Cracking the Strategy Code: What is a Content Calendar? | Express Writers

Cracking the Strategy Code: What is a Content Calendar?

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Social Media

Whether you are a small business just getting started or have been dabbling in SEO for a while, one term you might have come across is “content strategy.” Still, the content calendar is the more important and often unspoken strategy you need to know. 

What is a content calendar, and what makes it the key to unlocking your best strategy results? Is it just adding blog titles to a calendar on Google and remembering to post them on time? 

Well, yes, but also no.

A content calendar is a key that unlocks that door to limitless possibilities for your content. From boosting social media interaction to improving your blog’s readability and call-to-action performance, you need to know how to build a content calendar that takes you to the top.

Top of your industry, niche, and most importantly, the SERPs.

Yes, a content calendar can help you get there – if you are creating the right type of content calendar.

Cracking The Strategy Code What Is A Content Calendar

How to Create a Content Calendar No No’s – Hint, You Don’t Add Titles to Google Calendar

While titles and a strategic plan for posting your content are part of the secret sauce that goes into a content calendar, it is far from the final ingredient.

A content calendar builds out a title, but also sprinkles in focus keywords, information to include, links to use, and photo ideas, and then picks strategic dates to post. Most importantly, a content calendar is not limited to blogs. More companies are using content calendars for social media too – after all, aren’t social media posts essential pieces of content? 

A content calendar can also help you plan out your website content. You don’t have to write it all at once, and you can strategically release web page content while you release blogs or corresponding social media posts to help bring it all together. 

According to one survey, 64% of successful companies have a content strategy with a content calendar. That’s a big piece of the pie that you’re missing out on if you are not also utilizing similar tools in your strategy.

What are the Benefits of a Content Calendar?

Content calendars make planning your content and writing content more manageable. You can improve team collaboration, boost productivity, and organize yourself for a more competitive edge. 

Calendars Help You Visualize the Strategy as a Whole

It does not matter how big your content creation team is, whether it is just you or you have a few members helping, it is easy to get lost in the creation process if you don’t know what a priority is and have an accurate bird’s eye view of your content coming up.

With a content calendar, you can plan out your blog posts, social media posts, and even YouTube community posts, all ahead of time – whether monthly or weekly, depending on the demands of your niche. 

For example, you run a YouTube channel with a blog. You typically post a single video per week, then a corresponding blog post with it to summarize for the audience. Producing a single YouTube video with a blog, then promoting both, requires a few steps. You not only need to write a script for your video, but line up editing (or secure time in your calendar to edit), create a thumbnail, prepare the description, write up the blog post, capture still images for your blog from the video recording, and publish social media posts to promote your latest video and blog release. Those are a lot of steps to get done, and nothing you want to rush. By knowing what content is coming up for the next week, you can work on outsourcing what you need while staying ahead of the calendar.

You Become More Predictable for Your Readers and Consistent in Quality

When organized, your content no longer appears scrambled or haphazardly put together. You are posting regularly, on schedule, which also gives your readers, followers, or viewers more predictability. If they know that you release a new podcast every Friday or a new blog upload on Mondays, they will wait for an alert to catch it. 

Saves You Time and Energy

When your content creation is moving along like a well-oiled machine, you save time and energy that you can spend elsewhere on your business. Think about it – if you are working a week ahead, having next week’s blog already in production and a team working on next month’s social media posts, you can focus your time on growth, look for new opportunities, and not worry about finding time to squeeze in your content creation.

Even if you are trying to do the creation yourself, you now have a plan laid out. You know when the final product is due, and what steps you need to complete to finish it, and you can plan ahead.

How to Create a Content Calendar 

A content calendar or editorial calendar is unique to each business or brand. However, there are some elements you can use to create a content calendar regardless of your niche.

  • Keyword Research – You should always center your ideas around keyword opportunities. Today, the SERPs are incredibly competitive, so you need to look for high-volume keywords, but low-competition and still worthwhile to use in your content to grab the attention of potential searchers. Doing keyword research around your niche will help you generate ideas for your content calendar.
  • Research What’s Trending – Following trends in your niche is critical. It doesn’t matter if you are a local dog groomer or big SaaS corporation, you need to know what is trending in your industry and follow along. Tools such as BuzzSumo can help you see what is trending in your niche. 
  • Come Up with Content Titles/Topics/Ideas – After creating a list of keyword opportunities for your business, now comes the time to generate your ideas. Whether it is creating a web page to fulfill a keyword opportunity, adding some blogs, or even creating videos that will rank in search results for a particular keyword. 
  • Consider Special Dates – Every company will have special occasions to post content as well, such as new product launches, company milestones, seasonality, and more. These should be added into your evergreen content. 
  • Add All of Your Content Components – Now that you have keywords and topic ideas, you need to create a list of assets that you need to finish each “content” item. For example, with a blog post, you will need the blog’s content and corresponding images. You might also want social media posts to help promote your latest blog. So, you will need to add into your calendar the blog title, images to include, and how many social media posts and which platforms they are for. Then, schedule everything out so that all assets are ready to go from you or wherever you outsource in time for your publishing date.
  • Come Up with a Schedule that Works – You need a realistic publishing schedule that you can stick with consistently. Many companies assume they can publish several times per week only to realize that it is hard to keep up as business picks up with it. 

Need Help Creating a Content Calendar? 

At Express Writers, we know that a content calendar is one of your more powerful strategy tools. That is why we have our editorial calendar service. With this strategy service, one of our in-house content strategists will research your niche, see what is trending, search for keyword opportunities, and help create a full calendar that outlines everything from blogs to web pages or even social media posts. 

You can order our editorial calendar on our Shop right now, or if you are interested in a custom one-month or 90-day social media content calendar and strategy, contact our team to learn more. We can give you an entire month’s or quarter’s worth of planned social media posts down to the minute you post and images to include.

At Express Writers, we embrace content calendars and use them for our blog, social media, and more. Having a plan has kept our team on point, everyone knows what part they play each month in delivering our content, and it frees up our team to focus on other tasks at hand – like delivering exceptional content to our clients!

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