If you’re looking for one of the most effective and cost-efficient forms of marketing, you’ll want to look at content marketing. Content marketing generates a significant amount of leads and is popular among consumers.

Investing in a content marketing strategy is also becoming the new norm. 56% of businesses plan on spending more on content creation. Creating a content marketing strategy ensures you keep up with the competition and entice customers.
But you shouldn’t create content without a strategy. You’ll specifically want to create a content marketing calendar to plan out your content and set publication dates.

What is an editorial calendar in marketing? This is when you plan out what content you’re posting and when you aim to post it. Here’s how to create a content calendar.

What Should Your Content Marketing Calendar Look Like?

Should you purchase a normal calendar and pencil in your ideas? Or do content calendars require more details? The layout of your content marketing calendar is key to a well-organized content strategy.

Fortunately, a small business owner can use free or cheap platforms such as an Excel document or a Google Sheet to type in different content details and collaborate with others. If you collaborate with various team members, you’ll also want to find the best content calendar platform to share and edit with others.

How should you organize your content calendar?

This depends on what details you’re including. While many prefer the traditional calendar format (days of the week at the top), other businesses prefer separating their columns by an outlet (blog, social media, etc.) with days of the week at the side.

The second option is convenient for businesses that post content across multiple platforms. In addition, not all businesses post content every single day. This format optimizes the platforms you’re posting on while including what days you’re posting.

If you only publish content occasionally, you can even create a content calendar weekly, bi-monthly, or even quarterly.
Now that you decided on a content calendar format, it’s time to fill in the blanks.

Jot down the types of content you’re posting on specific platforms and on what days/times. If you’re cross-posting content on multiple platforms, such as a video you’re uploading to YouTube and Facebook, mention this in your content calendar.

You’ll also want to add notes for specialty content. For example, if you post #ThrowbackThursday or #Caturday posts on Instagram every week, make a note of this in your content calendar.

Mention any different types of content you’re uploading, such as written content, videos, social media posts, memes, infographics, and more.
No matter what format you prefer, your content calendar should be easy to follow and encourage you to post content consistently.

How Far in Advance Should You Plan Your Content?

Now that you know the basics of creating a content calendar, how far in advance should you plan out your content? In short, the longer you plan ahead, the better. But a lot of last-minute details may go into your content planning, including new trends and current events.

Aim to create your content calendar a month in advance. If you don’t post content every month, create a content calendar every other month or even at the beginning of the quarter.

Your job doesn’t end here. You’ll also have to regularly review your content and make sure the type of content and publication dates are correct.

Track Analytics

After the content is published, you’ll want to track your website metrics to know what content is successful.
Take what day and time to post your content as the perfect example.

One of the most critical topics in content and digital marketing is selecting the best time and day to publish your content. While you can base this factor on the days and times that other brands are posting, it’s best to post when you receive the best results.

That’s why tracking analytics is an integral part of your content marketing calendar. You can run A/B tests, comparing the performance of your content when you publish it at different times and days.

Fortunately, tracking analytics is easier than you think. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch let you look at post analytics. If you blog on a WordPress website, you can download different plugins they show you your website and post traffic, as well as other metrics.

You can also use Google Analytics to analyze your website traffic.

Keep in mind; post traffic changes don’t always have to do with the day and time you’re posting your content. You’ll also want to look at the type of content you’re posting, any content themes and topics, and more.

Because content success depends on a variety of factors, you may not always know why one piece of content does well. But it’s important to find qualities that separate that piece of content from other types of content.

What if you can’t figure out why one piece of content works better than others?

Recycle that content! Update that piece every year, extend it to an eBook or webinar, or use it in your guest posting strategy.

While analyzing the best-performing content is essential, you’ll also want to analyze the ones that perform poorly. This helps you identify what your audience wants to see and what you should scrap.

Other Factors to Analyze

Your metrics aren’t the only factor you should consider when publishing content. You should also keep this audience information in mind:

1. Demographics

2. Values

3. Pain points

Identifying these factors will help you create custom content for your audience. Knowing your audience demographics will help you know what type of content best attracts your core customers.

You can also entice customers by tapping into their values (they prefer ordering products online rather than in-store). If they struggle with the same problems (slow shipping times, not enough energy, etc.), then address their problems and address a solution.

Create a Content Marketing Calendar Today

Content marketing is essential for all businesses. To organize your content, every marketer should create a content marketing calendar to organize content ideas, platforms where content is posted, and the days and times they’re posted.
Social media marketing is an essential content marketing strategy. Click here if you need help with your social media marketing efforts.