A brand new year! Nothing quite like it to get those existential worries swirling around in the brain like a hamster relentlessly running towards nothing in a wheel.
Just kidding. Sort of.
But if you’re feeling a little on the ‘oh dear god, what’s my plan for this year’ side at the moment – that’s ok!
By creating an actionable plan, you can turn those thoughts that keep you up at night into * m o t i v a t i o n * and * p r o d u c t i v i t y *.
Maybe you already have a content strategy – but have you developed a personalized content calendar for your digital agency yet?
Creating a well-thought-out content calendar for the months ahead is a great way to keep you on track with your content management – and take the anxiety out of the whole process.
What is a content or social media calendar?
Do you know what they all probably need in their lives?
Yep – you guessed it! A personalized content calendar!
So, what exactly is a content calendar?
Is it a calendar with photos of dog memes instead of scenic landscapes?
No, but I already know what I’m asking Santa for next Christmas!
In the digital world, we all know that content is Queen Bee – and online audiences are hungry for more, more, more delicious content every day! (Don’t eat bees, though.)
A content calendar or social media calendar helps you keep on top of content planning and content production by mapping out what you’ll post and scheduling when you'll post it over a specific period.
Side note: It doesn’t need to be January for you to justify creating a content calendar, by the way. You can make one at any point in the year to keep you moving forward and on track with all elements of content marketing!
Depending on your needs, content calendars can come in different forms. You can simply create one in your Google calendar or dig out a social media content calendar template that works for your agency.
What matters most is that you give your calendar careful thought and consideration to maximize its impact and start seeing results.
How can a content calendar benefit your digital agency?
Whether you have a content management and social media team behind you or you’re a solo operation, a content and social media calendar can take the sting out of the seemingly never-ending content creation process.
A personalized content calendar provides a visual overview of your content plan, making it easier for you to:
- Consistently publish high-quality content
- Thoughtfully showcase your expertise
- Attract and engage your target audience
- Post relevant content that’s of real value to your clients
- Grow your online customer base and reach your goals
Think of all the time and resources you spend frantically trying to figure out what content to publish each week. With a calendar all planned out, you’re free to do what you do best and provide excellent service to your clients.
How to create a content calendar that helps you reach your growth goals for your digital agency
Now it’s time to explore the necessary steps in creating a personalized content calendar that actually delivers.
Let’s dive in!
1. Define your goals
Before you start excitedly putting things into your content calendar like a teenager writing in their diary, you must first define your objectives.
What are your goals, and how can your content help you achieve them?
Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or engage with your audience on social media?
Understanding these goals will shape the type and frequency of content you produce, shaping the foundation of your calendar.
2. Understand your audience
Tailoring your content to your audience is key to the success of your content efforts.
Consider what kind of content they like to consume – whether a long-form blog post, social media post, marketing email, or visual content.
When creating the content, remember to bear their pain points in mind and use a tone of voice that resonates with them and reflects your unique brand identity.
If you're active across multiple social media accounts, it’s important to note that your audience might change slightly depending on the social media platform you're posting on, too.
3. Create content categories and themes
Organizing your content into different categories and creating themes to follow helps you maintain a cohesive brand image and lets people know that you’re a real pro.
For example, you might focus on industry news at the start of the week, then offer expert insights, and round the week off with something personal and light-hearted to keep folks entertained.
It also ensures you’re spicing up what you publish online so your audience won’t get bored seeing the same thing over and over – which is always a plus!
4. Consider frequency and timing
I don’t need to tell you twice that the digital agency world is a highly competitive space.
So, you better work if you want to maintain that competitive edge, honey!
In all seriousness, think about how regularly you need to publish content – daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?
It all depends on your resources, audience expectations, and what kind of content you’re posting.
Your social media posting schedule might be more frequent than your blogging schedule, so having everything mapped out in your social media content calendar will help ensure you’ve got all your content ready for your publish date.
5. Mix up content types with blogs and social media posts
Focusing on your social media presence is super important, but you shouldn't forget the other forms of content your audience might want to consume.
Each type of content serves a different purpose. Keep your audience engaged by posting blog posts, social posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, or any other content ideas that tickle your fancy.
Your content calendar will help you stay on top of your social media campaigns as well as your other digital marketing efforts, so you don’t need to panic at 3 a.m. when you realize you’ve neglected your blog for the past several weeks.
6. Utilize tools and platforms
Using a project management tool or social media management tool can help streamline the logistics of your content planning process.
If you’re looking for a simple collaborative space to brainstorm content ideas, then Google Sheets is always easy for you, your team, and your clients.
7. Review and adapt for different social media channels
The Achilles' heel of any content calendar is making your plans fixed and super rigid.
Always be ready to adapt and change with the times to ensure you’re providing the most value to your clients while keeping your agency relevant.
Regularly review your content’s performance metrics, analyzing what worked well and what didn't so you (or your marketing team) can act accordingly.
Feeling inspired to create your own content calendar?
Join the community over at The Admin Bar Facebook Group to connect with other like-minded agency owners and freelancers!