Content may be king, but your customer is at least the emperor. And you better keep that emperor as happy as can be. How? With a well-thought-out content marketing strategy and a corresponding content calendar. We bet you that by the end of this blog, you’ll be wondering how on earth you could live without content planning?
Or did you already know that a content calendar is crucial? In that case, scroll down and download our easy-to-use free content calendar template! 💪
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic online marketing approach in which you create and distribute highly valuable, relevant, and consistent content to a predetermined target audience through the right channel. Quite a mouthful. The big advantage? It creates better-informed and more loyal customers.
Right, okay, content creation and distribution, gotcha. Nothing tricky about it. Or is there? No, there’s nothing difficult about content marketing. You just have to know that it’s not a one-and-done approach but a long-term vision. Therefore, check out this quick formula: content marketing + content calendar = match made in heaven.
What is a content calendar?
Simply put, a content calendar is a plan in which you track all your content. A rock-solid content calendar is the foundation of your content marketing strategy. It’s your action plan to create and publish content that converts. ⚡
This content can be anything, but it always depends on your target audience and goals. And that is how you cook up the perfect content marketing mix that’s entirely in line with your strategy. The best-known types of content are blogs, emails, white papers, and e-books. But webinars, podcasts or Reels also fall into this category. You can create a social media content calendar, such as for Instagram. But also for content you distribute online in a variety of other ways.
Why use a content calendar?
“I’ll post when I have time”. Recognise this quote? For many companies and entrepreneurs, creating content is something you do when you have some extra time. When, in fact, you should make time for it. As we just said, your content calendar is an essential part of your content marketing strategy. Without a plan, the chance of you actually executing your content strategy is very small. We’re not forcing you to use a content calendar, though. We just strongly recommend it. 😉
What are the benefits of a content planner?
We already know what it is and why you should use it, but how does a content calendar improve your (professional) life? Let us list the benefits for you.
You keep the overview
Because that’s essentially what a calendar does. You keep track of everything in one place and see the situation at a glance. Nice and convenient!
You keep up with holidays and events
The post for Easter or the start of the new school year? With a content calendar, you already planned it months ago during Christmas time! This type of content gives your target group the feeling that you are active and accessible. Moreover, you are right up to date with current events.
You post more regularly and consistently
If you read our blogs more often, you know that the word ‘consistent’ always makes an appearance. Regularly popping up on the timeline or in your target group’s mailbox is very important to stay top of mind.
You bring more structure to your plan
You know precisely when you are going to post what, and that for months in advance. Publishing similar content two weeks in a row? It’s a no from me.
You no longer have any last-minute stress
The content calendar forces you to work more efficiently. Bye-bye stress and hello content plan!
You see, a content calendar has its advantages. It is like your right hand. So ehm, investing in a content plan really does pay off. 😉
Essential elements in your content planner
Who are you creating the content for? It is important to know because you have to adjust your content types, CTAs and channels. Customer persona’s help you to make your target group tangible. You indicate their needs, goals, and pain points. You also map out their online behaviour. This way, you can be sure that your content appeals to your target group and approaches them via the proper channels.
What exactly do you want to achieve with your content? For example, sharing expertise, creating brand awareness, gaining new followers… These are all goals that you incorporate into your content calendar.
What type of content are you going to post? That can be anything, for example, an e-book, Reels, videos, or a blog. Be sure to indicate this in your content plan so that you maintain a diverse content mix.
What channel gets your primary focus? Well, you better be present on the platforms your potential customers are on. You will find this in your customer personas.
What are you going to post about? This should be in line with your content strategy and the core of your business.
We recommend brainstorming this with your team. That’s often how the most – and best – ideas arise. Possible topics are, for example, highlighting a particular day, an announcement of new employees or a blog post about a super handy content calendar. 😇
Times and deadlines
Content planning without specific times and deadlines is like chips without salt: it’s useless.
The CTA is probably the most important element of the entire content calendar. What do you want the reader to do after seeing and reading your post, newsletter, or e-book? This ranges from getting in touch with you to clicking through to a specific web page.
Are you referring to a page on your website? Then, of course, a URL is essential. However, that URL is only interesting if you add UTM tags. This way, you can measure the result of a specific link or campaign afterwards in Google Analytics.
UTM tags are small pieces of text that you add to the original URL. There are 5 different types of tags:
- UTM_medium: this tag tells you whether your visitor clicked on your link in a post, in the bio, via a referral.
- UTM_source: this tag indicates through which channel the visitor arrived at your URL. For example: “facebook” or “email”.
- UTM_campaign: in this tag, you put information about the campaign. For example, we are tagging a post on social media about this blog with “contentcalender+template”.
- UTM_term: This tag can contain some extra information about a specific campaign. For example, “discount” or “existing customers”.
- UTM_content: This tag you use for A/B testing. For example, you can test two different images, a green and a yellow one. You give the URLs a tag corresponding to the image: “green image” and “yellow image”. Afterwards, you can track which image scored better.
Tips & tricks
A few more tips and tricks to perfect your content plan. *chef’s kiss*
Start on time
Content creation is not something you do in a hurry. So, start planning and filling your content calendar well in advance. Hello, overview and hello consistent posting!
Always save some space to respond to current events. Nothing interesting happened this week, or at least not for your industry or company? No worries, there’s no need to force it.
Person in charge
Are you working with several team members on a content calendar? Make sure to add a section with the person in charge for that specific piece of content.
On some social media platforms, you get a maximum number of characters for your post. We’re not pointing fingers, but we’re looking at you, Twitter and LinkedIn. When you paste a long link in your post, you will exceed the limit in no time. Use a tool like Bitly to keep your URL short and sweet.
Be Bold wouldn’t be Be Bold without offering you a fantastic freebie. 🥳 We’ve created a ready-to-use content calendar template just for you! This template will help you keep the overview and get your content plan right.