Most marketing teams will use a content calendar, it helps teams to plan the content that needs producing ahead of time and keeps everything a lot more organised when it's managed effectively. So how can you get the most from a content calendar, and how can you think of enough content to plan into the future? Here's some tips on how to create the most effective content calendar that really will supercharge your team's productivity,
Creating your content calendar template
A lot of content publishing tools will also include a content calendar that is ready made which you can use as the basis of your content calendar. For example Hubspot, a really commonly used marketing tool, has a content calendar tool from which you can schedule posts. However if you're looking to build your own content calendar using software like Google Sheets or Excel, there's a few things you'll need to detail first.
First up, your content calendar will definitely need to include details on the platform the content should be published on. Most companies will create slightly different content for each platform to suit the audience, so it's important to detail that in your content calendar. Platforms might include LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok for example.
What format will your content be? In your content calendar, it's worth outlining whether the content is planned as a video, a carousel post, a simple tweet or any other format type. That way, you'll be best equipped to find the correct content for each campaign and make sure it's ready to go by the deadline.
The point of a content calendar is to plan out your content strategy into the future, so it's really important that you include the dates that each piece of content is scheduled to be published on each platform. That way you'll know what's going out on any given day, and you'll also be more aware of the work that is left to do for the upcoming content.
In order to supercharge your productivity, it's important that your content calendar clearly shows the progress of each planned piece of content. That way your team can see which pieces of content are ready to go and which still need completing. You can communicate the progress of a task with a three step system like 'in draft', 'awaiting revisions', and 'complete' or you could use a colour-coded system.
Your content calendar should also include the copy you plan to publish alongside the content, so that anyone can pick up on the schedule when required to.
How to get ahead with content planning
Write by topic
We know that planning content into the future can sometimes be a bit difficult. Consistently high-quality content is a must for any brand to grow their community, but it can be a challenge to come up with fresh and interesting ideas without fail. One technique that can be used to generate new content ideas is to work in a topic-model. I.e, choose a topic to focus on for the next few weeks and think about all the related subjects to that one topic. This style of generating content is great because it generates so many new ideas,¬† but also so that you can present your content in neater topic clusters that relate to a pillar page to also boost SEO efforts. An example of this would be to choose a topic that acts as the pillar, so an example could be 'winter clothes', and then under that you would have subjects like 'the best winter boots', or 'how to choose a good quality winter coat.'
Another way to get content inspiration is to review the popularity of certain keywords, and plan from there. For example if a keyword phrase relating to your business has a large monthly search volume, you might want to cover this in a longer-form blog on your website. By including the keyword phrase in your content as well as semantically-linked keywords, you'll boost your SEO and attract more customers to your site. Plus, you'll be answering questions your audience are actually searching for, so you'll be more sure that your content is super relevant and helpful. As a rule of thumb, any content you create in the form of a blog or landing page content should have some keyword research conducted beforehand, so you know that what you're covering is really something that people genuinely are looking for. You can use tools like SemRush to conduct this keyword research and generate more content ideas! Tools like Google Trends are also great for identifying keywords that are experiencing growth in monthly search volumes.
Using Design Cloud to plan content
With every Design Cloud graphic design subscription plan, you can submit an unlimited amount of tickets to your designer. That means that you can send over all the graphic design you'll need for your marketing content coming up, and then just be happy in the knowledge that a professional graphic designer is working through it every day. When you use Design Cloud to plan content into the future, you'll need to let your designer know the deadlines for each ticket in your queue. If there will be any issues in achieving that deadline, they'll be in touch to let you know as soon as possible. Another note to remember is that your designer can only close a ticket once the draft has been signed off, so being fast to send over any revisions you might want will mean your designer can work more efficiently through your queue and meet deadlines more easily.It's always a good idea to make sure that the ticket at the top of your queue is the ticket you want to be the active request, and if at any point you'd like to reprioritise your queue to meet deadlines, you can simply reply to your designer on the ticket you'd like to be moved to the top of your queue.For more information on how Design Cloud can work for your marketing team or agency, we'd highly recommend booking a free 15 minute demo today. Learn more about what a demo includes and book your time here.