Why a content calendar is critical for your content marketing strategy

For every business, regardless of its size and niche, content marketing is among its primary digital marketing strategies. However, unless this is organized and implemented with meticulous planning, all the content that goes out to its audience can be a waste of time and money.

At Twenty3Media, we believe that content marketing, in its simplest form, begins with knowing one’s audience, creating engaging content, and promoting it to the right audience across the platforms frequented by them.

During the content planning process, a content calendar is invaluable. Not only does it enable us share it with our virtual team to plan and monitor our content marketing activity in real time, but also shows us, at a glance, scheduled content, important event dates to keep in mind to plan content, and ensures that we have different types of content ready and published on schedule.

As we already know, a business must consistently publish quality content to build its brand, its credibility and its presence in its niche. The frequency of publishing can vary depending on the business and the industry in which it operates. It is also important to be flexible based on changes in the industry, showing that the business is up to date with trends.

So how do we build a strong content calendar to support our content marketing strategy? Here are our top three tips:

Know your target market

Practically every business activity is based on knowing one’s target audience, and content planning is no exception. In fact, a brand must plan its content in such a way that it appeals to all audience segments the business caters to: for example, prospective and existing customers, potential employees, investors, and suppliers.  Besides focusing on lead generation and sales, this content must be diverse enough to connect with all its audience types. Based on this, content must be planned in terms of what, how much and how often for each segment.

Plan and create the content calendar

Depending on the business, content can either be created from scratch or take into account existing content to work from there. Existing marketing material can often be reworked into new forms of content. For instance, if there are marketing presentations in the form of PowerPoint, these can be made into videos, blog posts, or made into SlideShare presentations that can be shared online. Existing blog posts can be updated with new data to make them relevant. If there is market research, this can be made into infographics, which in turn can become blog posts. If there are industry white papers, these can be published as case studies and blog post series.

The idea is to leverage existing content, as well as to come up with new ideas, which can then populate the content calendar. Responsibilities can then be assigned and tracked. Once the content has been created, it can be scheduled for publication on various platforms as per the content marketing strategy.

Promote and monitor

Just publishing the content is not enough. It must be aggressively promoted on social media and through business newsletters, besides engaging with the audience it reaches. The response and engagement must then be monitored and compared with similar previous activity to gauge what works and what doesn’t. 

Based on this the promotion strategy and content can be tweaked to achieve the content strategy goals. There are a number of analytics tools available to measure performance or each type of content.

In short, the content calendar can be used to record content ideas, determine types of content and frequency, create that content, schedule it, and monitor it, so that you can accomplish your content marketing goals. 

Do you use a content calendar as part of your content marketing strategy? Let us know if you have any tips to share!