The Best 2021 Content Calendar Framework to Organized All Year
Planning a content marketing calendar for the entire year may sound like a very hectic task. But it can save you from the last moment troubles, Here in this blog, you are going to read about content calendars and the steps to organize them, along with the types of these calendars, Dive in to learn more.
Content Calendar Framework: Have you ever heard of a content calendar? It is nothing but a regular calendar to feed in daily tasks related to content writing and marketing.
Those who are into content creating business for a long know how important it is to have a calendar. The novices may not have an idea what this is and how to use it. So, here you go!
Table of contents
- What is a content calendar, anyway?
- Do you really need one?
- Why are content calendars essential?
- How to organise a content calendar?
- What are the types of content calendars you can try?
- Google sheet content calendar
- Examples of content calendars from eminent brands
- Start using your content calendar now!
What is a content calendar, anyway?
A content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar, is a written schedule that keeps you in tune with your work.
Imagine having a diary where you can organise your plans for a month or the next few months, track the campaigns, and communicate smoothly.
Sounds pretty sorted out, right? Well, this is where all the fun begins.
A well-planned content calendar keeps you focussed on projects, increases your productivity, and consistently helps you meet deadlines. Plus, you can share it with your team members, as well, making them keep abreast with the latest and ongoing projects.
In short, a content calendar becomes a blessing to the whole team. The entire process becomes so easy to follow that there is no turning back.
You can find heaps of content calendars out there, from blog calendars to social media calendars. Nevertheless, they all serve the same purpose- planning, organising, and preparing.
Here is a clear representation:
You write down the topics you are thinking to publish and other social media works you plan to do.
Updating the status of the existing content is also another task. The entire framework urges you to put your content strategy into action. Basically, it is all about setting goals for a week and achieving them without missing the deadlines.
Do you really need one?
Without a content calendar, it seems like you are sailing a ship without a rudder. You definitely need one to reach your targets.
For decades, these have been used by writers, marketers, and publishers. Nowadays, content publication has become complex. Many brands are focusing on using different portals to post content to boost engagement.
Hence, if the content is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy, you need a calendar.
Why are content calendars essential?
Honestly, there are plenty of reasons that you can imagine. In simple words- it makes your life lucid. If blogging is just your hobby and you find fun posting on Instagram occasionally, this blog is not for you.
But, if you want to grow your or your client’s online business, you need content- the king. Frequent posting and updating will give you the results that you are looking for.
Here are five ways in which a content calendar can help you.
One, it ensures that you are taking the right actions related to content marketing. The more disorganised you are, the more you will mess up the content production schedule. Moreover, some tasks can easily skip your mind like forgetting to upload a video on YouTube or updating old articles on a website.
Two, interactions become easy, not just with team members but also with other partners and freelancers. If your channel needs multiple contributors, you have to make sure that everyone contributes the pieces of content you have asked for. A content calendar confirms that everyone is on the same page.
Three, you can see the bigger picture. When you are into content marketing, you mix and match an array of content before publishing everything. For instance, if your company offers online training courses, you cannot post educational blogs five times a week. It would help if you spiced it up a little bit by putting training videos, academic speeches, upcoming events, and more.
A content calendar lets you determine which content you need to publish this week. If you posted some brilliant graphics last week, you can hold some polls or survey this week.
Four, it helps you maintaining consistency. People love to see content that has a consistent tone and time. Some may wait for you to watch mind-blowing videos on your YouTube channel. No matter which medium you choose, consistency is the key. It would be best if you showed up repeatedly to retain your audiences’ interest.
Five, a content calendar is a surefire way to measure success. You can see which content is working in your (or client’s) business’s favour and which is not. It gives you powerful insight into the performance metrics and pushes you to make the right decision.
How to organise a content calendar?
You may become overwhelmed or confused initially, but the truth is organising a calendar is a piece of cake. The steps below will show you how to do it.
Step 1: Download a free template
There are plenty available on the Internet. Download one that is not hard to follow.
Step 2: Take note of a few questions before organising
- What are your content objectives in 2021?
Planning a content strategy is not easy if you have not outlined any objectives. Goals can vary like, higher engagement, a more significant number of followers, traffic conversion and sales, and more. Once you know what you want to achieve, it becomes facile for you to plan accordingly.
- Which are the channels you want to focus on?
A content channel is a portal where you share graphics, videos, and blogs. It can be anything from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to WordPress and Medium. It is recommended not to use more than five channels, or else it would become hard for you to focus.
- What are the types of content you want to post?
There are so many varieties of content that you may seem a little lost in the first place. These include guest posts, case studies, surveys, interviews, and so on. Check the posting history and find the right content for you.
- How many times can you post?
You must understand how many times you need to publish each week or month. If you have a proper layout, you can manage the tasks. Like, you will know how many podcasts you need to post a week or the number of live sessions you need to hold a month. Also, you can change the time frame as per your business.
