The year 2020 has started, and it’s time to think of the message we want to share with the world this year. A new year offers the opportunity to rethink what we have been communicating so far, and to test out new ideas that can improve our strategy.
But where do we start? How do we create a new content calendar that will help us get the attention of our potential customers?
In this blog, we will tell you more about the content calendar. We will explain what a good content calendar looks like and what you need to pay attention to while creating one.
A content calendar is simply an outline of the content you want to share over a certain period of time. It includes planning, definitions of the types of content you want to create, and a description of your goals and reasoning behind your content choices.
If you have already been sharing content over the past year(s), you can learn a lot from what you have been doing so far.
Start your work by taking a look at your analytics for the past year. What performed well? What didn’t?
This gives you an idea of how much you actually need to change in the coming year.
Every content calendar needs to start with goals and definitions. Without knowing why you share your content, it’s tough to know what type of content to create.
To be able to complete your content calendar, you will, therefore, have to define:
Have you decided which goals you want to reach, whom you want to create content for, and on which channels you would like to focus (social media channels, your own website, other online platforms)? Then you can start to think of the types of content you want to create.
Options are, for instance, user-generated content, blogs, videos, and social media posts. The best way to find out what works for your audience is to test what your audience finds most interesting. However, as a start, you could follow Hootsuite’s content guidelines:
Once you have a broad idea of the type of content you want to share, it’s time to start planning. This will result in your actual content calendar.
If you are planning specific campaigns, you will have to decide when you are planning to run them.
Think of, for instance, a giveaway. Timing can be crucial here and deciding when and over how much time to run your campaign can make a big difference. Are you marketing B2B? Then you probably want to avoid weekends or holiday times, like December moth. For some B2C campaigns, however, weekends and evenings might be a perfect time to find your target audience online.
Besides campaigns, important dates need to be considered in your calendar too. Examples of important dates are the launch of new products, an event you will organize, or any other campaign that depends on specific timing.
Depending on the type of event, you can choose to promote it with a video, a blog, or a series of social media posts (a countdown, for instance).
Once you have an idea of your content, campaigns, planning, and platforms, you can start with your preliminary planning. This can be preliminary because the chances are good that things will change during the year.
Are you writing a blog? Then we suggest a list of blog topics that match your campaigns and themes for each month. The same goes for videos, ebooks, or any content besides your 'usual' social media posts.
And what about social media? We suggest making a long-term social media plan with a rough idea of your content themes over the year, and a short-term plan in a content calendar tool like Hootsuite.
During the year, you can keep consulting your long term plan for inspiration, while slowly adding more and more to your short-term plan.
As mentioned earlier, your plan will most probably change over the year. Based on your analytics, you will find out what works best and adjust your plans accordingly. This is completely normal, and only a good thing.
One important thing to keep in mind is not to lose your frequency. To stay in the mind of your potential customers, it's essential to be consistent in the content you share. While adjusting the theme of your content, make sure to keep sharing something. Stick to the weekly number of social media posts you agreed to, keep sharing blogs, and make sure you keep the connection with your fans going.
Do you need help setting up a content calendar for your business? We would love to help you with this.
If you are interested in working with us, feel free to schedule a FREE strategy call so we can get to know you better.
Are you interested in learning more about marketing and social media yourself? Then our Social Media Gids Community may be a great place for you. Here you can find many helpful resources and join the conversation with other business owners like you. Our FREE e-books and our Social Marketing Class, for instance, are very popular among our community members.