Create a Content Calendar (with Free Template)

Caitlin McElwain

Although as many as 94% of small businesses use some form of online content marketing, those who are most successful are the ones who have adopted specific content marketing strategies. Unfortunately, many businesses simply post content without having a clear plan.

An effective way to start building a content strategy is with a content calendar to help you stay organized. A content calendar helps you plan out your content in advance for the year.

Here are some steps to take to help you create one:

1. Look at your sales cycle

The first step is to understand the sales trends in your business. When is your business the most or least busy throughout the year? Look through your sales receipts and invoices to ensure that your assumptions are correct. Make a list of popular dates or weeks.

2. Brainstorm topics and align them to hot dates or seasons

Once you’ve determined key dates, start determining the right topics for different periods in your sales cycle. Are there different types of seasonal or product information that makes more sense at different times of the year?

If you’re a landscaper or a pool installer, winter is a good time to send out more educational content to help people make informed decisions when spring arrives.

It also important to write content with your target audience in mind and for each stage in their buyer’s journey.

3. Think about format and structure

After you’ve brainstormed content topics, it’s time to think about format and structure. Should you write a blog post? Create a downloadable eBook? Share a photo or video? Also, how are you going to share? Does this go on your website? On social media? Should you promote it in an ad? Or send an email to customers?

To help you, below is a template to plan out your content:

4. Organize your ideas your content calendar

Now that you have come up with topics and content that aligned to a specific date, organize your information in a content calendar. Also include the type of media that you would be using and where you will be publishing it. 

What’s next?

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