Creating consistently high-quality content for your business can feel overwhelming. It must fit within your content strategy, help you reach your overall business objectives, captivate your audience, and hopefully convert them into paying customers.
In the crowded online marketing world, your content must stand out and provide immense value to your ideal client. This can't be accomplished by throwing together material at the last minute.
If you want to sit amongst the best content producers, you should utilize a content calendar to ensure that you're consistently using content to meet your audience's needs.
The Simple Content Calendar Definition
According to Backlinko.com, "A content calendar (also known as an "editorial calendar") is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish upcoming content."
It can come in a variety of formats from digital to paper and pencil and can range from a month to a year of planned content ideas.
My general suggestion is to create a quarterly content plan, keeping in mind that you might want to make updates along the way to fit your business as time progresses. Creating a quarterly overview allows you to stay consistent and develop cohesive content that matches your quarterly business goals.
Why is a Content Calendar Important?
There's a reason why you'll find a solopreneur and a million-dollar corporation using a content calendar. Here are 5 of the primary benefits you'll experience when you use a content calendar for your business.
Publish Content Consistently
When you plan your content, you are more likely to publish it consistently.
Consistency is more important than frequency with content marketing.
Producing consistent content shows your audience that you are serious about your business, and you are not a company that will be here today and gone tomorrow. When you are committed to your business content, it is easier to build the Know, Like, and Trust factor with your audience.
If you leave your content marketing to chance, without a plan, life will happen, your to-do list will continue to grow, and the likelihood that you will produce content consistently will decrease.
Get a High-Level Overview
Developing a content calendar provides you with a big picture overview of your content.
I liken it to developing a blueprint when you're building the home of your dreams. If you don't plan the desired outcome, and instead just start building, you are less likely to have the result you want. But, if you take the time upfront to plan and sketch the layout to include all of the important features, you can be more confident in the outcome of your build.
When you develop a big picture overview of your content, you can determine any holes you have regarding topics you don't address enough, along with topics you refer to too much. You can ensure your content addresses the launches, holidays, and other essential dates pertinent to your business as well.
Batch Create Content
Planning your content calendar also allows you to batch create content which saves you time and energy.
Batch creating is when you develop a lot of content at once, so you don't have to create it on a daily or even a weekly basis.
Batch creating content is similar to meal prepping. It requires more work up front, but over time you will be glad that you did it due to the amount of freedom it gives you throughout the week or month to focus on other aspects of your business.
This is the process I teach in my signature program, The Profitable Content Bootcamp where I teach my students how to batch create 90 days of content. I believe in batching because it works. I do it in my business, for my clients, and with my students.
Improve Overall Organization
When you know the content that's coming down the pike, it allows you to set deadlines for upcoming projects, lead magnets, launches, interviews, and more.
If you don't know when an upcoming content project is happening, you can't plan for it appropriately, or you might rush to throw it into your strategy at the last minute. That doesn't work well as a long-term business plan. If you want to truly improve your content marketing, you must stay organized by knowing what's coming up.
Stick to Your Content Strategy
Without a content marketing strategy, it can be challenging to create a content calendar.
Your content strategy should be created before you consider creating a content calendar or one piece of content for your business.
It is a foundational component of any company that produces content, and like all other components of your business, you shouldn't be creating content without having a strategic plan.
To develop a successful content calendar, you need to have a content marketing strategy in place, so it almost forces you to develop one and stick to your plan.
What Should You Include in Your Content Calendar?
When you're ready to develop your content calendar, you want to include the essential elements to ensure that it provides you with the information needed to make the best use of it in your business.
Here is some information you should include in your content calendar, though it can vary based on the type of content you create.
Your basic information will include the general need to know information about your content, including:
Topic (ex. 5 reasons why tacos better on Tuesdays)
Type of content (ex. Facebook live video)
Creation and Publication Information
Your creation and publication information will include information directly related to what needs to happen for you to create and publish the content, including:
Due date (the date it needs to be completed)
Publication date (the date it will be released to your audience)
Responsible party (the person responsible for producing the content)
Promotion (how are you promoting the content to your audience)
Call to action (what do you want your audience to do after he or she consumes the content)
Search Engine Optimization Information
While search engine optimization (SEO) information can be part of creation and publication, I wanted to separate it because SEO has its own set of vocabulary. You want to include applicable SEO information such as: