Have difficulties in producing content regularly? Content calendar to the rescue!
In 1996, when the Internet was still in its infancy, Bill Gates wrote an essay entitled ‘Content is King‘, where he explained that content is how businesses make money on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.
More than two decades on, the Internet has become part of our daily lives, and he was proven right. Content is everywhere — from articles and blogs, to emails and videos, or content on social media. All of these are produced as part of your content marketing strategy, meaning that you create and distribute relevant content to attract your target audience to your business.
Content does not necessarily need to be about the hard sell — it can be used to build authority and trust, but eventually, you’ll want to convert the audience into sales.
Content marketing is often synonymous with a content calendar. But, what exactly is a content calendar?
Like a usual calendar that reminds you about the date and day to keep you on schedule for your activities, a content calendar has the same function.
It’s a schedule consisting of when and where your content will be published. It includes the status and updates of your upcoming content.
Creating content is not a one and done process, but a continuous one. You’ll need multiple pieces of content across different channels to attract different segments of the public. But how do you look at the whole picture?
Juggling lots of content and ideas can be a challenge. And writing your content plan on different pieces of paper and post-it notes is not an efficient way to go.
Instead, keep your content planning organised with a content calendar, which also allows you to track each stage of the content making process. You and your editorial team can collaborate through it and make sure to get things done to produce content regularly.
“Organisation is important in any aspect of content creation. Not only does it help you keep track of the content that is in the midst of production, but it also helps to give you a complete overview of what type of content you will be producing, what titles, synopsis, angles, and perhaps even publication dates or published links. I’ve found it very useful when looking for content examples for pitching purposes to other clients,” says Michelle, Editorial Content Director at Click2View.
Offering quality information that is educational, relevant, and useful is key to building your audience’s trust. It enables them to view you as a business that gives them reliable information.
A content calendar helps you create new content, and will also serve as a reminder for what has already been produced so you do not touch on a similar topic too soon. Without it, you may not notice that you already discussed a particular topic two to three months ago.
For instance, you may want to create content about “Types of Cyber Attacks You Should Know in 2021” if you’re an IT company. But unless you have different parts of the topic (e.g. going in-depth about each different type of attack) to make it a planned series, you would not want to keep discussing this same topic in weeks to come.
“Having a content calendar enables you to highlight which topics you have done too much of. After all, you don’t want to sound like a broken record, right? By keeping track of what you’ve published so as to refresh those pieces to keep them relevant, it also allows you to identify topics that you have not targeted yet to keep the audience engaged,” says Michelle.
Consistency not only refers to the quality of content you produced but also in terms of publication. When you post your content regularly, your audience knows when to expect it. This will help them keep engaged with your business.
Irregular posting, no matter how great your content is, will lead to lower engagement rates and affect your ability to sustain an audience.
Imagine having a TV show with different time slots every week; it will not find a proper audience. The same thing can be said of your business, so having a content calendar is a necessity to help manage consistent publishing. Read our blog here on why consistency is so important.
Repurposing your existing content to different forms can be an excellent place to start when you feel like you’re running out of fresh ideas. That’s why listing your assets is essential to begin the process.
Creating a content calendar also opens up space for brainstorming, where you and your team can and should list ideas for future content.
Doing so can easily be done by using an excel sheet. However, please update your content calendar regularly so that you will not miss on new ideas or angles you think may be better to propose to a client. “There have been times where we changed the synopsis or angle for a story without updating and then realised much later that we missed out on a good idea we could have proposed instead,” Michelle said.
The process of creating content has multiple steps and can get overwhelming or lost if no one is tracking which stage each content is sitting at.
With blogs, you can break this process down to keyword research, outlining and writing the content piece itself, and the design process to add images to the post.
Meanwhile, video content has four steps: find a topic, write the script, film the video, edit the video, and add graphics.
By breaking down the content creation process, you can be sure to track where each piece of content is in terms of stage and stay on top of them — ensuring they will be published on schedule.
Creating a piece of content is a collaborative process.
For writing a blog, you need an SEO specialist to choose the right keywords, a writer to write the piece, and a graphic designer to create images for the blog.
Recently, we helped one of our clients, a Singaporean financial and secretarial service provider, create multiple blog pieces covering various topics, from the incorporation of a business to cryptocurrencies. We used a Trello board to keep everything on track. Once the client shared the keyword and topic, we would start the writing process. Afterwards, the client would provide the required banner images and final check for publishing.
The Trello board allows us to collaborate and enables the client to churn out well-written blog pieces consistently, resulting in increased online visibility and credible business leads. Ultimately, our partnership has been extended and includes the management of the company’s social media, which has gone through a similar process.
When it comes to video, you’ll need a scriptwriter, a director, and an editor. All these different functions need to work together to create the right content. Think of them as someone who’s directing traffic to ensure a smooth journey.
“Content calendars are good for clarity with the client. Both parties know exactly which ideas we have in the bank, which are being worked on, and which have been completed — exactly where we are in the process with every content,” says Michelle.
Ultimately, a content calendar gives them a sense of accountability, meaning that they know what and when their work is expected. If it runs behind schedule, you can find out who’s causing it.
As content marketing plays a more prominent role in your marketing strategy, having a content calendar is a must. It gives you the ability to create and publish content consistently on time. It’s like a train conductor that makes sure every train at the station runs on schedule.
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Click2View is Southeast Asia’s premiere full-service independent B2B content marketing agency servicing clients like Microsoft, Google, Visa, Prudential, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.