tips for calendar creation

Creating an Effective Content Calendar in 2021

Sheila Ouelette - Writer & Web Marketer

Written by: Sheila Ouellette

Category: blogging

03.05.2021

checklist for creating content

Creating consistently high quality content is an important ingredient in the recipe to grow your business.  Providing your readers interesting, engaging, and relevant content may mean the difference between a mere potential customer and retaining loyal customers. That’s where a content calendar can help.

While most businesses understand the significance of creating content, many small and medium-sized businesses do not have the manpower, time, or resources to carry out all of the content that their tech savvy team members could write. That’s where a content calendar can help get you and your team organized and highly productive in terms of content creation. 

Why Is Content Creation Critical to Grow a Business? 

In terms of adding pertinent information to your organization’s website, blogs, social media, or even digital newsletters, content creation is more important than ever. According to the State of Inbound report, content creation is a top priority for 53% of marketers. Every time your team adds content to your website, social media platforms, or email blasts, you have the opportunity to: 

  • Answer your audience’s questions regarding your services or products. 
  • Build trust with your customers through valued information. 
  • Connect with your customers and remind them you are still there. 
  • Generate leads. 
  • Establish your company as an expert in your industry. 

What Is a Content Calendar? 

A content calendar, also referred to as an editorial calendar, is a planning tool used to organize and coordinate content that will be published on your site or on social media platforms. The calendar helps to break down the workload into clearly organized, manageable units often by month, week, or day. Content calendars often have a list of topics for blogs, status updates for social media, and content refreshers for websites.

Many companies (like ours) use a simple Google Drive spreadsheet or links to docs in order for the calendar to be shareable with the team. However, some organizations invest in applications for content calendar templates such as the examples at Hubspot, SproutSocial, Loomy, or Trello. 

Why Is a Content Calendar Needed? 

As businesses begin to grow and add more content to their site, it is essential to keep that information organized so that it goes “live,” when and where it should. Content calendars can help implement your content marketing strategy in several ways including: 

  • Establishes that current and trending articles from experts in your industry are published regularly. 
  • Protects against double postings or missed postings by setting a date and time for publications. If multiple in-office writers are posting for your company they will need to all have access to the calendar so that they divide up topics. 
  • Ensures that topics are current, interesting, and engaging. 
  • Allows for easy collaboration between team members tasked with updating content. 
  • Gives a big picture overview of content strategy for the upcoming months. 
  • Provides details or links to details such as topics, documents, and articles that will be used in content creation. 

Key Components of an Editorial Calendar 

Your editorial calendar can be composed according to your organization’s specific needs, but it should include at least the following information:

  • The channel in which the content will be published: blog, social media platform, email newsletter, or public relations announcement.
  • The topic of the content and possibly a link to the content, if at all possible.
  • The type of content.
  • The date and time for publishing and the specific platform where it can be found.
  • The person in charge including the writer and editor.
  • Follow-through: has the content been published according to schedule? How well did the content engage the reader or audience? 

what is evergreen content?

A Word on Evergreen Content

There are several practices that can make your content calendar more effective and productive in the long run. For instance, your site may publish trendy and current articles, but it should also consider spotlighting evergreen content, or content that is timeless for your industry. Those evergreen pieces will remain relevant and searched online for months to come and can only help your organization in its reputation and SEO rankings. 

In addition to creating content for the here-and-now versus evergreen pieces, writers should keep their calendar clean and up-to-date. The easier the calendar is to read, the easier it will be to quickly scan and confirm that content is going live when and where it should.

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