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.