Filling Your Content Calendar: 101

Inbound Marketing, Sales

| April 28, 2016 | By Sara Cottle

 Filling Your Content Calendar: 101

Calendars are one of the few things that have held the test of time, even through our ever-heightening technology obsession. In fact, back in the day, calendars were seen as being so useful that they were even adapted into digital form. The time it takes to fill out a calendar, whether paper or digital, is unarguably useful. Everything you need to know for the month, the next few months, or even the year—all in one place, giving you a “big picture” overview. 

Calendars are typically used to remind us of birthdays, special events, parties, dentist and doctors’ appointments, anniversaries, and even when you might be meeting someone for coffee. The newest use of these organizational devices, however, is for content—typically referred to as a ‘Content Calendar’. As stated by Convince and Convert, “a content calendar is a shareable resource that marketing teams can use to plan all content marketing activity.” An old-as-time invention to keep everyone on the same page and clued in with what’s going on: we approve. If you are part of any type of marketing team or have more than one person on a project, a content calendar is highly recommended.

You may think that planning a calendar day by day would be difficult—or perhaps even over-kill; that you don’t have enough going on hourly, daily, and weekly to need to write it all down in a calendar. But we’re here to tell you that that is almost certainly not true. Before you get down on yourself for potentially not having enough happening to fill a content calendar, ask yourself these 6 questions. We guarantee you’ll be filling slots in no time.

1. What events is my company/are my clients hosting? What are they involved in this month?

Ask around, double check with your boss or event coordinator and see if there are any events happening this month that you can post about. Fresh content AND a way to build excitement and awareness. Can’t lose.

2. What events are happening in my company’s/or my clients’ general area this month that we want to support or relate to our brand?

If you or your clients don’t specifically have an event you’re hosting for the month, check and see if anything else of interest is going on in your general area (i.e. music at the local park, trivia at a restaurant everyone loves, a charity fundraiser at a museum, etc.)

3. What events are companies or organizations in my company’s/clients’ field hosting this month?

If you still need more content, cast your net a little wider; see what events or webinars leaders in your industry might be hosting that you or your audience could get involved in.

4. What popular alternative holidays are happening this month that are relevant to my company or my clients’ brands?

There is a holiday for almost anyone and anything nowadays! Not only are there the big ones like Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, the 4th of July, etc. but there are also what is known as ‘alternative holidays’. These are the fun days like Carrot Cake Day, Manatee Appreciation Day, or Straw Hat Month. Trust us: there is at least one holiday out there that you can produce content around.

5. Are there any new products, technology, movies, books, etc. being released this month that I can tie back to my company or my clients?

Perhaps your company or certain clients have a new product, movie, or book coming out this month—then again, maybe not. If the latter is the case, look to industry leaders to see if there’s any new technology, research, or popular movies or books being released that might have already generated some buzz.

6. Is there anything season-specific happening this month?

What season is it currently? Is there anything special that happens only during this month? Maybe there’s a restaurant that you like nearby, and they offer a seasonal food you love—write it into the calendar! Want to tell people about a warm weather getaway you always make time for in June or July? Write it in. Get creative. 

Ask yourself these questions at the beginning of each month and you’ll have a solid start to your content calendar. Constantly considering new ideas will also help you generate fresh content to cycle in with some of your more frequent, staple content.

Now, to make your life even easier, here are a few resources that offer some good content/social media content calendar templates: HubSpotHootsuiteConvince & Convert, and Curata. Remember: a content calendar doesn’t mean auto-scheduling, which is available through sites such as HootsuiteSproutSocial or HubSpot. Sites like HubSpot even have a content calendar built in! The combination of having a calendar and using an auto-scheduling site will help you to stay on top of your content game while remaining timely. It cannot be overlooked how important timeliness is to social media success. Refer back to these tips, and good luck!

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TOPICS: Inbound Marketing, Sales

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