10 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
Looking to create a content calendar that helps you and your team stay on track and produce great content? Look no further! In this article, we offer 10 practical and actionable tips that will help you define your goals, choose content types, set deadlines, track progress, and much more. So, if you're ready to take your content game to the next level, read on and start creating a content calendar that works for you!
If you are a marketing specialist, a big part of your time is spent producing content that will impact your target audience and distributing this content in the proper channels. Having a good content strategy requires producing content that is creative and relevant to your target audience and a good content scheduling strategy. Ensuring consistency in your content creation operations is crucial to reaching your target audience. Finding content ideas that are always creative and relevant to your audience can be difficult. It is also critical to plan your content strategy ahead of time, as a content creation process includes many critical components, from keyword research to SEO optimization.
Fortunately, with the 10 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar we have prepared for you, you can create a good roadmap for both your social media content creation process and your blog content creation process. You can also take your content creation process to the next level by collaborating with your entire team with our ready-to-use free content planning template we have prepared for you!
Table of Contents
- What is a Content Calendar
- Importance of Content Calendars for Businesses
- 10 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
- Best Content Calendar Example
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Content Calendar
The content calendar is a program that details the long-term plans of the marketing teams regarding the content creation and publishing processes. Thanks to the content calendar, marketing teams can decide which content to create, where to publish this content, important details about the content, the deadline of the content and other important information they need to see. Content calendars provide marketing teams with an overview of their content creation process. Thus, you can plan your content creation strategy for the long term and manage a consistent content creation process.
A good content calendar includes a company's planned events, new features, updates on existing content, and keyword-driven, SEO-friendly content planning processes. Content calendars help you plan a strategy and collaborate with your entire marketing team to create and publish content across all your social platforms.
Importance of Content Calendars for Businesses
Content calendars serve as a general framework for any content that companies plan to publish across all marketing channels. A well-organized content calendar helps companies define content themes, manage a strategic content management process, and publish content tailored to each social platform's target audience.
Content calendars are a very essential tool for companies that understand the importance of a consistent and qualified content strategy. By maintaining a consistent content creation process, companies can act more in line with their marketing goals and objectives, and thus interact more consistently with their target audience. Content calendars are also very effective tools, especially for companies to be more efficient in their content creation processes and not experience troubles due to last-minute problems.
Thanks to content planning tools that allow collaboration, teams can collaborate on all content operations and work together by adopting the same strategy. This makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page. If you want to manage a successful marketing strategy, content calendars can be a very useful tool for you as they help you plan your content production process across multiple social platforms.
10 Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
- Define your goals
- Create a content calendar template
- Choose your content distribution channels
- Categorize your content topics
- Select your content topics
- Decide on your content publishing frequency
- Fill up the content calendar with relevant information
- Set your deadlines and assignees
- Create status flows to track content's progress
- Update and review your plan
Define Your Goals
Everything we do in our business life is focused on achieving our goals. This is no different in the content creation planning process. Sometimes you may need to try different ways to reach your goals. However, the important thing is to make your content planning goal-oriented. Start by asking yourself the following question: "What's your goal in creating content?"
You should repeat this question frequently throughout your content creation process because each piece of content you create can have separate goals. "What do you want to achieve with this content?" Once you have decided on these goals, it will be easier to plan how you will achieve them. For example; your content may be aiming to drive more traffic to your website, convert your visitors into customers, or gain more followers on social media.
If you create content with no goals, it will only waste your time. However, if you have clear goals for the content you will create, it will be easier to measure and improve them over time. In addition, setting your goals helps you determine what kind of content you will create, determine which channels you will distribute content on, determine how often you will create content, and determine what topics you will create content on.
You can easily set your content goals with the help of the following examples;
- Increase website traffic
- Produce new leads
- Gain brand awareness and visibility
- Grow the social media followers
- Gain more paid users
- Gain more engaged visitors
The number and scope of these goals may vary depending on your company's needs. Setting your goals should be the first step in creating a useful content calendar. You should make sure to clarify these goals for each piece of content in your content calendar.
Create a Content Calendar Template
After determining your goals for your content creation strategy, you should create a content calendar template in line with these goals. This template should contain all the information you want to monitor and track about your content in an organized way. You can create your own content calendar template, or you can easily use the ready-to-use and customizable content calendar templates available on the internet, designed and tested by experts.
