As a business owner, you’ve probably learned about the importance of social media, blogs, and video for promoting your company, building a follower base, and connecting with customers. All of those things are great, but can also be time-consuming and the details can be difficult to keep track of. That’s where a content calendar comes in.

Why is a Content Calendar Important?

With social media, blogs, and videos making up most of a digital marketing plan, it’s important to be organized in your efforts. Content calendars allow everyone involved in your business to be on the same page and easily see the plan that’s laid out. It also allows for developing a strategic plan for your posts, rather than haphazardly posting when the mood strikes. Without a content calendar, it’s easy to put content creation on the backburner. Don’t fall into a routine of ignoring this important tool.

With the following 3 steps, you can plan and post engaging content regularly.

  1. Decide How Often You’ll Be Posting

How often should you be posting to each social media site? The answer, like most things when it comes to running a business, can be complicated. Constant Contact created a helpful infographic with some general guidelines about posting. Keep in mind that your own strategy will be unique to your business.

When you have an idea of how often you want to post to each channel, on which days you’ll post, and at what time, you can start filling in your calendar. Start by listing each of the channels you’ll be publishing on. Include social media, a YouTube account if you’re including video, and your company blog for long form content. In the example below from Hootsuite, the calendar is broken down by day, so you can easily see the details of what is being published and when.

content calendar

  1. Create Amazing Content

You might decide that putting up one post on each of your social media accounts is your goal, but you can’t reach that goal without the quality content to make it happen. Use your content calendar to get the creative juices flowing to come up with innovative post ideas. These posts should work together across all of your channels to promote your company, build your brand, and keep your followers interested.

Creating content isn’t as simple as jotting down your thoughts and hitting the publish button. On your blog, you’ll want to consider keywords, linking, and adding tags. On social media, you should be thinking about images, links, and effectively using hashtags to increase engagement. For many companies, the solution for needing a continuous stream of quality content to reach your customers is to outsource the job.

There are several reasons that you’ll want to set up your calendar months in advance and use tools to automatically post for you. First, it’s an opportunity to see your long-term content plan laid out in detail. This will allow everyone involved to see the overall goals for the upcoming weeks and months. Planning ahead will also give you flexibility. If a last minute event or promotion comes up, you’ll be able to easily see how posts about it can fit into your schedule. Finally, a set schedule can greatly reduce any stress you might be feeling about keeping up with your posts.

When you’re setting your content calendar up in advance, make sure to check in regularly to make sure everything is going according to plan, especially if you’re using a service to automatically post for you. Fill in any gaps, add new stories when there’s major news in your industry, and change things up if something isn’t working. Just because it’s on the calendar doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it!

Create your content calendar and start making content work for your business.

Read more: