Content calendars are a must have for all businesses which are reliant on content production. There are many software applications available to assist you or your company with the creation of a content calendar, however deciding what format to construct it in is just the first hurdle. For those of you who have never used a content calendar before, determining the best structure or elements to include can be a time consuming process! So here are some handy hints and tips about how to create the best content calendar to suit your needs.
Creating Your Content Calendar
A content calendar is much like any other calendar, defined in terms of days, weeks, months and even years in some cases.
The basic items you will need to include in your content calendar are:
- Content and author information
- Time management information – due dates, publishing dates etc.
- A list of live content and directions to relevant archival content
- A list of ideas and future topics for your content.
A content calendar can take one of many forms, but most companies choose to manage their calendars electronically as this saves on time, money and paper! In addition, an electronic content calendar can be more easily shared and accessed by your staff via intranet, email or cloud hosting.
Important Inclusions for Your Content Calendar
Taking a consistent approach to the construction of your content calendar will ensure that clarity is preserved across the board. Marketing, packaging and the overall design of your content can all be managed through a comprehensive content calendar, providing it is implemented properly.
One great must-have for any company considering the use of a content calendar is a template which can be used to begin and equalise content management within your company. Pre-designed templates are available for free from a variety of online resources, or alternatively you may wish to custom design your own. Templates can also be utilised within your content calendar itself, by including template samples for web pages, different types of content, spreadsheets or keyword tracking templates as linked informational resources.
Also beneficial for the creation of a successful content calendar is integrated analytics, which will be of particular use for SEO content writers who wish to utilise a digital content calendar. By tracking your web analytics alongside your calendar, you can observe the direct correlations – if any – between the publishing of your content and the effect it has on page ranking, audience engagement and conversion.
The Benefits of a Content Calendar for Your Company
The overall benefit of a content calendar is pretty self-explanatory – by implementing an organisational resource which will help your business to plan ahead for content requirements and deadlines you will be able to streamline the whole process of content creation. In addition, certain aspects of web ranking – such as content’s not being ranked by search engines for up to 30 days after its release – can be more effectively managed by a business which is able to easily plan a content strategy well in advance of deadlines.