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6 EFFECTIVE IDEAS TO CREATE YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR + (Free content calendar template download)

Updated: Sep 26, 2023










You may have heard about how essential it is to create your personal content calendar, or maybe you haven't.


Either way, this article goes beyond telling you a thousand reasons why you need a content calendar, we also show you how to easily create yours!


In addition, when you read till the end, you get your own free content calendar template.


So what's stopping you? Let's dive in!


What exactly is a content calendar?


In simple words, a content calendar is a schedule of any information you wish to put out on your social media page.


A content calendar serves as a framework for whatever your brand or business plans to release across marketing channels.


Do I necessarily have to own a content calendar?

First off, you'd be interested to know that more than 90% of successful brands/businesses you've seen all use a content calendar. You can check out how these successful brands are making waves in the marketing world with something as little as a content calendar.


Without wasting much time, here's why a content calendar is a must-have for you.


It saves you time!


Let's face it, one of the most sought-after resources nowadays is time.


We all want to be able to accomplish tasks and still have extra time for ourselves in the 24-hour clock.


If you plan and edit content just a few minutes before posting, it'll consume too much of your time than necessary.


Content planning and editing can be tedious and you're bound to make mistakes if you aren't concentrated enough to do it.


Having a content calendar assists you in planning your content ahead of time. You would have an idea of what to post for upcoming weeks, months, and even a year. This will enable you to focus on your other personal goals.


Builds up consistency:

There's so much to handle on social media especially if you're using social media for business.


Well, except you're super fast, never make mistakes, organized, spontaneous, and you never run out of ideas (which 99% of humans can't handle at once because we aren't robots) you're going to need a content calendar to help map out your goals.


When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is a key factor.


You should know that your audience watches your every move.


Keeping your audience so engaged that they always anticipate your posts should also be your priority.


If you scroll through a business page and notice their last post was months or even some weeks ago, you may think it's inactive or not trustworthy.


It is a fact that customers do not like a brand that isn't consistent because it passes a message that you're too careless, unprofessional and degrades trust from your audience.


Helps you stay coordinated: What if you choose to not use a content calendar and rely solely on motivation to post?


Well, it would probably start off fine at first, but along the line, you might get confused and the stress could be overwhelming–have you edited this or that? What content are you supposed to post this season?


This is why a content calendar serves as a reminder for you to know what to post next and when to put your content out.


You'll be able to deliver more accurate content with fewer errors because you aren't in a frenzy to post content.


Having a content calendar allows you to easily track all data and content from the planning stage to delivery.


Increases productivity: Two well-known methods to be more productive is to either put in more hours or work smarter.


Most famous business personalities like Richard Bronson recommend working smarter.


A content calendar allows you to create in bulk, thereby saving your time and making you work smarter. If you're dedicated, you can create up to a month's worth of content in days.


It gives you more than enough time to edit and post great content. All you have to do is schedule your posts, sit back and focus on your other stuff.


Being able to get more of your work done smartly will in turn increase your productivity. With you being more productive, you're able to set better goals, open doors to more opportunities, feel fulfilled and to top it all, you'll be highly motivated.


Maintains your brand/business relevancy: A relevant brand is one that is constantly up-to-date with trends in its business, flexible, consistent, and has a great brand-customer relationship.


To stay relevant, be ready to accept change e.g the use of a content calendar for the growth of your business.


As a result of you being relevant and consistent, your audience will constantly have you at the top of their minds.


Due to you nurturing a better brand-customer relationship, you'll be able to send personalized messages that give your audience a reason to interact with and even go ahead to share your content.


Enables you to sight your goals from a bird's eye view:




A content calendar allows you to see how every one of your content is aligned with your goals.


Seeing your goals in this manner enables you to maintain control, motivation and coordination.


Imagine waking up every morning to see your goals and exactly how to achieve them spread out before you.

Your level of determination would shoot up, no doubt.


If you work for a company or you have a team goal, it's super easy to display the company's plans in an organized format during presentations so everyone feels like a part of the operation.


Now, if something as simple as a content calendar can help you save time, maintain consistency and relevance in your business, help you stay coordinated and productive in addition to getting you increased conversions. Why wouldn't anyone ready to take their business to the next level create a content calendar?




How can I draft my content calendar?


Creating your content calendar shouldn't be seen as a huge task. Not when I've summarized the process for you into 7 effortless steps.


Choose a social media platform:




What is a content calendar without a platform to exhibit its use?


There's no use or aim of a content calendar without a clear approach on which marketing platform to utilize.


The first thing to consider is what platform is the best for the type of content you want to put out. It could be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, and the list goes on and on.


Understanding your audience demographics and psychographics will enable you to know which platform suits your content.


Decide your post frequency: You see, it's important to first choose a platform before selecting post frequency. This is because your audience on each platform has a limit on how many posts they wish to see.


This is not to say the platform itself is limiting you to a number of posts. You can post as much as you like within a day.


In fact, it's your audience's psychographics which vary on different platforms.


