Customers and even potential ones sense constant communication to be one of the pillars of trust in any business.
Business owners communicate with their audience through their content. It may be written, visual or audio. In whichever form it comes, the business owner must show up daily or on some specified days on the social media platform if it must earn the trust of its audience.
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No matter how talented a writer is, sometimes there is no inspiration to craft content for the business at the spur of the moment. However, every business owner can keep his/her audience engaged daily with relevant information by creating a content calendar.
A content calendar is an effective tool for coordinating content creation and helps divide your team’s upcoming workload into clear, easily-manageable units increasing more focus on the creation itself.
Here’s a step-by-step approach to creating a content calendar for your business.
Define your goals
Asking the question “what is the main goal of creating a content calendar?” serves as the basis for determining the right channel and format your content should take. It should be the first step to implementing a content calendar.
The set goals have a significant effect on to whom, where and how often you publish content. It is therefore important that your team has a clear understanding of your goals prior to and during the planning process.
Create a template
There are a plethora of tools that offer calendar features on the web. Your content calendar can be as simple as a basic spreadsheet.
Your content calendar can be arranged according to your team’s specific needs. The following information should be in your business content calendar:
- The channel in which the content will be published
- The topic
- The type of content
- The date and time for publishing
- The person in charge
- Follow-through: has the content been published according to schedule?
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Make your choice of channels
Selecting a channel for your business is not based on sentiments but it’s real business. You should know what channel your customers and potential ones use.
This will help you define the kind of content you should be focusing on creating(articles, videos, surveys, images, infographics…)
It can be beneficial to publish content on various different platforms and in multiple formats, as this will broaden your audience.
Most importantly, prioritize your most important channels and focus on creating high-quality content instead of aimlessly posting on all of the platforms you can think of.
If possible, start with the calendar year
Use the calendar year as a base when you start to plan your content. Mark down all important events that you want to build your content around – holidays, trade fairs, seminars and training.
This easy step will help you determine the kind of seasonal content you will need in the future, and help you estimate the upcoming workload, which allows your team to prepare for it in advance.
Add your own content
Once you have written down all of the important dates, start to fill in the blanks with relevant content ideas like theme posts, serial posts, expert articles and guest blogs regarding your services and current topics in your field.
Some other ideas like a Press release about the launch of a new product, research results or your company going international, Seasonal or holiday greetings, videos or pictures from events, campaigns, products and projects.
Ensure you have enough relevant ideas to fill your schedule. Variety is the spice of life, add variety to your content.
Keep timeless content at hand
Content that is not tied to a certain date or time will always remain useful to both your customers and your company.
Timeless content can save you at times when there are delays in your schedule.
As it can be created and published at any time, it is good to have ready-made content stored somewhere to be used at times when your team may have to prioritize other tasks.
There should be a place in your calendar for timeless content ideas that can be used anytime.
Make use of old content
You don’t always have to create content from scratch. Old blog posts can also be reused and updated through different channels, such as turning them into short videos.
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Your potential customers may look for information on various different platforms, which is why it can be a good idea to present similar ideas in different formats.
This way you will make the most of all of the valuable content you have created by reaching different target groups.
Also, reviewing and updating your content occasionally to ensure that your content is accurate will make you look professional and reliable.
Mark the updated articles to let your readers know that your content is up-to-date and that you continuously want to make it more valuable for them.
Decide on your publishing frequency and set time limits
Think about how often you can realistically publish new content. As creating content is time-consuming it is important to choose a publishing frequency that works for you.
A content calendar will help you spot the busiest times for your company. Planning ahead will help both individuals and the whole team prepare for the company’s busiest months by ensuring that projects are started and finished well before the publishing date.
In other words, the planning should always be time-constrained to make sure that the deadlines are met.
However, your content calendar should not be set to stone – a certain degree of flexibility should be considered and allowed in the scheduling.
Review and update your plan
The further ahead you plan your content, the better the flow of content stays uninterrupted.
A simple guideline is to plan the main content for the whole year and then plan weekly and daily content in more detail for the following month.
There should be a possibility for individuals to share their thoughts and update their plans when needed.
It might be a good idea to review the content calendar on a regular basis with the whole team. This will help you to stay on track, and to adapt to possible changes.
Monitor how your content is engaged
You should devote some time to examining your own operations and data, and consider them in your future plans.
Once you know what kind of content interests your readers, you can evolve and create even more interesting and engaging content in the future.
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