Organisation is a driving force in any successful strategy, more so when you’re juggling multiple tasks and targets. In marketing, you must have a clear overview of what’s needed and how resources and timeframes can be allocated efficiently. This is why creating a content calendar is key, especially if you’re working alongside clients or other third-party organisations. 

For context, a content calendar (much as the name suggests) is a detailed schedule for all upcoming content, providing essential information such as exact dates, time frames, publishing means, and more. It’s pretty much a calendar breakdown of all content plans so that they can be created and posted on time and to the exact specifications.  

Before you question how important having a content calendar is, just remember that it’s an invaluable tool for coordinating content creation across one or more marketing strategies and that it can provide guidance to the whole team regarding who’s doing what, and when. (Basically, it makes everyone’s job easier.)

So let’s get right to it. How do you create a content calendar? Here are our tips:

  • Think about the long-term plan

A content calendar should help you organise your marketing strategy in a way that sets it up for success. It’s there as a tool, to help you achieve defined goals and targets. But not just the immediate ones! A content calendar can be used to get an overview of the bigger picture, helping you plan things on a longer term, and providing both cohesion and consistency. 

  • Figure out formatting 

Content calendars can be created in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to carefully consider the formatting and structure so that it can efficiently serve its purpose. What do you want your calendar to look like? What information do you want it to include? Make sure to create a few different templates, before making your choice. There are also plenty of paid options that can make things easier. Asana, Planyway and are just a few of the many online tools you’ll find, ideal for shared calendars. 

  • Decide on a timeframe

What timeframe is your content calendar going to cover? Do you want it to mirror the full calendar year? Maybe the financial year? Or, how about the upcoming quarter? This should depend on how you quantify your marketing strategies, and how you schedule your content. 

  • Filling in the calendar 

When it comes to filling in the content calendar, make sure you utilise the time as efficiently as possible. Factor in different times of year, as well as the amount of content that you need to fit in. It’s also valuable to leave room between each content project, especially if you want to give yourself the option for reactive opportunities. 

  • Review, share and adapt 

Once you’re happy with your content calendar, make sure you run a few trials. Share it with everyone who will be using it, and allow for feedback. After all, if you want people to use the calendar, it has to work for them! 

A content calendar can instantly boost the efficiency of your marketing strategy, helping you keep it organised and under control. It can take some trial and error to find the best calendar approach for you and your team, so don’t be scared to test different options and run a few trials. When you finally crack it, it will become an invaluable tool.

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