The Most Effective Way to Build Your Content Calendar

Image courtesy of Bruno Bueno

Written By : Jordan Beaumont

Posted 06/08/2021

Creating an effective content calendar is a great way to plan your content strategy. It allows you to stay consistent with your content marketing efforts and ensures search engines detect regular activity on your website and social media accounts. Since it is so important for your business’ growth, here is how you can build an effective content calendar for your brand.

Editorial calendar vs. content calendar: Are they the same?

Both the editorial calendar and the content calendar are excellent tools that help make sure you consistently create new content, and they serve different functions although they are used interchangeably.

So, when you hear people talking about creating “content calendars,” are they referring to the editorial calendar or the content calendar? Here’s our take…

A content calendar is a real-time snapshot of what content is being published on your blog on any given day or week. An editorial calendar, on the other hand, is the bigger picture of how you plan to execute your content marketing strategy in the coming month or all year round.

In other words, editorial calendars are long-term plans that help you understand your content marketing goals. Content calendars are short-term plans that keep you on task each day and week.

So, how can you effectively create a content calendar?

Tips to create an effective content calendar

Keep it simple

Countless businesses try to set up a content calendar and fail miserably – all because they make it too complicated.

It can also be quite intimidating to keep track of deadlines and understand the various functions of the system. And that’s exactly what causes you to give up.

The first rule of creating an effective content calendar is to set yourself up for success. If your team can understand it, they can follow through with their tasks. So, you should consider creating your own format rather than looking up one online.

By customising the sections of your calendar to suit your team’s level of understanding, you will allow them to spend more time creating content and less time figuring out what they have to do.

Set up alerts for important dates

An editorial calendar can set you up for an entire year – but only a content calendar can help you meet deadlines. You can set up alerts for important dates to make your weekly content calendar even more effective.

In our experience, the three most important things to track in a marketing calendar are:

  • Seasonal holidays and events (such as Christmas and Black Friday)
  • Your own campaign’s deadlines (perhaps you are hosting a sale or a giveaway contest this week); and
  • Industry-related information that will help you generate better ideas for articles (for example, if it is World Water Day and you are a construction company, you can create content about the latest research and developments in water conservation that your industry can benefit from).

Organising your dates will also give you time to do keyword research. You can, then, solidify your piece to drive more traffic.

Reduce your team’s content creation time

A content calendar is supposed to speed up your content creation process. So, it is crucial that you make it more user-friendly and as informative as possible.

That being said, if your communication with writers is limited, it can be hard for you to track their progress as well as manage their workload – let alone speed up the process.

So, you can consider adding additional details for each topic to make your team more independent and reduce their content creation time. These can include target keyword(s), reference links, and style guide among other things.

These small pieces of information can save them a couple of days of research and allow them to focus on delivering better content for the assigned topics.

Track the status of each piece of content

Tracking the progress of your content calendar is important if you want to develop an editorial strategy and organise your publishing efforts. It can also help you stay on track for sharing fresh, relevant content regularly.

Remember, calendar is not only a tool that includes details of your future posts, but also your past posts. These details can help you identify your most popular pieces of content so that you can reuse them for even more readers using content repurposing techniques.

A content calendar can show you at what stage each of your piece is in its lifecycle. It can also act as a status report for your team. With all these and more, you can avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” situation that tends to occur when managing multiple ongoing projects.

Note down your engagement to plan future content

Creating and publishing content frequently is the best way to be found by your audience. And one of the goals for your content is to garner engagement for your brand. The more engagement you get, the better your content has performed.

Analyzing your engagement metrics in professional tools can help you understand what type of content performs well for you and what you should create more of in the future.

Note down any similarities that you may find between your top-performing pieces. These could be anywhere from niche keywords to the writing style of the author or the topic itself. Once you have this data, you can easily improve your content calendar based on real feedback.

Conclusion

Content planning is still a developing science. But there are tried and tested approaches that successful content marketing experts use to build their calendars. At Identify Digital, we have helped countless businesses benefit from a professional content calendar. And we can do it for you, too!

Our experienced and insightful team can create a highly efficient content calendar for you that will help you push valuable information out on schedule, stay within budget, and achieve your content goals. Speak to our content experts to get started.

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