“When taking a content-first approach, our job as marketers is not to create more content…it’s to create the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of results.” Robert Rose
Last week we talked about collecting content creating a content library. Now it is time to use it.
The Next Tool…Your Content Calendar
You probably heard it before…your content (editorial) calendar is the most effective tool to manage your marketing.
Here’s some insight. Most of the content you like on social media is posted based on a content calendar. It is not randomly selected to appear. It also is not someone sitting in front of their computer saying, “Hmmm. I wonder what I should post today.”
Using social media as a marketing tool means you become a publisher. Publishers for hundreds of years base their content on some sort of calendar. It’s time you did too.
A content calendar holds all your scheduled content. It’s just like a regular calendar where you plan what you need to do.
Here’s how to put together a content calendar.
Pick a monthly theme.
I like to do this at the beginning of the year. I look at the calendar and choose one theme per month depending on my goals, events, etc. Only you and your team see this, so if themes change later in the year, that’s fine. At least you have a place to start.
Organize Your Month
Next, pull up your month. Put all the important marketing items in the calendar first. Do you have an event you need to promote? Do you have a regular email that goes out? These need to be on your calendar first.
Then either, weekly or daily choose a subtopic of your theme as your focus. This is the theme around which you will gather content. I usually start with a broad view and then go more specific.
Plan Your Weekly Content
From there you plan your weekly content. The example below has general ideas for content for each platform. I would recommend you get as specific as possible. In my content calendar, I put the exact wording and actual links, so when it comes time to schedule or post, I can copy and paste.
If it is a post for Instagram, I organize my photos on my phone into an album with the week’s date and make a note on my content calendar.
Schedule and Engage
Once you have your plan, content, images, videos, etc. it is time to schedule. I personally schedule Facebook posts directly in Facebook and use Hootsuite for the rest.
Scheduling is about getting the important content out there freeing you up during the week to capture things live, engage with your followers and connect in other ways. This is truly the power of social media marketing.
Over the last 10 years, I have used a content calendar. I admit, not always consistently. When I use the calendar, I see a difference in my business. Engagement goes up on social and people reach out to hire me. When I don’t follow my own advice, I am more stressed, the content isn’t as good and the phone does not ring.
If you are serious about using social media as one of your marketing tools, you need to get serious with your plan.