The content calendar that works for one content creator will not necessarily be as effective for another, even if they post similar content. For that reason, it is important to test posting frequency, posting days and times, and content to see what works best with your audience and make changes accordingly if needed.
A content calendar is a must for any content creator who is looking to increase their loyal audience and achieve measurable success in their content creation efforts.
Ask any top Instagram influencer or popular blog and they will tell you that a content calendar (along with posting good content) is what helped them achieve the success they experience today.
Even if you are just starting out with posting to social media or your blog, a content calendar will help you grow a steady inflow of traffic while also allowing you to improve your content using the tried and trusted “practice makes perfect” cliche.
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