Continuing with the theme of creating new content, I got recently asked by a prospective client, why do I waste my time creating a content calendar, when I already have the marketing plan?
To be honest, I was pretty gobsmacked.
Well, doesn't everybody have one?, I thought to myself. How do I know what was/ is to be created/ posted/ advertised if I don't have my calendar? How can I plan ahead if I don't know what's to come?
Working with no content calendar is like driving to a new holiday destination without the map and blindfolded.
That got me thinking. I actually used to work for companies that didn't plan any marketing content and just released anything whenever the boss or the sales dept said so. Fair enough, those companies didn't do that well in the long run, but there must be others.
So why should you need a content calendar?
You’ve been working hard at categorising your unique content into relevant groups.
You’ve been thinking hard about all the FAB features and mind-blowing benefits you will highlight to your desired fans
You’ve been writing a STAR-studded content in a structured way with a beginning and an end
Your content is already GREAT
That should be enough, right?
You need a detailed content calendar. And here is why, all ten of them:
Having a mapped out content, assures long-term alignment with your brand vision & overall marketing plan. For everybody in the company, not just you
A good content calendar allows you to track and analyse the success (or not) of your endeavours in order to plan for future developments
It helps to deliver a better-structured story to your audience with a beginning, middle and an end via grouping similar content under a "theme"
It helps you to focus on your goals for that week, month, quarter, year …
It ensures consistency across all your channels
It allows you to be more efficient as content can be created once & adapted to relevant platforms
It gives you more time to breathe, improve and plan ahead/ strategise.
A great content calendar gives you better control over your budget as you can track expenses and forecast future spending
Content Calendar assists better team collaboration, on-time content delivery & task tracking when co-creating with other team members is key.
Last but not least, it's there for your sanity. I mean, we only have one set of nerves, and we can only remember so much?
Are you convinced? I hope you are here.
So start creating that unique content to portray that unique flair of your brand. But before you do, here are my tips for a good content calendar:
It’s a pain at first, but aim to have 'in your draw' at least one month-worth of content at all times. It's all about a habit. Once you get into it, it becomes easier to bulk-create
I like to have a rough yearly overview of an overarching theme for the year. I think of it as the main title of a book, if it all got published. Then I break that main theme down into monthly or quarterly sub-themes.
e.g. Main theme - Our Business Rebrand; quarterly theme - the whys of our new brand, what's new, why we rebranded, meet the company. Monthly theme - management statements about the new rebrand, benefits of a rebrands, which changes we considered and why?
Use those analytics. They are there for a reason. Plus they are free. Granted, this is mainly applicable to digital content, but still. Have a look at what got most engagements, shares or the best reach; is your audience really who you think they are? You can learn a lot from the analytics to refine that unique content of yours etc.
If in doubt or stuck for ideas, you can always ask your SM followers or run a survey among your database contacts what content they want to see from you. Plus that creates engagement and shows that you care.
Now there really is no stopping you.
Get those creative juices flowing.
I hope you found these helpful, but definitely stay tuned as I will continue to explore the topic of creative content creation even further.
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If you wish to read more about creating new content why not explore the most critical questions every new content creator should ask themselves before they even begin to type.
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