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HOW TO CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR

As a content creator, creating a content calendar from scratch is one of the complicated tasks that you can do. You can feel overwhelmed just by opening an Excel spreadsheet. Thankfully, this article is written to guide you on how to create a contcontent calendar for your content.

What is a Content Calendar?

A content calendar is a shareable resource that team members use to plan all content activities in a company. It allows you to be able to visualize how your content will be distributed throughout the month or year.

Having a calendar-based format, is better to creating a long list of content to be published because it does come with the following benefits:

i. Builds inter-and cross-department alignment within an organization: It will inform everyone about what is to be published, when, and where, to avoid surprises or even duplication of efforts.

ii. Identification of content milestones: Be able to create content around key events or even important dates.

iii. Avoid content gaps: Knowing what content needs to be planned ahead of time.

iv. Helps you to get your content ready in time to publish when needed.

4 Keys to Success

a) Give everyone access to calendars: Not everyone has the ability to edit a master content calendar, but everyone should know where the content calendar is and have viewing access to it.

b) Having the understanding that a content calendar is a living document, and it should be flexible enough to change and grow is what your content needs too.

c) Knowing that there are different methods, templates, and approaches to take when creating your content creation calendar, will help you create great content.

d) Never allow yourself to get stuck on ideas that can’t be implemented immediately. Instead, you need to create a repository of content ideas that allows you to tap into whenever necessary.

How to Create Your Content Calendar Using These 3 Easy Steps

1. Start with Your Existing Content Assets

As a content creator, don’t spend most of your time focusing on how to create new content when you should be focusing on creating more with less. Usually, it’s not necessary to create all your content from scratch since there are always heaps of valuable content lying around.

Instead, take time to take note of your existing content to see the ones that can be repurposed and remixed. For instance:

i. Slide decks: You can turn them into videos, blog posts, or even key takeaway slide decks for your audience.

ii. Research: Make use of the data gotten from research safely and in ethical ways, leverage them to create infographics or even news stories.

iii. Reports or Whitepapers: You can turn the big content into a series of blog posts or even social takeaways.

iv. Old blog posts: This requires you to make minor adjustments and update them with fresh information.

Repurposing your content assets will take away the strain of coming up with new content ideas. Also, it will efficiently help you fill the gaps in your content schedule.

With a single content asset, you will be to come up with several pieces of content, which is referred to as content atomization.

Which is the process of taking a big content piece and turning it into eight smaller pieces of content. For instance, using an infographic to support a blog post that analyzes the integrity of the data on which it is based.

2. Create Your Content Shows

You need to understand that there are 3 types of shows you have to identify within your content:

a) Binge-worthy Shows

Binge-worthy shows are big, steady ongoing content initiatives that do have the same theme and format. You should at least target two audiences, otherwise, you wasted your time or effort to produce them. They come in the form of reports, webinar series, podcasts, video series, white papers, etc. It’s advisable you execute this show at least twice per month.

b) One-time Shows

These shows are produced quarterly or yearly to attack a major customer pain point or topic. They usually come in the form of research papers, white papers, user-generated content campaigns, contests, etc. However, understand that they don’t have the same level of consistency, but they are created to be in line with your branding, voice, and tone.

c) Regularly Scheduled Programming

They are ongoing content initiatives that don’t have to necessarily connect completely or even be 100% consistent in theme. They are like the blog posts, that have a different author, topic, or even format, depending on the content. But they always have a way of connecting back to the content strategy.

3. Time to Plan and Publish Your Content

Now, you know how to go about your content. So, it’s time to plan your content strategy and know how to create and publish your content to support your social media activity, email newsletter, etc.

Also, it’s time to review the visit, engagement, and revenue (if available) stats from previous periods to assess the content that are most successful. And perhaps need to be replicated and the ones that are less successful and know how to update them.

You use both web and social analytics, and revenue data to make tweaks to already published content (for examples the titles, introductions, internal links, outbound links, etc.) to optimize visits and engagement as well.

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