Our Content Creation Plan is back and better than ever. We have amazing features that you would not want to miss out on, believe me. (You can get our Social Media Content Manager Template by clicking here.)
The sound of a new content calendar design might be really exciting for some of you. For some, it can evoke the thought, “Oh cool, another download that you need to use but never get around to.” Others may believe they have no idea what a content calendar is or how it can benefit them.
Here’s the thing: every marketing strategy has two terms… The first is “marketing.” That’s something we’re all pretty good at. Another word that might be frightening to others is… “plan.”
If you have never used a content calendar before, I recommend reading this blog post to learn the fundamentals of why and how the PLAN part of your content can be both simple and efficient. Yes, I said “simple” and “successful” in the same sentence.
This is the first in a series of blog posts and other educational content tools we are developing to assist you in getting your content marketing strategy working for your company and achieving the results you want for your content marketing.
Why Do You Need A Content Creation Plan?
Allow me to persuade you of the importance of a compelling content calendar. Here are 10 of my favorites.
- Reduce the amount of stress you experience when creating and publishing content.
You should use a content calendar if you want to relieve tension. How many days have you awoken with your blood pressure skyrocketing because you have no idea what you are going to post on social media, your blog, your podcast, or YouTube to keep your audience engaged and new customers coming into your business?
Making a content calendar that you really use cuts down on the regular or weekly glazed looks of “what are we going to put on Facebook today?” ” If you are unsure of what you are going to post on some social network, you are already behind your competitors.
For all of us, knowing that you have two weeks of social posts planned, thought out, and incorporated with your services, as well as plugged into a plan of your business events and happenings, would be a HUGE relief.
2. Get the team on board with your plan.
If you have ever struggled to get your staff, CEO, management, or board of directors to agree on a plan, then you will need a content calendar. If you lack the required budget or buy-in to actually prepare and execute a real content plan and strategy, beginning with our Social Media Content Manager (worksheet included in our calendar template download), then a content calendar might be just what you need to get the necessary budget and buy-in. It can start the necessary discussions in a quick, friendly manner.
When done correctly, it will help foster buy-in and ultimately have the previously unsupportive team members begging you to do more. This works, believe me. We have assisted teams in organizations ranging from small businesses to large corporations in obtaining the necessary funding, budgets, and even outside investments.
3. Work more effectively.
One of the most important advantages of a content calendar is that it allows you and any teams you work with or lead to understand what the intended content flow for your brand can and will look like. It’s much superior to a file or folder containing a list of random links and articles you’ve posted. These posts and links can and will be used, but they must be placed in a structured content calendar to be used as part of the flow. It gives you a clear picture of what kind of content is being shared – when, where, and for what reason.
4. Encourage creativity and the generation of new ideas.
You will have more time to innovate and think when you leave the burden of inefficiency in the dust. When it comes to content development, headspace is crucial. To stand out from the crowd, content must be imaginative, well-thought-out, and full of value. Find a way to give the team more time to develop and invent, and then watch what their imaginative juices will do to entice even the most ardent customers!
5. Create better content.
Bottom line: When you plan your job and work it, you produce better content. Remember that you are making content for a reason, not just to slap up against a wall. Make the best material you can most of the time. Nobody is perfect, and sometimes you just have to press the publish button. However, the higher the quality of our content, the better the results.
6. Align your content with your audience’s expectations and business objectives.
The magic happens when your content reaches the middle magic spot where it is consistent with both your business goals and the needs of your audience. Without satisfying both your audience and your company, content is a waste of time and money. Do you really not believe me? Try making random content that isn’t based on your audience or company for a year, then come back and tell me how it went.
7. Create a cadence and rhythm for your content marketing.
When it comes to content marketing, consistency, predictability, and agility are the goals. You can do all three with the aid of a content calendar. Your audience needs to know you can be relied on. This helps to set standards, which, if done correctly, leads to increased confidence and authority if the content is deserving of such treatment.
Adding a steady drumbeat to your content with a planned rhythm and cadence will help keep your audience coming back for more.
A healthy flow of content also allows you to better forecast budgets, tools, technology, and even human capital to handle content creation and delivery. This takes you out of fire drill mode and allows you to be more flexible when creating on-the-fly content to capitalize on trends and even shiny things.
8. Provide your customers and audience with value that will last.
If you want to maintain the clear satisfaction of your customers, you can use a content calendar to achieve that. When you use a content calendar that is tailored to the needs of your audience, you will always be providing them with value. Of course, this also means that you are advertising to an audience first.
Your objective should not be just to throw random content into the social wall in the hope that it will stick. You must encourage the viewer to engage with you if you want to stand out from the crowd in today’s noisy social and digital world. As the price of ads rises on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, your dream customers are drawn to value. The ancient tricks don’t work as they do. You better serve their value as a top priority if you want “sticky” customers who come back and forth more and tell all their friends how amazing you are.
9. Increase the return on investment (ROI) of your content.
A content calendar is important if you want to see a good return on investment from the content you produce and post. As anything else in life or industry, the better your planning, the greater your return on time and money spent. Using a marketing calendar allows you to utilize evergreen content, which has a longer shelf life and can support the audience for weeks, months, and even years, rather than wasting time and resources on one-hit wonders. Focusing and preparing also improves your ability to integrate your content through various mediums, increasing your scope, audience, and ROI.
When you use a content calendar, you should take a “create once, use many” approach that recognizes the value of evergreen content. Consider making a few pillar pieces of content and then providing a steady flow of content that can come straight from them without having to reinvent the wheel every time.
10. Consider the possibilities beyond today and tomorrow.
When you take the time to build a proper content plan, you will be forced to think more strategically than either today or tomorrow. It prompts you to consider your company’s clients, potential dream customers, priorities, objectives, and overall purpose. Where do you want to be in three months, six months, and a year? What does success mean to you? What is your overarching goal for producing content in the first place?
What are your thoughts? Are you convinced? Are you ready to start working on your content strategy right away? If not, what would it take for you to get there?
What you should do next.
Right now, you can download our content calendar template. You need it, believe me.