Step 3: Colour the boxes
Once you have figured out everything, let us start some colouring.
Filling the cells with colours can serve you with benefits, such as you will know which pieces of write-ups are yet to be approved, which posts got the maximum engagement, which are your targeted channels, how often you publish a blog or upload an image, and more.
Everything will be before your eyes on a grid. For better understanding, use different hues for every action. When you fill the entire sheet, it shows that you are ready to face the next two three months or so.
Step 4: Mix up ideas
It will not be exciting if you keep on posting only blogs. Sure, blogs are a great way to inform your audience about the latest products and launches, but you need to add a bit more fun.
Imagine your content calendar to be a cocktail glass where you can fuse different things and make it appear tempting. It will also keep your audiences engaged.
From blogs, videos, polls, photos, reviews, testimonials to case studies, news, and infographics- what more do you need?
What are the types of content calendars you can try?
As it is already said that there are plenty of content calendar templates out there, let us check them out!
Google sheet content calendar
Google sheet calendar is meant for those who cannot handle complicated sheets and look for trouble-free ways to keep things organised.
If you check the above example, you can see how organised the sheet looks. Everything is planned correctly from the month, day, channel, topic to captions, and actions are taken. For each week, you know when to go for IG live, or reply to Tweets, or publish infographics.
Buffer content calendar
Surprisingly, Buffer uses the Trello platform to make a balanced content calendar. On seeing it, you can understand how the work is managed effortlessly- when the publishing dates are, who the authors are and which content has reached which stage of development.
CoSchedule content calendar
It is yet another platform that gives you the freedom to make a fantastic content calendar (again, an excellent tool for the novice). The grids are simple, sober, and easy to fill. By incorporating icons and colours, you can make the sheet visually appealing.
If you need to manage several business marketing strategies, the CoSchedule calendar is for you! Managing multiple projects become less cluttered and uncomplicated.
Evernote content calendar
Though it’s not a typical content calendar, you can use one to plan all social media posts. The grid is well-structured, making it uncomplicated for you to outline a month’s plan. The best part about this platform is you can track the dates of publication and set priorities.
Hubspot content calendar
Do you want something low-key? You can try out free content calendar from Hubspot. The sheet is simple and visually aesthetic, and the plain colour-coding makes it a child’s play. Though you may not find an array of functionalities, it will serve the purpose you need.
ContentCal content calendar
ContentCal has all the significant elements and functionality. You can see the above image and realise how neat and beautifully designed the template is.
One of the critical aspects of this platform is you can seamlessly work with your team members. You can share ideas, track the process, leave comments, preview posts, and add notes, briefs, and so much more!
Examples of content calendars from eminent brands
The only factor that keeps the leading brands ahead of the game is consistency and a plate of varieties. Irrespective of your business and industry, these examples are surely going to inspire you.
Red Bull and its slogan have been ruling the market since its inception. Interestingly, they publish a lot of stuff, including blogs, videos, stories, and more. Their content pool proves that they play with different things to keep the audience entertained.
Reverb is an excellent e-commerce website where you can find pretty much every music-related instrument. What makes them the best? They have a reliable and consistent schedule to publish press releases, buying guides, news, deals, price guide sections, and more.
It is an online retail company that sells vintage-inspired clothes. Modcloth’s blog section will help you analyse how their content works. They have catered the page to wedding, beauty, lifestyle, wedding, and BTS, presenting a span of fashion-related ideas to the audiences.
Disney posts a lot of content, including stories, blogs on places, and various topics. Plus, you can find an ‘Author’ section where readers can pick their favourite author and study their copies.
If you closely check the blog section, you can see Disney publishes massive, attractive vacation themes and packages that will urge the viewers to book one and fly off! Moreover, they have a video section too that shows what you can expect on your visit.
BMW designs classic, timeless beauties that have been ruling the world for centuries. However, their content marketing is also vital. You can find the latest news, stories, videos, photos, podcasts, and more. Everyone knows that cars are expensive; hence, BMW reinforces their social media marketing to build a community.
Just like any other college, Concordia College maintains its social media presence and reputation to attract prospects. In the ‘News’ section, you can find various featured articles and events that keep the readers updated. It shows what it is to attend college and how it gives the best life to the students.
In a nutshell, the above brands work tirelessly on their content marketing strategy and create a balanced flow of work to keep their visitors, shoppers, readers, and other enthusiastic individuals engaged.
Start using your content calendar now!
Getting organised is not easy, but how about keeping things less messy and chaotic? It is where a content calendar works! It can be of immense use while handling multiple brands and channels.
By now, you have already known the most significant reasons to have one and the ideas how to organise it. Without wasting more time, set your content marketing journey and put your plans into action.
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