In this age of social media and instant communication, businesses must constantly engage with their customers across multiple channels. Content marketing thus play a key role in building brands, encouraging customer engagement and also improving search engine optimisation (SEO) by providing valuable and relevant information and perspectives that appeal to the audience. However, not only must businesses have a content marketing strategy that defines why and for whom they are creating content, but for it to be effective, they must also execute the strategy well.
This can be achieved with the help of a simple tool, a content calendar. A content calendar is nothing but a central place where you can plan, list and schedule your editorial content, including print articles, blogs and other social media posts, videos and infographs, to ensure that you send the right message at the right time and that it is consistent with all your other marketing communication.
It is important to create and follow a content calendar for several reasons.
1. Helps organise your content strategy
A content calendar helps you organise and schedule your content across different platforms such as print, email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This can ensure that you don't miss out on opportunities. For instance, a company can plan content around key product launches or seasons. It can also help you remember key international and national dates and festivals, so that you can create topical content accordingly. By knowing you content schedule over weeks and months, you can also ensure that are no dry spells and that you keep up a steady pace of communication and customer engagement.
The content calendar should essentially include details such as the content topic, author, submission and publishing date and the status of each content.
2. Save time by planning in advance
By knowing in advance the kind of content you wish to put out and when, a company can identify writers and commission the content early so that it gets published on time. This will save time and ensure you don't create content on the go, thus enhancing quality. Plus, it will help streamline the workflow across marketing teams.
3. Maintain consistency
A content calendar will help ensure that your messaging and brand voice is consistent across various traditional and social media platforms and that it is also in sync with your marketing goals. It will also enable you to maintain consistency of delivery.
For instance, a company can set a weekly day and time for a new blog post on the calendar and also set the time for an accompanying tweet on the post. Or it can plan weekly or monthly webinars to ensure it becomes a trusted source of information in keeping with its content marketing goals.
4. Integrate marketing communication across multiple channels
A well-defined calendar can help a company leverage its content and integrate its communication across online, social and mobile marketing channels or platforms. It can also ensure that it does not focus on only one social media platform and neglect the others.
5. Build and deepen customer engagement
Apart from listing and scheduling the content, you can also use the content calendar to report and track the effectiveness of each piece of communication. It can be easier to measure the response or traffic on a platform if there is a consistent delivery schedule as well since this will enable you to spot patterns in your communication and also understand what works and what doesn't, thus deepening the engagement with your customers. This will also help ensure that you achieve your content marketing goals.