Say on Twitter, for example, your audience may not mind receiving 10 tweets each day. However, on Instagram, posting 10 times daily may piss your audience off.


To further assist you in selecting a post frequency, Hootsuite recently conducted a research with accurate results on how often to post on social media.


Categorize your content: Categorizing your content means grouping similar content into labels.


For instance, if your expertise is hairstyling, your audience needs would be for you to provide value on hair maintenance, pretty hairstyles, hair growth journey, hair care products, and DIY hairstyles.


Your job? Meet their needs.


It is important to tag these sections of content so you can offer diverse value while focusing on the same niche.


Each category of content should come from a place of being intentional about solving your audience's problem or providing value. It should also be aligned with your set goals.


Highlight important dates:



A proven case study by sprout social observed users to be more active on social media during important dates of the year.

Holidays and special dates of the year are the busiest for businesses and creators.


Should that be a bother to you? Of course not, on the contrary, it's a win for your business.

More users + quality content = higher conversions!


If you're constantly sharing amazing content with your audience, you're already a step ahead.

Like Idries Shah would say; "Right timing, right place, right people equals success". Use this to your advantage.


Distribute categorized content: After writing down the categories of your content niche, it's time to distribute them across your content calendar.


If you're planning a 2-month content calendar, and your post frequency is 5 times a week, here's how to schedule and distribute your categories.


There are 30 days in a month and you've chosen to post 5 times a week. So you're only putting out content for approximately 40 days in 2 months.


Still on the hairstylist example, you have 5 categories to post. Therefore, 40 divided by 5 equals 8.


This shows you have to post 8 content on each category in a space of 2 months.


Next, you would want to share every one of those 5 categories of content into your 40-day content calendar, 8 times each. Particularly on the specific dates and time your audience is found to be most active.


Make sure to space them out on the calendar equally and according to your post frequency. This would force you to be consistent and also make your audience always look forward to your content.


Bulk Create:




Create, Create and Create!

It's now time for you to create loads of content, take a whole bunch of photos, write captions, research, format and prepare adequately in advance.


Brace yourself, get to business and brainstorm ideas. I know 3 incredible websites that can assist you in generating content. Use contentideas.io, Buzzsumo, and Answersocrates to get new and inspiring ideas for your brand/business.


You should mix your content up using photos, videos, reels, boomerangs, carousels, shorts, and IGTVs on whichever platform you prefer.


Some social media apps like Instagram have made it easier by allowing you to save your content as a draft. This way, you can post it whenever you're ready.


Doesn't it sound fulfilling to do your work once, never have to fret about what you would post next, schedule content, and have all that free time for yourself and other activities?


Sounds exciting to me!


Set deadlines:


We would all be lying to ourselves if we agreed that the only requirement is to create a content calendar to increase productivity.


This isn't to say it doesn't help, but there's an extra tip that increases productivity aside from having a content calendar.


That is–setting deadlines


An article by results empowerment enlightens us that; "A deadline transforms a dream into a goal. It gives an endpoint to your goal. Until the endpoint, you simply had a wish".


It is easy to flop when you say "I want to increase my conversions". Rather than "I'm going to increase my conversions by 15% this week".


I hope you see the difference and how it forces your mindset to actually want to achieve your goal.


In order to not forget to create or post content, setting deadlines using alarms or reminders will drive you to stay on track.


Bonus tip

Tease your audience:

After creating splendid content, you definitely want to tease your audience with excerpts from your content.


This would cause your audience to anticipate the drop date and a majority of them might even go ahead to turn your post notifications on.


Teasing your audience with pieces of content you're yet to release will trigger traffic to that content when you finally put it out.


For further knowledge on how you can tease your audience properly, check out this superb article.


It's time to create yours:




To save your time and help you carry out tasks quickly, my team and I at Media Mayhem 247 compounded a simple, productive, free content calendar for your brand/business.


Our free content calendar is designed to assist you in being consistent, come up with fresh content ideas, and staying relevant in your business industry whilst maintaining a trustworthy brand-customer relationship.



If you're still finding it difficult to create your content calendar, here are websites that have helped thousands of people draft a content calendar and will no doubt help you too.




CoSchedule: Want the bird's eye view of your plans like I mentioned? Coschedule gives you instant clarity into all your projects and deadlines.

Buffer: This allows you to organize and schedule content including stories, campaigns and hashtags in advance. Also gives you a view of your goals either weekly, monthly or yearly.

Trello: one of the easiest go-to tools for an intuitive drag and drop UI. Enables you to monitor your content creation in different stages.

Google calendar: Super fast to navigate. You can also visualize your content plan with color coding.

Later: A scheduling app that can be used for social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. It allows you to preview your content before posting.


Conclusion:


A common stereotype most people entertain is that only big business owners are meant to use a content calendar. Surprisingly, most small businesses fail due to poor management, lack of planning, no social media presence and lack of value, to mention but a few. This can all be averted by using a content calendar.


So whether you're about to launch your business for the first time or you've made a name for yourself in the business field, a content calendar is a necessity for you to progress.




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