One of the most important elements to consider when preparing this content calendar template is that this calendar is simple and understandable. In addition, your entire team should be able to easily collaborate on this content calendar and track the content assigned to them. You can use Retable online spreadsheets to create your content calendar as it allows you to share it with your team.
Here are the things your content calendar must include;
- Content topic & category
- Content distribution channels ( ex; blog, social media, Reddit, Quora... etc.)
- Content type
- Due date
- Published data
- Assigned person
- Admin person
- Content status
- Some additional important notes related to content
You can also include more information in your content calendar template according to your company's needs. For example, you may want to add the thumbnail image of your content to this calendar. It can be completely customized to your needs. Also, the content calendar should have collaboration features. You should share your calendar with your teammates and give them role-based permission such as viewer, editor and owner.
Here is an example of what a simple content calendar spreadsheet template can look like;
Choose Your Content Distribution Channels
Before you start publishing your content, you should determine which channels your potential customers use more. This way, you can more easily determine the type of content you will create. For example, blog posts, Instagram posts, Twitter posts, youtube videos or Medium articles might be some channels that your target audience is interested in. Each channel has its own unique content type. You should determine the type of content you will create in accordance with the channels your target audience spends time on.
It can also be beneficial to promote the same content on multiple channels with some changes. This helps you reach larger audiences. While doing this, you should make sure that you bring your content to the format that is suitable for the platform you will publish. You should prioritize the channels you consider most important and produce high-quality content. Sharing aimlessly will only be a waste of time for you.
In addition, while creating your content calendar, creating a different calendar for your social media and for your blog can help you organize things more easily. Since social media content has many different components than blog content, creating different calendars for these two operations will help you work more organized. In addition, you should definitely consider guest blogging and paid blogging options, which are other content distribution methods.
Categorize Your Content Topics
Categorizing your content topics also helps you prepare for what type of content you should share and how often. One of the ideal ways to find the best content topics is to compile a comprehensive list of the problems your target audience is facing. What do you want to offer people? How can you show your benefits and expertise? Consider your benefits and content goals when answering these questions. This makes it easier for you to categorize your content topics. For example; tips & tricks, how-to, product updates, and evergreen content topics may be some categories for your content. You can determine your detailed topics in accordance with these categories. These categories may vary depending on your content creation goals.
Select Your Content Topics
After determining your content categories and preparing your content calendar, you are now ready to determine your content topics. When determining your content topics, you should first consider the categories you determined in the previous step and create content ideas related to your target audience for each category. While creating these content ideas, you should also consider the keywords you want to compete with your competitors in search engines. The content topics and keywords you set should be relevant to your brand, product and services. Relevant keywords and relevant content topics will help you reach the right audiences. It is also important to keep track of the current issues and produce content related to these issues. Therefore, be careful not to ignore national and international important days and weeks while preparing your content calendar. Make sure you add enough relevant content to fill your content calendar.
Decide on Your Content Publishing Frequency
Deciding your content publishing frequency is one of the most important steps in planning your content calendar. When determining your content publishing frequency, you should definitely consider the effort your content team can devote to this process. Since it is very time-consuming to produce high-quality content, you should be very careful when determining this frequency. If you push your own limits, you can create fast and poor-quality content. Remember that the important thing is not to create a lot of content, but to create quality content. It is also very important to have consistency in your content publishing frequency.
Also, a well-planned content calendar helps your content team to plan their busiest times well. This way, your content teams can start working on content that needs to be published before the due dates. In order to ensure that your content is ready according to deadlines, you should definitely plan your content publishing frequency in accordance with your team dynamics.
Fill up the Content Calendar with Relevant Information
Now, you are now ready to fill your content calendar. You decided on your content topics, categories, and publishing frequency and prepared your content calendar template. Now it's time to fill this content calendar template. You should carefully fill in every field you add to your content calendar so that when your content team starts the content creation process, they can have all the detailed information about the content beforehand.
