In our digitally-driven age, it’s important that brands cultivate a positive user experience online so that people will want to engage with them.
But, this often isn’t as easy as marketers like to think. “Set the intern up with an Instagram account and let them run wild!” appears to be a social media strategy employed by too many businesses these days.
How often will you post? What content will you share, when? Who will oversee execution of the social media channels?
All of these questions can be answered with a simple solution: through the creation of a digital content calendar.
What is a digital content calendar?
A digital content calendar is a tool used to plan topics, organise themes and explore ideas for content for all digital channels, in order to:
- Plan around key events and important dates
- Identify any gaps that may exist in the overall content strategy
- Make sure all digital content is ready with plenty of time to publish
- Provide a place to generate and record ideas
- Help staff visualise upcoming content in a way that’s easy to understand
A digital content calendar usually spans 30-90 days but can be used on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. In general, the further ahead you plan your digital content, the better positioned you are to produce a consistent flow of content.
Examples of the type of content you may want to include: blog posts, news releases and social media messaging on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, TikTok etc.
Three steps to building a digital content calendar:
Use a template
There are lots of free templates for digital content calendars that you can download online, but ultimately it’s best to customise the tool to suit your business needs. A good place to start is to work off a vertical calendar, with specific dates descending down the left side. Then add columns for each relevant digital platform—Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.—horizontally, so that at a glance you can see how different content will be expressed across all your social media platforms.
Take stock of content assets
It’s important to think strategically about topics, themes and content ideas while planning out your digital content calendar. Find out what theme days or holidays are coming up and incorporate them into your messaging, if (and when) appropriate. Think long-term about your goals for a specific campaigns and build in ways to engage with your audiences at multiple points throughout the time period to increase engagement.
Schedule, publish and promote content
Even great content can get lost in the digital landscape if it’s not executed at the right time. Feel free to share the same content across multiple platforms, but be sure to adapt the content to best suit each target audience. And remember, audiences use platforms differently: peak time on Twitter is usually between 10:00am-11:00am, whereas Facebook sees most of its traffic in the evenings.
Tip: Just because you have content scheduled in advance, doesn’t mean you can’t be mindful of current topics and trends. The digital landscape is always changing, and it’s important that you listen, adapt, and tweak content when necessary.