The Pros and Cons of a Content Calendar

You have probably heard of a content calendar, but if not, let’s run through it. A content calendar is just what it sounds like, a calendar of your content. You use it to set up the kinds of social media posts, blogs, promotions, announcements you want to be sharing and sending out each day. It’s a great way to keep yourself organized and lay out what is ahead for the month. It will also keep you from repeating yourself. Having your blog posts set out ahead of time and written in a spreadsheet will help you keep track of what you’ve written about in the past.

pen-calendar-to-do-checklist

Well, that sounds like a good idea, what is the downside? There are some people in the marketing world who frown upon content calendars. If you are someone who believes in real-time interaction, maybe a calendar isn’t what you need. There are some businesses who do well by seeing what their customers or fans are talking about (usually on Twitter) and jumping in the conversation. There are some businesses that queue up their Facebook posts for a month, then set it and forget it until next month. In order to counteract this and be present, it’s a good idea to jump on social media accounts for 10 minutes a day and just check in for comments, messages, and @ replies and get into the conversation. If it keeps you organized, I don’t see many negatives in having a content calendar.

I use a content calendar when creating social media posts. It helps me spread out different post themes so I’m not doing a whole week of social media themed posts, and instead I spread it throughout the month. My posts are all set up and publish on their own, then each morning I head into my accounts and check to see if there are any conversations to join.

What should I use my content calendar for?
Anything! Well pretty much anything.
– Blog posts
– Email newsletters
– Announcements
– Holidays (read my blog on holidays)
– Sales/ Promotions
– Events
– Social media posts

The list will vary depending on your social media goals and your business type, but these are just some common examples. Your content will also change depending on the platform. When writing posts for social media, you will likely be posting daily. For Twitter, it may be most sporadic and could be up to 3-5 times a day.

It’s a good idea to have a larger overall monthly calendar to put all of your marketing needs: blog posts once a week, social media posts daily, announcements twice a week, etc. Then you will create a spreadsheet for each category on the calendar. So now you will have a spreadsheet for Facebook posts, and one for blog topics, and another for upcoming events.

In each spreadsheet you should have the following:
– Date
– Time
– Content (text)
– Image source
– Link

Now start planning out your upcoming content! You will wonder why you never had a content calendar before.

Hootsuite has a free template to get you started, as does Hubspot.

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About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C. www.markit-group.com.
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