Planning to build a content marketing calendar? Read this first
A content marketing calendar in its simplest form is a roster of content to be created over a period of time, in multiple formats and distributed to the target audience through multiple platforms. A content calendar benefits your brand in the following ways:
- Ensures you don’t miss out on any relevant opportunity to create compelling content
- Maps delivery channels to ensure the content is consumed by the target audience on different platforms
- Assigns responsibilities to relevant team members so no one is scrambling for content at the last moment
But before you take on this all-important task, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Who do you want to talk to?
While you might be clear about the kind of conversation your brand wishes to have, your consumers might not be interested in having that conversation. In such a case, you are bound to fail in putting your brand message across. Hence, it’s important to have clarity about your target audience and their preferences before you begin the process of creating a content calendar. In case you are reaching out to a diverse set of people, ensure that you create content for each of those sets.
2. When should you communicate?
Timing forms the core of a content calendar. It is an essential ingredient of effective communication. Thus, identifying and jotting down the topical opportunities, events, and dates that are relevant to your brand and your audience becomes an integral exercise. In addition to topical opportunities, you must keep your calendar fluid enough to accommodate trending conversations.
3. What do you wish to talk about?
While a topical opportunity like Valentine’s Day is extremely popular and love as atopic has a mass appeal, a finance brand might get along not talking about it. However, it is imperative for a financial brand to talk about the budget, tax season, beginning of a financial year etc- even though these topics don’t have a similar mass appeal. Hence, knowing your content marketing niche and the subject of your conversation is essential while creating a content calendar. Map out your content niche and match it with your audience’s preferences and then finalise the content categories.
4. How do you want to communicate?
It is important to list down the channels through which you’ll be distributing the content. And basis that information, you’d want to attach the format in which the content will go live. For example, if Facebook is your delivery channel then you might want to create an image or a gif or a small video. However, if your delivery channel is blog then a long article or a case study might be able to engage your user better. Also, remember to map the repurposed content on your content calendar.
5. What are the specific content ideas?
Brainstorm and put down the topics you wish to create content around. Make sure the content ideas are relevant to your target group, and appropriate for the particular format. So, you can choose to talk about just one aspect of a topic. This will help you come with topics that aren’t generic and over a period of time will help you create a niche in the minds and hearts of your users. For example, talking about how the Union Budget 2018 seeks to improve every Indian woman’s situation, while not talking about other things proposed in the budget.
6. Is it in line with your marketing and sales calendar?
Is your brand going to launch a product or focus on a specific service in the coming months? If yes, then don’t forget to include it in your content calendar. Similarly, you can include campaigns, announcements, events etc. in the calendar so that your content can give a push to your sales and marketing efforts.
All the time and effort you put into creating a content calendar at the beginning will help you avoid rushing at the last-minute or worse, missing out on having a conversation which could have been beneficial for your brand. After all, content marketing is all about having the right conversation at the right time.