Blogging and social media have become the norm for marketers, and rightfully so. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI. On top of that, there are more than two billion active social media users worldwide, representing a global penetration rate of 28%.
The question for most small business owners isn’t whether they should start a blog or send that first tweet. Instead, the problem is figuring out how to use these tools most effectively. The solution is simple: develop a content calendar.
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is kind of like a daily planner. Except instead of using it to write down when you have your appointment at the dentist, it can be used to list the dates and times you intend to add a new blog post, tweet out an update about an upcoming event for your company, or upload a how-to video to your YouTube page. One look at your content calendar should answer:
- What type of content you will be sharing
- How often you plan on posting content
- How you plan on promoting your content
Once you’ve created a template for your content calendar you can begin scheduling messages in advance using Hootsuite so that you aren’t stuck updating it everyday. Plot out your social media strategy and prepare to engage with your audience.
Is It Worth It?
Planning out your content may seem like a nice thing to do, but does it really have a strong impact on your online presence? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. Let’s take a look at how a content calendar can ramp up your blog and social media strategy.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t describe their workday as busy. Meetings and projects make it easy to forget to post that picture on Instagram even after you told yourself fives times that you would. With a content calendar, you can keep track of dates and events that are important in your industry.
Checking your content calendar on a regular basis will guarantee you never miss a conference or product launch ever again. Drive engagement and traffic to your blog by looking ahead in order to make sure you have enough time to produce and edit the content your target audience wants to see.
The best way to plan for the future is by looking into the past. Scheduling some time every other day to monitor the success of your content is crucial. Tools like Twitter Analytics give you the opportunity to see whether or not your content is appealing to your target audience.
By carefully tracking the success of each post you can begin developing an idea of the type of content that is most successful in addition to what platforms draw the highest level of engagement. Use this information to not only adjust what type of content you post, but also where you choose to then promote that content.
Developing a content calendar will give you a visual representation of how often you are posting to each social media channel. Be sure not to neglect a social media network just because of personal preference since you may be ignoring an entire portion of your audience.
Establish a research-based content strategy by testing out which type of content attracts more readers on specific social media channels. Once you have found a formula for success, continue to monitor data from analytics tools to refine your strategy.
Need a Push?
If you’re excited about the idea of a content calendar but aren’t sure where to start, check out this free template from Hubspot. This user-friendly template is a great starting point for anyone developing their first content calendar. If you try it out let me know what you think of it in the comments below!