Create an effective content calendar in 5 easy steps
A content calendar – your best friend when it comes to an effective content strategy. Why? Because it helps your team members be more organised and creates accountability for their content. Your content will be more cohesive.
You’ll think harder about why you’re posting what, and which content fits your brand’s business goals. And above all, your content will be of higher quality. You’ll plan ahead and take time to look into what your audience needs before you create your content. And because you’re planning ahead, you’ll have more time to actually create the content.
Now that you know why a content calendar is relevant, why not take a look at how you can create one?
How to create an effective content calendar
Your hero, hub and hygiene content is the base for your content calendar. They show you how many times you’ll be posting on basic needs, inspiring consumers, or attracting leads with a big campaign. Not only will this help you bring a natural consistency to your content planning, it will also create a strategised bond with your audience as you give them exactly what they need, when they need it.
Now, let’s get started with your content calendar. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve created a template for you to use. Open our template and let’s start.
1- Hero, hub or hygiene content? These are 3 content types to plan.
Before you plan your content, it’s important to divide your content into three types: hero, hub and hygiene content. They’re all related to the customer journey and will help you put your audience’s needs first.
Hygiene content: this is content that helps your audience. For instance, a how-to video.
Hub content: its aim is to inspire your audience. For instance, a blog about different interior styles.
Hero content: used for special occasions such as a big product launch. Hero content has more potential to go viral as it is unique.
2- Look at recycling opportunities
Recycling is a big part of marketing. And when you make recycling a ‘regular’ in your content calendar, it’s easier for you to access. That’s where your content repository tab is for. You’ll store your previously posted content here, so if you want to use a blog post for a quick Instagram quote you’ll know just where to go.
3- Place your content in a monthly calendar
Once you’ve got your content lined up there, you can drag your content for the following month into the calendar. Or, you can create an entire calendar year. Either way, this overview helps you see what needs to be done at just one glance.
4- Plan your production and publication
First, you’ll want to create a schedule of what you’re going to post and when. This is a list of
- your message
- the account you’ll be posting on
- the post date
- a click-through link
- character count
- the campaign your content belongs to
Make sure you mix and match your hero, hub and hygiene content.
Now, you’ve probably planned who you’re going to reach and on what channels. List your content in each tab so you can view which channels you invest in most and if anything needs to change. A little tip: view your insights on social media to see when your audience is most active and adjust accordingly.
5- Create and publish away!
Now that you’ve planned your content, it’s time to create. Planning tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer might help to automate your marketing. Canva can be of great help in creating epic designs. And if you’re struggling to manage everything, project management tools such as Trello or Monday will come to the rescue.
Looking for more tools such as AnswerThePublic, Google Trends and Audience Manager? We’ve created an e-book featuring 52 free marketing tools that will make you a better marketer.
Or maybe you're interested in how to create a complete Digital Marketing Plan? Download our FREE step-by-step guide here.