Alongside running a business, creating a consistent virtual storefront can be exhausting. The time and resources needed to develop successful content marketing can take up a big portion of your day. Fortunately, there is a solution! Creating a content calendar to implement your content strategy will benefit your approach to online marketing.
Nowadays, people are more likely than ever before to find your business through social media channels. Often, they’re experiencing your brand on social media before seeing your website. Think of your content marketing as a virtual storefront for your business.
What is a Content Calendar?
Your content includes images, videos, stories, and blogs, as well as any emails and ads that you may use. A content calendar organizes these into a calendar that tells you what to share and when. Finally, it shows you where you will share it for your business.
A typical content calendar will assess a two- to six-month overview of your content and develop a strategic implementation of the content to make your life easier. When it’s done right, a content calendar will become a central tool in your marketing tool kit.
Attracting customers is essential to successfully operating any local business. Whether you run a restaurant, pet shop, or novelty comic bookstore, a content calendar can revolutionize your content marketing. This will save you time, effort, money, and willpower.
It may feel like a content calendar is a lot of time and effort that you can’t invest at this moment. However, it actually makes content creation more straightforward while increasing the effectiveness of your outreach.
Okay, but what are the real benefits?
There are many benefits to local businesses creating and using content plans!
Square Up Your Marketing
Keeping track of your marketing strategy can be exhausting on top of your day-to-day. Emails, blogs, and social media posts must be cohesive to achieve positive results for your business. Squaring your marketing can help you:
A. Create content that is more consistent in quality and easier to produce.
B. More easily develop content that overlaps, saving you time on effective strategies.
Struggling to brainstorm ideas? Use SEMrush to spy on your competitors. The tool offers a wealth of other content-generating ideas. But, sometimes it's easiest to garner inspiration from other businesses in your niche.
Of course, don’t go and steal the content word for word. When you’re struggling with how you can engage the same audience, there’s nothing wrong with using the strategies that work for you!
Get Organized and Save Time
Set aside a couple days to plan your marketing content in bulk for the next 2-6 months. After you plan it out, make sure you’re following the same strategy. Make tweaks here & there when needed!
A content calendar gives you a better perspective on the overall strategy you have for your business. It also helps you implement it with an organized approach.
What can make this easier?
So, content creation is now out of the way! Now, use any automation tool to schedule when your social media should be posted and where it should be posted. Automation is a saving grace, but it can’t happen when you're trying to film a reel every day to post at the last minute.
A good content calendar that has every detail planned beforehand makes it so much easier to consistently post good content. This way, the thinking is already done for you! Having one less job to do on a daily basis is a massive plus in making a local business thrive.
There are a number of automation tools. Hootsuite is one of these useful marketing tools that can automate across several platforms. It comes with a built-in monitoring feature that enables you to monitor stats across platforms. Social Pilot, ContentStudio and BuzzSumo are other great tools to consider using to automate your content planner.
You could create the most engaging and wow-worthy social media posts and content. But, posting irregularly lacks the impact your online marketing needs to be effective. Content marketing is most impactful when there is reliable engagement from a local business’s audience. Irregular posts create an out-of-sight, out-of-mind feeling for your audience. This can make your content less effective, even if it is good. A schedule changes this.
Track the Data
While it may not always be the first priority, using a content calendar allows you to easily track your data. Content should continuously improve on itself. When you can see what interests your audience, you can easily make tweaks to your strategy. Information and numbers remove the guesswork from content marketing and social media while you see results in your business.
What should my content calendar include?
Here’s a general guideline for figuring out what works the best for your business.
Give your content a once over and audit everything. You can see your audience, what campaigns and posts are your best performers, and where there are gaps in your content strategy.
Your next step is to define goals from the information you gathered. Do you want to produce new leads? Direct readers to your website? Grow your follower count? Setting out with a goal to work towards will help you brainstorm better content more efficiently and quickly.
Next, you are going to create a template for your content calendar. Google Sheets is a free and straightforward tool to use. You’ll decide on blog posts, social media platforms, and other forms of engagement that work well for your local business.
Don’t like the idea of using Google Sheets? HubSpot offers a free downloadable template for excel that will make planning your content planner smooth and breezy. Trello is a content planning platform that offers a free option to help you content plan.
It will be easier to develop a content calendar for one to two months to work out any bugs and keep on improving. With the important dates penciled in, fill in the gaps with a mixture of content that creates consistency for your small business.
Try to schedule evergreen and prior content that is still relevant to your business. Unleash your creativity and invest some time into building your virtual storefront!
Facebook’s (now Meta) resources section has free and accessible resources that lay out all the aspects of planning and setting up a great content calendar in spectacular details. Go check it out!
So, now what?
Utilizing the content calendar strategies and resources in this article you will save time, money, and effort. This will be a game-changer for local business owners who are doing content marketing in-house.
What are you waiting for? Instead of just shooting from the hip each week on social media – It's time to implement a content calendar to ensure you’re reaching and engaging with as much of your audience as you can.
Now that you are developing your content calendar, we want to help you make some great content to schedule! Feature your business in a unique way by meeting with Jay Vics of JVI Mobile on the Meet the Experts podcast. Get your name out there!