How a Strategic Content Calendar Can Transform Your Business

Content marketing is one of the pillars of business success in today’s digital landscape. It began as one factor in a larger marketing strategy that some businesses embraced and others did not. However, over the last few years, it has quickly become an essential part of an effective marketing strategy, and a content calendar has become a cornerstone of successful strategy implementation. 

One of the downfalls of a content marketing strategy is consistency. The ROI is a long game, and when business owners or marketing directors don’t see immediate results, they tend to abandon ship. But with consistency and a methodical approach to planning, content marketing can be a lead-generation machine. It’s an effective method of driving traffic to your website, converting visitors to leads, and growing your business.

When compared to paid search, content marketing returns three times the leads, and when compared to traditional marketing methods, it has six times more conversions! (Source: CMI

So now the question presents itself: How does a business implement an effective content marketing strategy? 

The solution is simple: a strategic content calendar. 

A content calendar is some form of a calendar (whether a spreadsheet, a software program, or an actual simple calendar) that keeps track of all your content marketing and helps you plan ahead to effectively implement your content strategy. 

Let’s explore the pivotal role a well-planned content calendar plays in driving business growth through strategic content marketing.

Understanding Content Marketing

Content marketing covers a variety of methods of content creation, all utilized by a business with the end goal of growing the brand and obtaining new customers. Social media, blogging, videos, podcasts, and infographics are some of the most common types of content that you’ll see used in content marketing. 

Many businesses tend to focus on social media as their main form of content marketing, but that is only a means to an end. The main goal should be to drive people through your marketing funnel and end up with a paying customer in the end. Social media can engage people and get them interested in your brand, products, and services, but most people aren’t becoming paying customers on social media platforms. Your content marketing should be driving people to your website (where they can engage with more content), so you can capture leads and work on conversions. 

The overall approach of your digital marketing strategy should beautifully intertwine with your content marketing strategy. This means your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy is integrated with your content strategy, which not only impacts reader engagement but also organic traffic. You should be utilizing targeted keywords in both your SEO strategy and your content marketing strategy since they should be working together seamlessly across all channels. 

The Power of Planning Ahead: How a Content Calendar Can Change Everything

If you’ve ever struggled to come up with topics for blogs and social media posts, you’re not alone. 

If you’ve ever struggled to keep up with your goal of posting a certain number of times each week, you’re not alone.

And if you’ve ever gotten behind on posting content and decided that it probably doesn’t matter that much anyway, you’re not alone. 

But here’s the thing: It does matter. And just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you want to crush your goals, get new clients, and build your business, an effective content marketing strategy is a must. And in terms of implementing that strategy, a content calendar can change your whole world. 

The Benefits of Maintaining a Content Calendar

You can probably already imagine some of the benefits of a content calendar, but let’s just hit some highlights to really drive the point home. 

As all Type A personalities know, organization is the key to success. Having all of your content described, categorized, dated, and in one place is huge. Not only can you get a snapshot of any upcoming (or previous) content, but you can also get a quick overview of what you still need to do before the content goes live. 

If you’re collaborating with others on your team, a content calendar is a great tool for ensuring there are no oversights. Everyone can see what still needs to be done without countless phone calls or meetings that could have been emails. Even if you’re working alone on your company’s marketing, having a document to share with a boss at the drop of a hat will only give you confidence that you’re on track with all your responsibilities. 

Having all of your content in one place will allow you access to edit everything from one location, making it easier to ensure message consistency. You can create new posts based on old ones, and you can guarantee that you’re presenting the company in the same way across each post. Additionally, this overview allows you to vary your calls to action with streamlined organization and a big-picture look at content across the entire month. 

The Impact on Audience Engagement 

Statistics show that audiences engage more when content is posted consistently. Increased audience engagement means more people entering the marketing funnel, which then means more conversions and actual customers. 

When people are doing transactional searches online, they’re already looking to buy. Those are only a small portion of searches, though. If you can catch people when they’re searching for informational, navigational, and commercial keywords, you’re more likely to gain traction with potential customers. By offering educational, informative information, you’re providing value and showing that you’re a trustworthy and reliable source in your industry. This makes people want to keep coming back to you for more valuable information, and when they’re ready to buy one day, they’re more likely to choose your company.

A content marketing calendar allows you to tailor content to the buyer’s journey and truly meet them where they are within your marketing funnel. It allows you to see what your audience is engaging with and focus future posts on those topics to further increase engagement. You can create content that resonates with your target audience and build future content calendars based on the most obvious needs of your potential customers. 

Tools and Resources for Content Calendar Management

Just do a quick Google search, and you’ll see the myriad of content calendars available. From free spreadsheet templates to paid, robust software, there is something out there for every business and its specific needs. 

The size of your business and what you’re currently using for content calendar management will impact what type of system you need. For solopreneurs, small businesses, and startups, typically, a basic spreadsheet is best. For larger companies or companies with multiple people collaborating on content marketing, a software program is generally ideal. 

Content Calendar Software

Some of the bigger names in content calendar management include Hootsuite, Trello, Loomly, Later, Buffer, Canva, and Sprinklr. These options are generally available at different tiers, meaning you can select the level of service and features that best suit you. Many of these programs offer content scheduling as well, so it will post the content for you on the date and platform specified, making the whole process automated. 

Content Calendar Spreadsheets

For those just starting out with a content calendar, a spreadsheet is a great option. You can find multiple templates online, or you can create your own. Better yet, you can start with someone else’s template and adapt it to fit your needs. The most important things to include in a content calendar include the date the content is going live and the platform it’s being published to. You can also include categories for the content itself, a graphic that will be included in the post, the call to action of the post, and any category tags or hashtags. 

Many companies will use a combination of a content calendar and a content scheduler, allowing them to track pieces externally before they go into a scheduling software to ensure no details are overlooked or missed. 

What’s most important in selecting the right tools is that you find what’s best for your business. This may take some trial and error, but you can also check with other business owners in your industry to see what they use and try out some free trials of some of the programs you’re most interested in. 

Invest in a Strategic Content Calendar to Optimize Business Growth

Whether you’re a master of content marketing or just dipping your toes in, rest assured that a big secret to your future success is your strategic content calendar. Not only will it keep you organized and on track with planning and posting your content, but it will keep your audience engaged and will drastically improve brand awareness and business growth. 

If you don’t have a content strategy in place or aren’t sure about the next steps to take in establishing a content calendar, we’d love to help. After a decade in business as content creators, we know what it takes to create and implement a killer content strategy, and we’d love to help you take the next step in your business’s growth. Get in touch with us on our contact page and subscribe to our newsletter to get access to exclusive content. 

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