Set Your Deadlines and Assignees
After filling in all the required fields in your content calendar template, you should set deadlines for your content and assign these contents to your teammates. When determining your deadlines, you should consider the time intervals you set when deciding on your content publishing frequency. For example, if you have decided to publish 3 content per week, you should set your deadlines accordingly. Also, when determining your deadlines, you should not forget that Google needs time to index your content. For example, if you are creating content for a special day, you should be careful to publish this content at least 1 week before that special day. Because when the relevant special day comes, the search volume of keywords related to this content will increase and until then, you should give time for Google to index your content so that your content can be displayed in Google's search results.
You should also consider the assigned jobs of your teammates when assigning content to your teammates. In order to plan this balance well, you should also keep track of how much content you assign to whom. One of the best ways to do this is to have a Kanban board for the people you assign tasks. Thanks to a Kanban board created according to the assigned person, you can easily see how much content you assigned to which teammate. We will share an example of this with you in the next section of our content.
Create Status Flows to Track Content's Progress
We mentioned that you need to spend a lot of time creating high-quality content. In addition, while creating these contents, you should create a content status flow to easily track the status of all content creation stages. This content flow will be very useful for you, especially
to follow the latest status of the content that your teammates are working on. For example; You can include the most basic content statuses such as; idea, writing, draft, published, pending, denied. Thus, you can easily understand which content in your content calendar is in what condition.
Update and Review Your Plan
You are now almost completely ready. Now it's time to do the final checks and implement your content calendar. Remember that your content calendar may change over time according to your needs. If you are using an online and customizable content calendar template, it is very easy to make customizations and changes according to your needs. Don't forget to review your content calendar frequently and get feedback from your team about the efficiency of this content calendar. Thus, you can easily create the most effective content calendar for you over time.
Best Content Calendar Example
Although the best content calendar varies according to the needs of each team, there are fundamental elements that should be considered by many content teams. If you choose a collaborative and customizable online content calendar template, it is possible to customize this content calendar according to your needs. Let's take a look at our most used content calendar that we have prepared for you and take a look at how you can customize it.
Copy Best Content Calendar Template to Your Retable Dashboard: Content Calendar Spreadsheet Template
You can click the Use Data button to copy Content Calendar Spreadsheet Template to your Retable Dashboard!
Retable's Content Calendar Spreadsheet template also allows you to see your content in a calendar view. You can easily filter the data in this calendar view. For example you may want to see just the contents that is not published yet. So you can create a filter to exclude the published ones.
It's also easy to create Kanban views based on your assignee or status column. In this example below, we created a Kanban view based on the assignee column. So, you can easily see the content that you assigneed your teammates.
If you want, you can also create a status kanban as in the example below;
Retable allows you to customize the content calendar based on your specific needs. For example; you can add more fields to organize your content calendar, you can change the status flow and you can add specific data views based on your content categories. Retable's easy to use and customizable interface helps you to create effective content calendar solutions that you can collaborate with your teammates. You can also give roles and permissions to your teammates and they can join your content creation operation based on their roles and they can also easily track the contents that you assigned them.
Thanks to Retable's collaboration and customization options, you do not need to waste time to create new content calendars from scratch. You can directly benefit from the free content calendar spreadsheet template easily by clicking the "Use Data" buttton directly top right of the template.
Creating a well-planned content creation strategy is a remarkable job. Even if it needs so much to consider, after you complete your content creation strategy it'll be easier to create a well-designed content calendar based on your specific needs. Thanks to the next-generation online solutions it's now easier to have an effective content calendar. Even if you have a small business, considering these 10 tips to create a content calendar will help you to boost your marketing team's operations. Now, it's time to competite with your competitors wisely and create a well-plannes content calendar to stay on the game!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to have a content calendar?
A content calendar is important because it helps businesses maintain a consistent publishing schedule, plan ahead, and collaborate effectively with their team. By having a content calendar in place, businesses can ensure that their content is relevant and useful to their audience, and that it aligns with their business goals and objectives.
How do I determine the optimal frequency for my content?
To determine the optimal frequency for your content, consider how much time and resources you have available, as well as the types of content you want to create. It's important to maintain consistency with your publishing schedule, but also to ensure that the content you produce is high-quality and valuable to your audience.
How do I track the performance of my content?
To track the performance of your content, use analytics tools to monitor metrics such as website traffic, engagement, and conversions. This will help you identify what's working and what's not, so you can adjust your content strategy accordingly. It's also important to continually evaluate and refine your content calendar based on the data you collec
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