Finish 2016 Strong with a Content Calendar
The Sprocket Report
Yes, it’s still summertime, but after Labor Day folks shake off their vacation mindset and reapply themselves at the office. They get busy and before they know it, 2016 is over. Take some time now to plan the rest of the year’s content for your blog and social media.
A content calendar is a great tool for visualizing and keeping track of the content you want to share over the next few months. There are many kinds – just google “content calendar”—so you’re bound to find one that works for you. The key is to keep it simple so that you’ll actually use it. Here's a simple example:
When creating a content calendar, we like to use a modified version of Stephen Covey’s rocks/pebbles/sand story. http://www.appleseeds.org/big-rocks_covey.htm What are the Big Rocks - the most important things your business is doing that need to be on the calendar? Put those in first. The Pebbles go in next and easily fit around the big rocks. Last, you fill in the gaps with the Sand.
If you’re scratching your head over this, let us explain further:
Let’s say your business provides a service. There are four months left in 2016 so that’s the calendar, broken into weeks. You can see our example below. Next we fill in some of the blank space:
- Pick a monthly theme to inspire your content-writing. Example: September’s theme could be “Back to school, back to work.” Write your blog, newsletter and social media content with that slant in mind.
- Note any newsworthy things that you will be doing, particularly the Big Rock items. Example: The Big Rock this month is filming a short promotional video of your services. In addition, you are sending the regular monthly newsletter and attending a networking event.
- Plan the marketing for each each event to anticipate, announce and follow-up. Example: You say you’re looking forward to the networking event, you check in while at the event and you post a photo the next day thanking the host.
Keeping this plan as simple as possible and with just one newsworthy event per week, you can easily write twelve personalized social media posts every month. Repost a few articles from influencers you follow on the other days and you have a full month’s content completed.
Of course you can add more than one item to each box in your calendar. For instance, a really Big Rock might be the seminar you’re giving in November. You’ll want to start talking about that in September in addition to September’s regular news.
Taking just a short time now to plan ahead will make it so much easier for you to keep up with your blog and social media schedule. It’s easy to put off posting because you don’t have time to brainstorm what to write. A content calendar tells you exactly what to write on any given day. You can even pre-write posts because you’ll already know what’s needed.
If after all you decide you’d rather give someone else the job of post writing, a content calendar is still an important tool. We use them ourselves to make sure we note our clients’ Big Rocks for maximum promotion time. Ready to delegate content writing? Just give us a call. We’re always happy to help!