A piece of famous advice given to newbie bloggers is to start! If you are blogging for fun, or as a casual hobby, then this advice is excellent.
But if your blog is for business or wants to use it to earn an income, put some thought into your blogging.
According to this article, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented strategy, which means they resort to an ad-lib approach and develop the topics they will cover on the fly.
Another article notes that according to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of social media marketers with a documented strategy rated themselves as highly effective, versus 32% of marketers with only a verbal strategy.
One tool that is common to all serious bloggers and content creators is a content calendar.
What is a Content Calendar?
According to Wikipedia, a content calendar is an editorial calendar or publishing schedule. Bloggers, publishers, businesses, and groups use it to control the content across different media, e.g., newspapers, magazines, blogs, email newsletters, and social media outlets.
This article defines it as a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish upcoming content. It typically includes upcoming pieces, status updates, planned promotional activity, partnerships, and updates to existing content.63% of businesses don’t have a documented strategy, which means they resort to an ad-lib approach and develop the topics they will cover on the fly. Click To Tweet
Benefits of Using a Content Calendar
Here are the 20 benefits of using a content calendar.
1. Keeps You Organised and on Track
They say “he who fails plan, plans to fail”. A detailed calendar is a key to keep your blogging organised and strategic (and to keep you sane). A good marketing plan includes strategy, and an excellent marketing strategy includes content. It keeps you focused and keeps your content in line with your overall strategy.
2. Excellent for Brainstorming
When encouraging clients to blog, one common objection is what topic to blog about to speak to their target audience’s needs. It is another area why a content calendar is necessary. It is an excellent tool for brainstorming ideas to create a blog post or other content that will resonate with your target audience.
3. Helps to Maintain Consistency
One common experience among people and organisations that start blogging without a strategic plan is the lack of consistency. Once they create content for a few months, they stop because of a lack of ideas or strayed from the original focus. Your editorial calendar helps you to maintain consistency in creating and publishing content.
4. Helps Keep Your Audience Engaged
Once your audience is aware of your schedule for posting new content, it helps keep them engaged because they know when to expect new content. For instance, subscribers to my blog know that up until last year, I publish a weekly marketing digest every Friday. It helps to keep them engaged with my content.
Note: This year, based on my new content calendar, I will publish my usual blog articles (like this one) on Tuesdays and my weekly marketing digest on Thursdays!
5. Crucial for Staying in the Know
As entrepreneurs or business owners, it’s crucial to stay abreast of your business and industry’s latest happenings. Using your calendar helps you to stay abreast of the latest news on the web and social media.
6. Helps Reduce Everyday Stress
The life of an entrepreneur or business owner is stressful enough without the additional responsibility of blogging. But the use of a content calendar helps you put some order into your chaotic day, reducing your everyday stress.
7. Plan Each Post Out for Specific Social Networks
It is an ideal tool for social media marketing because it helps you plan each post out for specific social networks. Thus your fans and followers on various social networks have a balanced mix of informative, educative and entertaining content to keep them engaged. It also ensures that you don’t fall into the trap of posting the same content on all your social network. Using a calendar will help you change each piece of content to suit the respective social network if you post the same content.
8. Prepare for National Observance Days and Holidays
If social media marketing is a critical component of your marketing strategy, you know that preparing content for specific events such as national observances and holidays is essential. Your calendar will help you plan and prepare before the actual date it needs to publish. It will relieve you of posting any last-minute haphazard content.
9. Improve Your Efficiency
Many factors go into creating an excellent piece of content. Some of these factors include your call-to-action, publication date, content creation process, etc. Using your content calendar will help efficiently monitor the various factors that create that piece of content.
10. Publishing Regularly and On-time
Entrepreneurs and business owners are very busy people. Adding content creation and publishing takes its toll. So sometimes it’s easy for you to let things like content creation slide through the cracks when there are other pressing areas of your business that need attention. But with your content calendar publishing great content regularly and on-time will always be on the front burner.
11. Gives You a Big Picture View
If done right, it will give you a big picture overview of the entire content marketing process and strategy. It helps you see the bigger picture of the broad themes you could cover daily, weekly, or monthly. It will enable you to either increase or decrease the amount of content you publish.
12. Plenty of Time to Find Ideas
As far as content marketing is concerned, one of the significant challenges is generating fresh content creation ideas. Therefore, savvy bloggers and marketers spend a ton of money on tools and other resources to find new content creation ideas. Using a content calendar will help you gain plenty of time to find new content ideas.
13. Synchronisation with Other Sources
With content creation and content marketing, genuine success is not a one-person show. It takes teamwork! Depending on the chosen media, you may need the input of an editor, a graphics designer, a photographer, and a videographer. Working with different people and teams is challenging. But with your calendar, you will synchronise your efforts with the other team members to get the necessary and on-time input from all these different sources.
15. Achieve the Right Focus
In my experience, I realise that many companies don’t have a documented content strategy. They resort to some impromptu technique to content creation and come up with topics they will cover on the fly! And sooner rather than later, they lose focus.
It takes a lot of time and resources to produce well-researched and valuable pieces of content consistently, and it’s virtually impossible without having some strategy in place. The foundation of that strategy is often your editorial calendar.
16. Reinforce Your Brand Vision
Content marketing requires continuous delivery of large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy to reinforce your brand vision. Thus an editorial calendar is vital to ensure that your brand vision is kept front and centre at all times during the content creation, optimisation and marketing process.
17. Take Your Audience on a Journey
Your marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan of your business with the fundamental goal of taking your audience on a journey. Your editorial calendar acts as a guide along that journey to ensure that your audience reaches your desired ultimate destination for them.
18. Make Delegation All the More Effective
Companies and agencies that publish an enormous amount regularly and employ many in-house or external content creators need to delegate specific tasks. Using an editorial calendar makes delegation even more useful.60% of social media marketers with a documented strategy rated themselves as highly effective, versus 32% of marketers with only a verbal strategy. Click To Tweet
19. Filling Gaps
For your content strategy to be effective, you need to publish content in various formats. So if you find that majority of your content in your editorial calendar is text-based, you can mix it up to include graphics, audio and video.
20. Multi-site Publishing
Do you publish on a particular platform or multiple sites? Does your marketing efforts comprise making social media posts on various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.? What are your campaign goals for multi-site publishing? You can do all these through your calendar.
How to Create a Content Calendar?
For newbie content creators, I recommend nothing fancy so as not to be overwhelmed by various tasks. A simple desktop planner that maps out the broad topics your content will cover, what days you will publish, and the person responsible for creating the content. It must also highlight the deadline for posting the content.
But for experienced content creators or teams, take advantage of the plethora of software available for creating and managing content.
So there you have it, 20 benefits of using a content calendar. If you need help with creating valuable content to satisfy your audience’s need, contact us today. I’ll be glad to help.
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