Content is coming! Preparing for the new year is vital for any company or organization’s success. From budgeting to metrics to major projects, staying organized and tracking your progress are two key components to making the new year a success. Are you looking to send the best messaging to the right audience at the right time? 2019 is around the corner, so be sure to check out these tips for organizing and executing your content.
Picking the Content Calendar Platform
The first step in getting your content calendar right for the new year is picking out the best digital tool. Content calendars are constantly changing, and working with the right digital platform for your team will save you time and confusion. Just to name a few, some of our favorites include GatherContent, WordPress Editorial Calendar, AirTable and good ol’ Microsoft Excel. The employees monitoring your content and updating the calendar will also determine the appropriate tool to pick. With some content calendar tools, you can identify who will be editing the updates vs. who will be only be viewing the updates. Overall, whichever tool you use, make sure that it’s collaborative – and secure – to ensure that you get the best feedback and updates from your team.
Success with Sections
Once you’ve picked the right tool, let’s start with the calendar template. Content calendars can include a lot of moving parts, but if you organize them correctly, they will make execution and project management much smoother. Some suggested sections and headers to include in your calendar are:
- Topic: This section can include tile, headline, sub-headline or all combination of all three headers. Be sure the headline or title is something recognizable, e.g. “Don’t Miss Our Incredible October 2019 Sale” vs. “Blog Post 102019.”
- Content summary: Summarize the goal and the “why” of this content piece in one simple sentence.
- Due Date: You will want ample time to make sure your content gets reviewed and edited accordingly. We suggest getting a draft one week until the publishing date.
- Publish Date: This is the date your content will go live. The more specific you are in the publication dates, the better chances you have of knowing if you reached the right audiences at the right time. For example, if a blog post gets more viewership in the a.m. vs. the late afternoon, you will a time stamp that have appropriate insight on when to best publish your content.
- Contributors: Identify which employees or resources will be designing, editing or writing content and deliverables.
- Format: Content calendars aren’t just for blogs. If you want to post videos, quizzes, infographics – or internal messages – be sure to identify these formats into this section.
- URLs: Once the content piece is published on your website, enter the web address into this section. This section will also come in handy if you need to quickly reference an archived blog post for metrics or additional promotion.
- Target audience: Do you want this content piece to go to existing customers or new customers? Do you have specific messages for your customers? Keep track of your client personas in this section. If there are specific promotions or messaging you want to reach throughout the year, plan them out and list them in this section.
- Promotion: Once your content piece is posted, how will you be promoting the message? You can identify mediums such as social media, email, postcard, paid social, internal email signatures and more.
Keep Your Calendar Up to Date
As mentioned previously, content calendars are rarely set in stone. It’s a good rule of thumb to track your content with tools such as Google Analytics and social media metrics and adjust your content strategy. If you notice that some content pieces are performing better than others, it’s OK to change up some offerings spontaneously on the calendar. For example, say your content is getting a lot of reactions and shares on Facebook but falling flat on Twitter. Time to identify that metric and note on the editorial calendar which social media promotion to include and exclude. Or, maybe your latest blog post is getting a lot of recognition on email but struggling to get exposure on social media. Be sure to note which email campaign that was and how well it performed. The content calendar is a flexible, ongoing document. The more you and your team review the content calendar and adjust strategy on an ongoing basis, the better chances you have of producing content that best connects with your audience and helps your business thrive.
Webolutions Can help
If you’re struggling to create an editorial calendar or need help with your content strategy, we’re happy to help! Give us a call at 303-300-2640 or email us to get tips and ideas on getting the most out of your content calendar for the new year.
Featured Image: Flckr user Dafne Cholet