Content marketing is one of those buzz words in the internet world, that in many…
How to Create a Content Calendar That Attracts People and Search Engines
A well-planned content calendar is essential for digital marketing success.
It provides you with a bird’s eye view of everything you need to prepare for in advance. You know what to write when to write it, and you can also prepare media like photos and videos ahead of time.
With a content calendar, you will be able to publish quality content that is perfect for your target audience consistently. You no longer have to scramble to create content, because you already have a streamlined process.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a content calendar that attracts both people and search engines. You will learn action steps you can implement as soon as you finish reading this post.
Let’s get started.
What is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a coordinated schedule of content you will publish.
It allows you to easily integrate digital marketing with your overall business goals. Let us say you are marketing a new product. You can begin publishing relevant content in the weeks leading up to your launch date.
Since you know what content will go up on which dates, you can also schedule social media posts and newsletter campaigns accordingly.
Determine your digital marketing goals.
What do you hope to achieve with your digital marketing efforts? Do you want more people to sign up for your online courses? Do you want them to purchase your ebooks?
Concrete digital marketing goals will serve as a guide for your entire content calendar. They will help identify what type of content you publish, when you publish it, and in which formats.
Whenever you consider adding an idea into your calendar, you can determine if it will propel you closer to your goals.
For example, you would like to drive more traffic to a specific product page. You could write a series of blog posts about that product and include links to the said page.
Keep in mind that an effective goal should be SMART.
- Specific – Do not say you want more people to sign up for your newsletter. State a specific number.
- Measurable – Ensure there is a way for you to track your progress.
- Attainable – Take your current situation and possible obstacles into account. Are there factors that could prevent you from achieving your goal?
- Relevant – Think long-term. Your digital marketing goal should be relevant to the overall growth of your business.
- Time-Based – Set a deadline for your goal.
Choose a calendar format you are comfortable with.
Before you begin filling out your content calendar, determine which format works best for you. Answer the following questions.
- How many people need to access the calendar?
- How do you create content step by step?
If you are the only person in charge of content marketing, you can choose whatever format you are most comfortable with. Some people still prefer jotting down everything with a pen and paper. Others prefer digital methods.
However, if you are part of a team, you need to consider overall efficiency. Several people need to access the calendar at once, so you will most likely need to go with an online version.
You can create a content calendar with Google Sheets.
There are plenty of free templates online that you can upload on Google Sheets and begin editing. These templates vary depending on what details need to be added. Finding one that fits your content creation process will not be difficult.
Create a separate tab for each month, and start adding content accordingly. You can share the link to the people who need to view the calendar and grant and revoke access when needed.
Trello is another free tool you can use to create a content calendar. This is highly recommended if you need consistent updates regarding the content creation process.
Once a user creates a Trello account, he can be granted access to a specific board. The main board can be divided into columns that represent each stage of the content creation process. You can then create cards for each piece of content and move them depending on which stage they’re in.
Let us say you own a blog about vegetarian baking recipes. Creating a single blog post requires you to write the text, take photos, format the post, and schedule it.
You are currently working on two recipes, namely Vegan Cinnamon Banana Bread and Easy Vegan Sticky Buns. You still need to draft the text for Vegan Cinnamon Banana Bread so the card for the post is still in the Draft Text column. You need to take photos for the Easy Vegan Sticky Buns post, so the card for it is in the Take Photos column.
Your process could be entirely different. Feel free to customise your Trello board depending on your needs.
Brainstorm relevant ideas.
Once you’ve formatted your content calendar, it is time to fill it with exciting new ideas.
Jot down as many ideas as possible. Do not censor yourself, and simply write everything down. You can weed out or refine irrelevant ideas later.
To generate more ideas, consider the following things:
- Are there holidays you could write about?
- Are there dates that are relevant to your target audience?
- Are there products or services you would like to promote?
The end of the financial year could be an important time for business owners, If they are your target audience, you could write a blog post that helps them prepare for it.
If you are in the healthcare industry, you could publish relevant content on days that celebrate healthcare professionals.
The list goes on and on. No matter your industry, there is most likely a relevant date or holiday you could create content about.
A content calendar keeps you organised and consistent. Since you already know what you need to publish, you can prepare everything you need ahead of schedule.
Determine your digital marketing goals. Keep them in mind when filling out your content calendar.
Choose a format that works best for your unique needs. If you work with a team, Google Sheets or Trello are your best options.
Brainstorm relevant ideas. Identify which holidays or dates are important to your target audience, and create content accordingly.
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.