How To Create A Content Calendar For Your Business

Creating content can help your business generate more leads. Every published article, video, or podcast episode acts as a 24/7 salesperson that educates visitors about your brand, products, and services.

You’ll also have to create pieces of content with different objectives. Some content attracts new visitors to your business, while other pieces of content focus on selling a product or a service.

A content calendar creates harmony with your content production to ensure each article you publish aligns with your promotional calendar and long-term goals.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar lays out the publication dates for individual pieces of content. These calendars also detail your distribution plans for each article, video, or podcast that you publish. 

You can use free resources like Google Calendar or Excel to create a calendar. Digital calendars are easier to modify, track, and share with your team. However, you can also print out a calendar and write content ideas underneath their corresponding dates.

Advantages of having a content calendar

It takes extra time to create a content calendar. You could use that extra time working on your next piece of content, but it’s not a good idea to forgo constructing a content calendar. These are some of the perks of having a calendar set up for your business. 

1. Increase engagement

A content calendar allows you to produce more content and ensure you are making necessary updates to older content. A consistent schedule can increase engagement, but content calendars go beyond showing up more frequently.

Business owners can review their analytics to determine which content topics generate the most traction. Content calendars can foster a data-driven approach that prioritizes top-performing content. You can then get more engagement without putting in more work. It’s good to work hard, but if you also work smart, you can attract many customers to your business.

2. Generate more sales

Content introduces people to concepts and can guide them along the customer journey. Many corporations invest heavily in content because they know that educational resources turn prospects into customers. However, randomly publishing content without a plan will limit your upside.

Coordinating content around product launches and promotional campaigns can garner more sales. You can add content ideas to your calendar that warm your audience up to your offer. 

For instance, a fitness coach selling coaching services may want to write an article explaining the benefits of working with a coach instead of embarking on your fitness journey alone. Another article can detail how to take the DIY route while offering resources and suggesting that the reader jumps on a strategy call with you. 

3. Lay out your content production

It’s more difficult to connect your content with your brand if you come up with content ideas on a whim and guess what readers want. A content calendar gives you time to map out your content production for the next few months. 

Entertainment corporations plan out content multiple years in advance. You don’t have to go that far out, but companies with billion-dollar budgets understand the value of creating content calendars. A snapshot of your content schedule will give you a better understanding of where to direct your time on any given day.

7 Steps to create a content calendar

A content calendar offers several advantages, but it can feel overwhelming for someone who is getting started. This 7-step process simplifies the process and can help you craft a solid calendar for your business.

1. Start with the end in mind

Businesses produce content with the hopes of getting more leads, attracting clients, and boosting revenue. Content itself doesn’t achieve that goal, but it is a means to an end.

Business owners should establish their core offerings before working on a content calendar. For instance, you may have a book, training course, service, and other offers, but it’s important to prioritize your most profitable offers.

Map out any promotional dates in your content calendar where you want to double down on a product launch, service, discount, or another offer. Some businesses run monthly promotions while others space them out further. It depends on your business, but you should know the dates of those promotions before getting started.

2. Create a calendar template

Business owners can use Google Calendar, Excel, and other tools to create calendar templates. A template should give you enough space to write down content ideas and how you plan to promote a piece of content. These templates are free, and once you have a template that you like, you can continue to use it each month.

3. List content ideas that warm up prospects 

You have the calendar template and know when you plan on promoting your core offers. The next step is to list content ideas that warm up prospects. It’s similar to the fitness example from earlier where a coach writes an article that covers why you may want to work with a fitness coach and another article that covers the DIY side.

You’ll have to do this for your business, but don’t stop at two ideas. During a brain dump, it’s good to spend 15-30 minutes listing content ideas that bring prospects along the customer journey. Business owners should come up with at least 10 content ideas, but it’s even better if you can come up with 20-30 ideas. That way, you can choose from the best ones and get started on them.

These are some ideas to help you get started.

4. Choose your content formats

A content marketing strategy can involve several content formats, but you don’t have to use them all. Articles, videos, podcasts, shorts, and images are some of the content formats you can incorporate into your calendar. 

Focusing on what works best for your business can help you avoid spreading yourself too thin. Some people and businesses use all of these content formats but also have deeper budgets. 

Knowing your strengths as a content creator and reviewing your analytics can help you decide which content formats to prioritize in your calendar. Once you know the content formats and have your ideas listed, you can fill out your calendar.

5. Create core content

Once you have your ideas laid out on your content calendar, the next step is to create your core content. This step involves writing articles, recording videos, and creating podcast episodes. You can choose as many or as few formats as you desire for this step.

It’s good to get ahead of your production schedule if you can, and content batching is a great way to do it. Content creators who use the batching method pick a day of the week to create the majority of their content. This approach frees up the rest of the week to work on other areas of your business.

6. Branch out to social networks

A good content calendar doesn’t only stop with content ideas. It also lays out when you have to promote each piece of content on social media. A content calendar that includes social networks can look something like this:

  • Post five tweets within one week of the core content’s publication date
  • Schedule one Instagram post and one Instagram story on the core content’s publication date
  • Post in three Facebook Groups about your content piece 1-2 weeks after publication

You can include more items if you desire, but it’s good to focus on the social networks that generate the most traction for your business. 

Keyhole can help you determine your top social networks and maximize your engagement on each platform. Social Listening lets you analyze your competition and your own posts to discover what’s working. This feature also reveals important insights, such as the best times to post on your accounts for maximum engagement and industry trends.

You can get a free trial to discover how Keyhole can help you grow your social media audience and turn your followers into customers.

7. Repurpose your content

When you publish a piece of content, you will get some initial traction. Visitors may come across the content via search engines, but most of the traffic usually comes within the first few weeks of publication. 

Repurposing your content gives it more mileage and allows you to show up on more platforms. These are some of the ways you can repurpose your core content:

  • Turn key insights into image quotes
  • Write LinkedIn posts for each blog post section
  • Take snippets from a video or podcast episode and post them as shorts
  • Upload your video’s audio to your podcast
  • Use several blog posts as content for a free eBook

Business owners can get creative with how they decide to repurpose content. However, each repurposing allows you to get more traffic with less work.

Reviewing your content calendar

A content calendar is never set in stone. This important resource should go through periodic changes as you gather data for your latest content. Your audience’s behavior and interests shift over time, and adjusting your calendar to those changes can result in more leads and sales.

Keyhole makes it easy to stay in the know. Social Listening lets you follow real-time conversations and gauge what people think about your brand and industry. Keyhole makes it easy to schedule social media posts across multiple platforms and provides your analytics in one centralized dashboard. 

Want to know why brands like McGraw Hill, L’Oreal, and the Smithsonian Institution use Keyhole for their social media growth? You can get a free trial today to discover why more businesses are using Keyhole for their content strategies. 

Author Bio

Marc Guberti is a digital marketing freelance writer and Certified Personal Finance Counselor. He offers advertising services for small businesses. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is the best place to create a content calendar?

Google Calendar, iCalendar, and Excel are some of the best places to create a content calendar. You should experiment with a few choices and decide which one is best for you.

2. What makes a successful content calendar?

A successful content calendar includes promotional dates for core offers and content that aligns with the offer. These calendars include content ideas and the type of content you will publish (i.e., blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, etc.).

3. What is included in a content calendar?

Content calendars include content ideas and types of content that the business will publish. It also has product promotion dates and the company’s social media posting schedule.