Content is king, but no king can rule without a strategy. Using a content calendar template will give you a bird’s eye view of what you’ve published and when, as well as who it was targeting and where. This kind of insight allows you to more effectively target your content and ultimately boost revenue for your company.
Planning a content calendar isn’t easy. That’s why I recommend you use a content calendar template to maximize organization and efficiency. You can also use project management tools and apps like Socialpublish to auto-publish content to a schedule.
All the templates and tools I’m sharing with you today have been tried and tested by thousands of successful businesses and marketing agencies. They’re the best, the most efficient, and they give you more oversight than most other content calendars.
It’s important to know why you need to use a content calendar and how it’ll benefit you. There’s more to content calendars than you realize and you can boost revenue by a significant amount when using them properly.
Schedule content around key events
Content calendars allow you to plan months in advance. You can strategize content to publish around a product launch, a holiday, or even a competitor’s launch. Properly planning this out keeps you from shooting in the dark and allows you to consistently publish relevant and beneficial content.
Keep your team organized
You’ll waste time and money if your team doesn’t know what they’re doing ahead of schedule. Hiring a freelance content writer is a great way to produce excellent blogs, but they’ll be even better at their job if they can see what they need to do weeks in advance. This allows them to properly research, create, edit, and publish content. It also ensures they know how to fit the content into their busy schedule.
Every company wants to produce compelling blogs, videos, and infographics, but not every company has the budget to do so consistently. Figure out what you can afford over the long term and work this into your content calendar so you know exactly how much money is needed for marketing.
Tips for managing an effective content calendar
You already know you need a solid content calendar, but do you know how to make the most of it once it’s up and running? Here are some tips to keep your content calendar relevant and efficient.
1) Use different calendars for blogs, emails, and social media
There are tons of types of content and as many channels to publish them on. I recommend you create separate content calendars for your social media campaigns, your email marketing, and your website’s blog.
- Keeping everything separate will prevent your content calendar from getting too complicated. You want things to be simple so everyone in your team – even the interns – can read and understand it quickly and easily.
2) Focus on evergreen content
You want to fill your calendar with evergreen content. What does this mean? Evergreen content will always be valuable so people will continue reading it months, even years after it’s published.
Examples of evergreen content include:
- How to guides
- Case studies
- Lessons learned
Google loves evergreen content and publishing it will do wonders for your site’s SEO performance in the long run.
3) Schedule and auto-publish content
Having to crawl through all your social media and other channels can take ages. Fortunately, there are tools to schedule and auto-publish content on all platforms in one place. I recommend you use Socialpublish if you’re planning content for your Shopify store. The tool allows you to easily manage your content scheduling and publishing.
4) Use a content calendar template
If you haven’t figured out already, I do recommend you use a content calendar template to keep organized and maximize efficiency while saving you time and money in the long run.
Why would you go to all the effort to create your own template when someone else has already made a proven success that has been used by thousands of businesses to boost revenue?
Best content calendar templates to boost revenue in 2020
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here are the best content calendar templates to use on Excel or Sheets to organize your marketing strategy. I’ve also included the best project management tools you can use to implement your content strategy.
Content calendar templates for Excel/Sheets
1) Content marketing overview calendar template
This is a template for a spreadsheet that gives you an overview of your content for marketing managers to use. It allows you to:
- See content plan for the year ahead
- Plan content around events and holidays
- Assign roles and assignees
- Track separate marketing campaigns
- Track goals and milestones
This is more of a birds-eye-view calendar that will be used by management to track the progress of content strategy implementation over the course of weeks, months, and years.
Managers can use this template to measure the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns, track performance, plan ahead for events, project launches, and holidays, and report confidently to their superiors when needed.
Every business should have a content marketing calendar to ensure that the team knows that they’re doing in advance and see that future marketing campaigns are effective.
2) Social media marketing calendar template
Social media plays a central role in the marketing strategy of most businesses these days. It’s important to have a separate content calendar to manage publishing posts on various social media channels. This helps to:
- Keep your content calendar organized and simple
- Break down your content strategy into bitesize chunks for relevant employees/teams
- Ensure that the right focus is given to different publishing channels
A social media marketing calendar template breaks down what content is posted on which platform by who and when. Having this information at hand helps your business to keep a tight schedule and ensures you’re social media channels are never left unattended.
3) Blogging calendar template
Your website’s blog is the heart of your brand’s content. A blogging calendar template helps you to brainstorm future articles, assign content to authors, list keywords, and schedule posting. You can also list each blog post’s call to action (CTA) and tags.
It’s important to treat your website’s blog as a separate channel from your social media marketing strategy. Your blog is what leads people deeper into your website and eventually to the checkout page. It’s also largely responsible for your website ranking on Google, so make sure you’re giving it the time it needs to flourish.
A proper blogging calendar helps you to:
- Publish consistently relevant and engaging content
- Delegate tasks more effectively
- Ensure appropriate keywords, CTAs, and tags are used in your content
4) Email marketing calendar template
Email marketing just never goes away. It can be extremely profitable if done correctly, for example, by sending a free eBook or short and valuable video content. Keeping your email marketing content relevant can be tricky and it’s definitely not something you should do blindly.
An email marketing calendar template is an effective way to boost revenue and provide value. This calendar spreadsheet allows you to:
- Create a long-term email marketing strategy
- Ensure your marketing emails are relevant and not SPAM
- Brainstorm new ideas for email content
Content calendar tools
Content calendar tools are a lifesaver when it comes to scheduling posts, getting an overview of your content strategy, and quickly looking back to see what’s already been published. You should have some spreadsheets to reference back to, but using a content calendar tool alongside Excel or Sheets is a great way to increase productivity and save time.
5) Socialpublish content calendar
Socialpublish allows you to schedule posts across all your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can choose which account to post on and at what time, and you have all your profiles listed down the side so you can change to them in a single click.
The Socialpublish content calendar feature gives you a neat overview of the month where you can see when posts are scheduled. You can also click on any day to schedule a new post and you can quickly select products from your Shopify catalog to include in posts.
Hootsuite allows you to manage your social media pages in one place. It’s used by employees at more than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies. You can create and schedule posts in advance, chat through various messenger apps in one place, and build a library of your brand’s content to reference back to later.
Hootsuite also lets you assign tasks to members of your team and so you can boost response rates and get customers to the right person for their questions. There’s a 30-day free trial, then you’ll have to select a plan.
Buffer is publishing, engagement, and analytics platform you can use to boost revenue and make your life easier. It might sound like a lot rolled into one software, but it’s easy to get your head around and can do wonders for your social media marketing campaigns.
What makes Buffer so useful is the in-built analytics tool. You can track the performance of all your social media posts in one brilliant layout. The tool lets you make nifty reports that are easy to read. Buffer goes a long way towards making your content marketing more understandable and efficient.
Socialsprout is another effective social media publishing calendar with built-in analytics. You can effortlessly schedule posts across a number of platforms and keep track of impressions and engagement.
Socialsprout also lets you manage your inbox from various pages in one place. Your response time will improve and you’ll save time – and money – by using it.
Using a content calendar is a sure-fire way to boost revenue and save time. Your content marketing strategy should be organized in advance – whether on social media, your blog, or email. Planning ahead allows you to stay in front of events and trends and having a backlog of your posts will help you to stay relevant and bring more value to your audience.