By now, most businesses with a website understand that they need a social media marketing plan requiring a high-quality content strategy to support it. The problem is that creating and publishing high-quality content can be overwhelming and can consume too much precious time if you are not organised.
The best way to get organised is by creating a content calendar that helps you schedule content subjects across various aspects of your business, timed to best work for you. The key advantage of a content calendar is that a lot of the thinking has been done, either for you or by you before you are scheduled to sit down and create the new content.
This makes a huge difference as it’s so much easier to sit down to a topic that you can focus on, rather than randomly brainstorming ideas that can send you around in circles. Wasting time, or the fear of wasting time is the single biggest deterrent for creating quality content. A content calendar not only helps prevent this from happening but will ensure that you are taking a strategic approach to your content creation, across the whole of your business.
So, what exactly is a content calendar?
A social media content calendar is the action plan that serves to execute your social media marketing strategy. It’s created with your target market(s) in mind, their needs and desires foremost in mind to ensure that the content you create is relevant from both their perspective as well as the image you are attempting to build for your brand.
Your social media content calendar outlines your editorial strategy in a way that is simple and easy to read. At Baker Marketing, we use an Excel spreadsheet broken down by week and showing the suggested topic headline, the copywriter responsible (as we are fortunate to have more than one on board), the keywords to be optimised in the content and the social media channels to be used for promotion of the material.
5 Key Issues that can be addressed by a Social Media Calendar
1. Poor Performing Posts
Sometimes, despite the very best of efforts, content marketing objectives may not be met and people, particularly business owners or management, can start to question the value of social media marketing. If this occurs, then it’s time to use some diagnostics to see what’s working and what’s not.
Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking the performance of your content. Some important metrics to note include unique page views, number of clicks, length of stay on page and source of traffic.
With this information, you can make adjustments to your social media calendar, changing the type of posts you create, the timing of those posts and the social media platforms you use for promotion. This way, your target market is giving you guidance in terms of what content you create and how, when and where you deliver it. This will help guarantee success.
2. No Time for Research
Quite often, creating quality content requires doing some research. This is a good thing as it encourages self-development on behalf of the author but can, unfortunately, result in timing issues if not catered for.
This is where a properly prepared social media calendar can help where copywriters responsible for a particular post, can see well ahead of time, the subject matter of their post and determine the need for research.
3. Missing Important Dates
Depending on the nature of your business and industry, key dates can represent an opportunity or guide for content creation. Retail is an easy example where holidays, seasonality and major events feature prominently in promotional planning.
Important B2B dates can include birthdays, other important milestones and anniversaries. Irrespective of the type of key date, missing a date can represent a lost opportunity.
Lost opportunities can be prevented when a social media calendar is used as part of the promotional planning process to capture key dates and signal these well in advance.
If holidays, for example, represent a low time of year for your business, then this can be factored into your social media calendar, where perhaps, existing content can be repurposed.
4. Overwhelming your Content Writers
Content creation should be fun rather than a drag. When people enjoy their work, it shows in the quality of their output. This certainly applies to the creative process of content development.
Unless your business has dedicated copywriters, it is more than likely that those selected to contribute quality content have other responsibilities with associated workflows that vary, often unpredictably. Trying to write copy when busy with other priorities can be overwhelming.
The beauty of social media content plans is that they are not set in concrete. They have flexibility regarding swapping delivery dates and even topics between copywriters. This will lead to less stress and less stress is best when it comes to creating quality content.
5. Overloading one social media network and neglecting another
In this case, your social media marketing process seems to be working well internally. You have developed a comfortable routine involving planning, writing, publishing and promoting. But despite all of your research, insights and thoughtful execution of strategy, you are still not reaching your desired target audience.
This may be a case of where you are not promoting effectively enough in the right social media.
Use your content planning calendar to see the mix of social media being used to promote your content and then use Google Analytics to check the source, particularly taking note of the social media not supplying traffic.
It then may be a case of increasing your visibility on the non- performing social media channels, without neglecting the media that is currently providing.
Ultimately, social media marketing is all about testing and measuring, listening to what your desired audience is saying and making the appropriate adjustments. It takes time to be successful but the rewards can be significant. The use of a social media calendar can play a big role in helping you stay in the game for the long term and enjoying the results.
If you would like any help in preparing your social media calendar, please don’t hesitate to call the team at Baker Marketing on 83520391.
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