If you feel that your business’ content marketing strategy has a lack of structure, guidance, and organization, it’s time to refine your content calendar. This is especially important if you plan on expanding your business, widening your audience, and improving ROI.

It’s undeniable that content marketing is a valuable asset of any business. It’s how you organically attract customers and higher your search engine rankings for better conversions. Creating a content calendar allows for a strategy that actually works because it maps out how your business will grow as time moves forward.

A content calendar should be able to:

  • Organize all content, when it will be produced, published, shared, etc.
  • Keep content consistent and fresh.
  • Help you stay on track and complete work before the deadline.
  • Assign writing assignments and tasks to different team members.
  • Map out what the future of your business will look like due to its content.

A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that only 37 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy while 38 percent have a strategy but don’t document it. That leaves room for disorganization, miscommunication, and lost revenue. Businesses that don’t use a content calendar to plan their future have already set themselves behind.

Here are three tips for creating the ultimate content calendar for your business in 2019.

1. Set your goals

If you have no idea what goals you’re trying to achieve, it’s going to be difficult to know what to look for and how to move forward. You have to be able to visualize the results you want so you can build the roadmap to get there.

For example, if you know that your goal for 2019 is to build brand awareness and improve lead generation, you can create your entire content strategy around that objective. Brainstorm tactics to gain consumers’ interest, find out what problems they need solved, and how you can cater to what they’re looking for. Then create a calendar filled with various types of content based on the research about your customers.

It’s also important to use specified metrics to measure your success. When setting goals, try to be as specific as possible. Use analytics and tracking reports to determine the size of your customer base, the rate it’s growing at, the state of conversions, and more. Narrowing down a goal to particular number drives you to be more productive and get closer to what you want to achieve.

2. Plan topics through buyer personas

You can’t build and improve your business if you don’t know who your audience is or what they want. The best way to figure this out is to create buyer personas, which are ideal customers and details about them like demographics, location, and interests that will help you determine how to market to them for business growth and success.

It’s easier to do if you have an existing customer base already. You can send out a survey or questionnaire getting to know them, their shopping behaviors, why they’re interested in your brand, which stage of the funnel they’re at, and more. This will help you figure out how you can better serve future visitors for overall better customer experience.

Once you have buyer personas in place, you can map the buyer’s journey and focus on how to improve each stage of your sales funnel. Take your buyer personas through the buying process and determine how to solve their pain points, desires, and frustrations towards the beginning, middle, and end of a conversion. This should give you tons of ideas for future content so there are no gaps in your plan.

From there you’ll be able to brainstorm and create a content calendar full of helpful topics that resonate with your audience, encourage likes and shares through social media, and pushes them to make a purchase.

3. Schedule, publish, promote

Once you’ve come up with enough topics you know your audience will eat up, it’s time to decide how to schedule, publish, and promote all future content. Without an effective, organized content marketing strategy, you won’t know what’s being published, when, where, or how. You need to know all of these things if your content’s going to get promoted and shared by others.

Decide with channels you’ll be publishing through your blog, a blogging platform, social media, video platforms, etc. Think about how often you want content to go out and through which social media you want it to be shared and promoted. Determine who’s going to be responsible for which part of the content marketing process. Consider how you’ll promote your content so that it generates the engagement you want.

One of the easiest, most cost-effective means of creating a content calendar is through a simple spreadsheet. As your business expands and your team grows, you can decide to move it to a content management software for greater efficiency and organization.

You should meet with your team on a regular basis to review your content calendar and to ensure goals are being met, content is going out, and that it’s gaining positive traction and feedback. Any other results mean that your content strategy and calendar isn’t doing its job.

Your turn

There are so many ways to improve your content marketing strategy and a content calendar used to its full potential is the main one. A good content calendar has the ability to organize all content in one place, keep you on track and focused on your goals, and help you see the results you want. Now that you know what you need in order to create an effective content calendar for 2019, how will you create your own?