You know what they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Great marketing stems from proper planning. This is why it’s so important to have a content calendar. A social media content calendar will allow you to remain consistent for the long run and strategic about achieving your goals.
So what exactly is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a resource that helps you to plan out your marketing content each month. It allows you to organise exactly what you will share with your audience, on which platforms and when. A content calendar will also ensure you remain consistent, never miss important dates and save you time and overwhelm in the long run. Each month you can review your progress, determine what worked well and what didn’t and then modify your calendar accordingly.
Why is content marketing so important?
Marketing on social media is very different to traditional media marketing. People visit social media to be social. They don’t want to be bombarded with hard-sell style ads like those seen in traditional media like TV and radio. In the words of the AMAZING Seth Godin – “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.”
People will choose to buy from you for two main reasons:⠀
1. They are aware of who you are. ⠀
2. They trust that you will deliver what you promise.⠀
So, what’s the best way to achieve these two things?
That is, building relationships and telling compelling stories using online material such as videos, blogs, podcasts and social media posts. This content does not explicitly promote a brand or business but instead generates interest in its products and/or services.
Steps to creating a KILLER content calendar
Okay, so now that you understand what content marketing is and why you NEED a content calendar, let’s discuss the exact formula for creating a killer social media content calendar.
1. List your goals for the month
Step one is easy. Simply list out your top three social media goals for the the month. Make sure that these are in line with your overall business goals. For example, say your overall business goal is to increase sales by 15% this quarter, your relevant social media goal may be to increase traffic to your sales page by by 20%. Make sure that your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. This will allow you to stay accountable and measure your results. For more on social media goal setting, check out my blog post How To Set Social Media Goals That Will Get You REAL Results.
2. Include important dates/holidays/sales events
As busy business owners, time seems to fly by so quickly and if we’re not pro-active, it can be easy to forget important events and holidays. Take the time to think ahead and add any important dates, holidays or sales events to your calendar. Is there a particular sale that you have each year? Be sure to add it. Special holidays like Valentines Day, Easter, Black Friday and Christmas etc should also be included. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box too. You can also include some of the silly/fun holidays like international chocolate day and national dog day! For more ideas, you can view the national day calendar here. Get creative and think of how you can make these relevant to your business. Once you have these added to your calendar, you can plan ahead and make sure you are strategically planning your content to make the most of these dates.
3. Choose your content types
Next, you should decide on what types of content you will share with your audience. It’s important to take into consideration the audiences using each social platform. Different types of content will work better for different platforms. For example, Instagram is a highly visual platform so high quality, beautiful photos and inspiring images work well. LinkedIn, on the other hand, favours informative, business focused content like industry articles. Content can be long form or short form. Long form content can be YouTube Videos, blog posts, social media captions or podcasts and short form content can include behind the scenes photos, infographics, promotional posts, inspiring quotes and funny memes. Click here for a list of 17 Social Media Content Ideas You Can Steal For Your Business.
4. Fill out your calendar
Once you’ve chosen your content types, you can then add these to your calendar. This is where you map out exactly what content you will share, which platforms you’ll share to and how often. You can use any type of calendar for this. I like to use an excel spreadsheet but you can also use google calendar or even a physical calendar. Remember not to overdo promotional posts. The 70:30 ratio is a good rule of thumb. That is, 70% of your content should be value adding (educational/entertaining/inspiring) and 30% promotional.
CHECK OUT OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CALENDAR TEMPLATE AND GUIDE HERE
5. Schedule your content
Now, all that’s left to do is schedule your content. There are many different tools you can use to schedule your content. My favourites are Buffer, Loomly and Hootsuite. For Instagram in particular, I really like Plann as it allows you to map out and see what your Instagram feed will look like which is great for ensuring overall cohesiveness and branding.
Having a social media content calendar will save you a massive amount of time and overwhelm of having to constantly think of new content on the spot. Setting aside a few hours each month to properly plan out what you will share will allow you to be more strategic with your marketing and get you better results in the long run. Trust me, your future self will be thanking you!
I hope you found this article useful. Leave me a comment down below letting me know if you use a social media content calendar in your business? Do you have any other tips for creating a killer social media calendar?