Start a Content Marketing Calendar

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November 19th, 2012

Would you look at that! We have a common friend named "Mr. Procrastination". Would you agree that he can be both a friend and enemy at the same time? Well, I'm sure if you are into content marketing, dealing with this old buddy can be pretty tough. While your subscribers are excited for your upcoming deals, blog posts, newsletters and updates, this ol' friend would creep up and get you down to the curb. So here's what you should do to ensure that you retain loyal clients and gain additional customers: Use a content marketing calendar. We all know that "Content is King" when it comes to building a website or a blog. Generating quality contents is basically the most essential process to keep consumers involved. The more your customers are engaged, the higher the chance for them to purchase and talk about your products or services. However, where can we find the time to juggle all these tasks? The trick here is to be organized. Create a content marketing calendar and you’d be surprised to see that potential clients will start flocking over your website. So, how do we go about this?
Decisions, decisions… First thing you need to do is plan what type of content you’re going to use to entice your clients. Will these contents revolve around blog posts, social media updates, videos, email marketing, or newsletters? Jot down everything you wish to use, including how often you'll send them. This allows you to have a clearer view of when and how often you wish to connect with your target markets.
Getting busy… Deciding on what type of content to include is the easy part. The most challenging bit would be coming up with the actual topics and contents, and this is where our little friend "Mr. P" usually comes in. To avoid this from happening, set up regular editorial brainstorming sessions. This could be with everyone in the team, or just with yourself. Do some researches, create ideas, build charts, draw some doodles, observe competitors, and cook up enough content ideas that can last you until the next session. Just be sure to write them all down on your content marketing calendar so you don't overlook these juicy ideas.
Start setting a goal. Now that your calendar is overflowing with ideas, it's time to set frequency goals. Let's say, you will update your Facebook page twice a day, send an email newsletter at most thrice a month, update your blogs at least once a week, etc. Once you have established and settled upon your contents and frequency target, it's time to rock and roll!
Use a tool to help you get organized. Some people use Google Calendars and Google Docs, while some simply use Microsoft Office applications such as Excel or Word. There are some companies that are using a more advanced project management tool to create to-do lists and assign them to the right people. Use whatever is easiest and most convenient for you, because after this lies another critical part.
Put them all together. Create a "master" content calendar which includes all your possible contents. Once everything has been outlined and presented, analyze. Ask yourself questions like: Are you sending too much / too little? Are the email newsletters coinciding with other contents? And most important of all: Can you possibly publish this much content? You can get your answers by evaluating your calendar systematically. In addition to that, keep in mind important key dates like holidays, events, and others which may greatly influence what content you may want to share.
Fake your deadlines (earlier, of course!). Once you have your content calendar all good to go, you might probably feel like you bit off more than you could chew. Seeing a lot of tasks at hand makes you want to quit before you even start. Now it's rare to find someone who will actually stick to deadlines (including yourself), so to make sure that you don’t get caught up in the middle, give yourself earlier deadlines. This will keep things in order.
Get people to work with you. Find people who can help you accomplish your content goals. You can hire experts or even freelancers who can assist you with writing your blog posts, or manage your social accounts, etc. Knowing that you have your own set of people to create contents for you justifies the importance of keeping a content calendar and sticking to it.
Yes, stick to it! You've set your goals; now make sure you stick to them. Creating contents may seem a very overwhelming task, but imagine all that sales, additional clients, and customer feedbacks you'll gain once they are posted. It's going to be a lot easier to keep your goals intact with the help of an organized content calendar. Stay strong, prepare for battle and don't let procrastination take your guard down.

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