The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Calendar (Plus FREE Template)
If creating a content calendar was one of your 2021 goals, but you’re off to a late start, don’t panic! It’s not too late, and you’ll thank yourself in December for the time you spend planning now.
1. Begin with the end in mind.
Each piece of content you create should serve a business goal, so begin your content planning by creating a goal list to help you develop topics.
2. Map your content to the buyer’s journey.
Once you’ve identified your goals, assign content to each stage of the buyer’s journey associated with each goal. These pieces could be blog posts, white papers, webinars and/or events. The range of possibilities is as wide as your imagination.
TIP: Because most consumers conduct their buyer’s journey online with search engines, the more you can optimize your content for discoverability online, the greater return you will get on your content investment and the broader your reach will be.
3. Save the dates.
Once you’ve determined the content pieces you need to advance your organization’s goals, it’s time to set a posting or delivery date for each.
Anchor pieces such as webinars, white papers and e-books will take the most time to create. Aim to publish/produce these meaty, high-value pieces once per quarter. Blogging should be a more frequent practice, no less than once a month, but ideally once a week.
4. Create a distribution engine.
While you will be optimizing your content for organic discoverability, you’ll also want to take delivery into your own hands wherever possible. Utilize contact information you already own to share your content with your network and current customers and prospects.
5. Start creating your content calendar.
Once you have your calendar set, it’s time to start creating. Your calendar will always be a bit fluid. You’ll want to stay flexible, so you can respond to time-sensitive topics and organizational priorities. Get creative with your content, and challenge yourself to try to new formats.