How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Calendar

One of the biggest hurdles businesses find with executing a content marketing plan is, well, the lack of a content marketing calendar. All too often this is undertaken in a haphazard fashion, leading to an inconsistent publishing schedule which keeps your audience guessing and management fretting.
Traditional publishers have always embraced the idea of having an editorial calendar, where the forthcoming content was planned and scheduled. It is necessary, with so much riding on the outcome. Perhaps since it’s become so easy to publish online, we’ve forgotten this. Since this is clearly content marketing’s moment in the sun, it’s time to get down to business and get it on paper. (well, at least virtual paper)
Let’s examine 5 steps toward creating a content marketing calendar that will help you grow your business.

5 Steps to an Effective Content Marketing Calendar

Use only one Content Calendar– While it may be tempting to have different calendars for content marketing, video marketing, social media and events, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have only one content calendar. Part of this is for making sure nothing falls through the cracks, and part is to make sure your marketing efforts are complementing each other.

Have an overall goal – What is the goal of your content marketing initiative? Do you hope to pump up website traffic, generate leads, sell products or some other objective? Whatever your goal is, it needs to be plain and apparent to anyone working on this.

Target your audience – Knowing who your target audience is and what they want is key to making any marketing efforts bear fruit. Creating killer content and getting it ranked and before many eyeballs is hard enough, without miscalculating whether or not it’s even of interest to your audience. Figure out who they are, and what they want, and tailor your content around this.

Coordinate with your marketing events – Many times throughout the year you may have events come along that can benefit from a content boost, such as a new product, show, seminar, conference or other promotable marketing dates. Plan strategically for these, and watch as your results soar.

Plan your content out far ahead – If you embrace this and begin to plan your content strategically, you’ll immediately see the benefit of advance planning. Not only does planning out future content give the ideas time to percolate, it allows you a chance to make all the aspects of this type of endeavor, like graphics, promotion and social media to be worked into the mix as well!
Employing a living breathing content calendar that your entire staff can use (or just you if you’re a one-man gang!) will deliver a dual benefit of having you create more content, and get better results at the same time!
You can find free marketing calendar templates online from places like Hubspot or with a quick google search.

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