A editorial calendar is a shareable resource that marketing teams can use to plan all content marketing activity. The benefit of using the calendar format, rather than just a long list of content to be published, is that you can visualize how your content is distributed throughout the year. This allows you to:
- plan content around key events in your industry or important dates;
- see where you have gaps in your content plan, with plenty of warning to line up more content;
- and make sure you have your content ready in plenty of time to publish.
In general, the further ahead you plan your digital content publishing the better placed you are to produce a consistent flow of content that builds your brand’s perceived expertise in your chosen subject areas. Creating a content calendar shouldn't feel overwhelming or time consuming, it should save you time and help your brand's cohesiveness!
Pre-Planning & Organize
It’s usually not necessary to produce all your content from nothing! Prior to starting your content calendar, make sure you gather and organize all photos applicable to your business into folders with a documents including all vendor credit - so it will be ready to post! Additionally, you can take a look back on past blog posts to see what can be updated or refreshed for the future. Once all your content (media & blogs) are organized, sit down and begin your content calendar for the next week, month, or beyond! We recommend starting your content calendar planning 1 to 2 weeks in advance! Here is how to get started...
Building a Content Calendar in 6 Easy Steps
Step 1: Identify your target audiences
A brand will rarely be publishing content to only a single audience. Most businesses and have several groups of customer profiles, each of which are interested in different kinds of content.
We recommend creating a brand persona for each target audience group. Though it’s likely that the main focus of your content strategy will be developing new business (i.e. generating leads), depending on your desires you may also want to market your mentorship program, a workshop, speaking engagement or even to recruit the best employees! Whatever your goals are to achieve - you need to create a brand persona for that target market.
Step 2: Develop Themes:
Choose 5-7 facets of your business and life you want your followers to see and make sure you aren't posting on category too much or back to back. For example: A Wedding Photographer could select:
1. Portfolio Builder - Ideal Client A
2. About Us/What We Believe
4. Favorite Things/Hobbie (Rescuing Dogs)
5. Behind The Scenes
6. Business Goals/Industry Leader - Mentorship & Workshop Speaker
7. Portfolio Builder- Ideal Client B
Upload those themes into your content calendar in the "THEME" section for both Instagram and Facebook!
Step 3: Insert Photos
Once your themes are inserted in your content calendar, it is time to insert your media. You can either insert your media directly into your favorite scheduling software (Later, Sprout Social, Planoly, etc.) or you can upload the picture or description into your content calendar, whatever is easiest for you. Aesthetics are key when it comes to Instagram, keep in mind a cohesive feed will help you grow your following quickly. Image editing, colors, quality, and consistency are key in terms of growing your following. Choose the images you post carefully and don't feel like you have to share everything. You feed should be curated and reflect the quality your customers and followers should expect from you. Look at your "grid" or what others will see when they first click on your name and make sure it's cohesive, visually appealing and a representation on your brand.
Step 4: Use Your Captions
After your photos are uploaded, insert your captions. A lot of captions are purely missed opportunities. Use your caption to tell stories, share thoughts, document work, and let your followers in! Think of it as a mini blog post, a chance to reach your ideal audience of that day's theme though words and a way to channel your online voice while adding pizzazz to your photos. Store your content calendar captions in the "Caption" Box in your calendar.
Step 5: Create Tag Groupings
Create hashtag groupings for each of your ideal clients/Instagram themes. Place them in a word document on your computer or store them in an email for 24/7 access. Then, while planning out your content- you can upload each hashtag grouping into your content calendar. If you have multiple hashtags that you'd like to use- leave the in a comment below your caption to hide all the clutter!
Step 6: Schedule Content
This is where you will take those media files and captions and schedule them with your favorite social media management software. For Facebook, We recommend Sprout Social, which will post on your behalf during your scheduled times. For Instagram, we recommend Later, which will send you notifications when it is time to post your scheduled content. PRESTO! Your content calendar is full, schedule and ready to take you to the next level!
Are you ready for the next step?! Well, tune into our blog this Wednesday for Step 7: All About Numbers: Understanding Analytics & Analyzing Growth. Want more & Don't want to wait?! Well, head on over to our Marketing Made Simple Group Course Page where we've streamlined our marketing systems so that you can learn from Elise in the shortest amount of time in the most effective way possible.
Imagine having all of your marketing systems in place for 2017 and not having to worry about them from here on out.