What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second or for a day or forever. Great content creates space for people to pause and reflect, and that space is where transformation happens.
– Jolie Miller
What is a Content Calendar?
Have you ever sat with your head buried in your hands wondering “What should I post on Social Media?” Is it a constant struggle to keep track of the type of content you’re posting, and when?
This is where a content calendar comes in. A content calendar provides you with a system to plan, create and schedule your day-to-day content for Social Media.
Sharing content on Social Media is important as it is your way to connect with your current and new customers. A content calendar takes the frustration out of creating the right content that your customers will be interested in.
The Benefits of Using a Content Calendar
As small business owners we have to wear many hats every day in order to run our business efficiently. Having a content calendar is vital…it brings the following benefits:
- It allows you to share content consistently.
- It allows you to share content relevant to your market.
- A content calendar keeps your content organised.
- Builds relationships with current and new customers.
- Helps to reach your marketing goals.
- Helps to manage the time spend on content creation effectively.
- Saves time and effort.
- You never miss important dates.
How to Setup Your Own Social Media Content Calendar
Set Your Content Marketing Goals
What would you like to achieve on Social Media? Do you want to launch a book, speak at events, sell products, use Social Media to address customer service issues?
The more precise your goals are, the better. When you set your goals, set annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. Now you can design your content to achieve these goals.
Design Your Content Categories
What type of content do you need to share to achieve your goals?
People don’t want to be sold to all the time! You need to design the right mix of content to keep the attention of your audience.
Follow the 80/20 rule when designing your content themes:
80 percent of your content needs to be engaging, helpful and entertaining and only 20 percent is about promoting your business.
Examples of content categories can be behind-the scenes content; motivational content; educational content; sharing other people’s content and promotional content.
Once you’ve decided on your content categories, you can build your content calendar. This part requires some research on Google. You start off by filling your calendar with National Public Holidays, Special Days of Interest and regional events relevant to your business.
Next you fill in major events in your business. These include celebrations, promotions, webinars, product launches, guest speaking at events, etc.
Now comes the fun part…to fill in your calendar with day-to-day posts that will engage, entertain and educate your audience. Ensure you have a variety of content and stick to the 80/20 rule.
Establish the Frequency of Posts
How often should you publish your content?
There is no one size fits all. The frequency of posts depends on the type of business you have, the Social Media platform you’re using and the type of content you are sharing.
The biggest mistake is to post the same content at the same time on all Social Media platforms. When deciding on the frequency, ensure you present your content in a fresh and engaging way.
Choose the Calendar Format
You need to decide on the calendar format that will work for you. There are various calendars available on the market that can be used to setup your own content calendar. These calendars provide a framework without any content and you will need to brainstorm ideas to fill your calendar.
The Following Calendars are Available on the Market
- Paper Calendar – A paper copy for people who prefer an uncomplicated solution. The upside is they are simple and easy to use, downside of these calendars is that they are difficult to share with people on your team.
- Spreadsheet – Google and Excel sheets are cost effective and easy to customised to your needs. Customising them does take time and effort.
- Free Templates – A simple Google search will show numerous results. The upside is, it’s mostly free, but the downside is it’s not possible to edit and customise the template.
- Software – like Trello, Asana, CoSchedule. These are sophisticated solutions and have a cost and effort component associated with them.
When deciding on the calendar format you need weigh-up the time, effort and cost to set them up.
Creating Your Content
Schedule time each month to batch create your content in advance e.g. create all the motivational content at the same time…it saves heaps of time.
Leave time each week for content that can’t be scheduled in advance like attending industry events.
Schedule Your Content
There are many scheduling tools available on the market to help you schedule your content in advance and in batches.
Some Social Media platforms like Facebook allows you to schedule your posts natively…for all other platforms you will need a scheduling tool.
Hootsuite, Buffer, Zoho are all examples of scheduling tools. A Google search will give you a long list of scheduling tools…many offer a free trial period to test it out first before you make the investment.
When deciding on a scheduling tool weigh-up the features you want from it against the features the scheduling tool offer and the financial investment.
Planning your own Social Media Content Calendar from scratch could be overwhelming by requiring more time and energy than what you have available at the moment .
Content creation made easy with ThreePoints Creative
If you still feel lost and confused about planning your own Social Media Content Calendar, we have created a ready-to-go 2019 Social Media Content Calendar packed full of value and useful tools.
What is included in our 2019 Social Media Content Calendar?
- Day-to-day post ideas for the whole year.
- Content themes.
- Motivational quotes.
- A resources section where you can find the following
- Australian regional public holidays
- International public holidays.
- International days of interest.
- Free stock photos to use for your posts.
- Global trends in Social Media.
- Finding the right hashtags for Twitter and Instagram.
- Content idea generator
The guide has been designed for Australia, but can be easily adapted for other countries – simply follow the link included in the Resources Section to National Public Holidays for other countries.
You could go down the rabbit hole and continue to search the Internet for content calendars, knowing where that leads……or you could instantly access the 2019 Social Media Content Calendar.