You ever feel like you're in a never-ending cycle of either not knowing what to post on social media or...surprised that you completely forgot about it this week?
With an editorial content calendar, you can chart your content weeks and months in advance and visually see your content strategy in action.
Maybe you're like most municipal governments, nonprofits, and small businesses and have no idea what type of content you need to post or which channel you should use.
Building a content calendar helps you and your team to display these content channels, categorize campaigns, and assign content to various team members.
It has the accidental effect of forcing you to look at content strategy.
The following video is an on-screen presentation on content marketing, goals of a content calendar, and various in-site examples of content calendars.
Here are the SlideShare slides from the video just above.
Before you start tossing in 30 curated articles from Feedly in your calendar...
It's easy to get in the habit of sharing other people's content and thinking you're doing something on social media. Your content needs to resonate with your audience and it needs to be authentic.
It's all about content marketing strategy.
- Define your goals. What's your overall marketing goal? When do you want to get to that goal? How many hours a week can you dedicate to the goal? How many staff members? What's your biggest marketing challenge so far?
- Nail down your audience. If you're an animal shelter with a dedicated Facebook legion of 30-55-year-old females, publishing content on Snapchat might not be the best content channel for you.
- What's worked in the past? Take a look at your Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc., for popular trends, times, and to see what types of content and content channels work best.
After all of that, then decide on the types of content going on your calendar. Here's a very thoughtful graphic from Usability.gov's article on content strategy:
There's no one-size-fits-all content calendar. But if you're a small local government, nonprofit, or business (or even a crazy solopreneur), crafting a strategy about your content marketing and deploying it using a content calendar is a helpful way to stay organized and save time.
If you're looking for the definitive list for content calendar templates, Mitchell Hall beat everyone to it: Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Templates: The Ultimate Guide. He did a great job of avoiding any of the paid options out there. If you are interested in that, though, just Google "content calendar" and solely look at the ads at the top.
Article & Video & Presentation Notes:
 Search Engine Land - "Content Marketing Works" - http://searchengineland.com/content-marketing-works-230337
 Content Marketing Institute - "Here’s Why Your Content Marketing Strategy is Totally Failing" by Neil Patel - http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/02/content-marketing-strategy-failing/
 Business Insider - "Omnichannel Strategy Bundle: Your guide to engaging with shoppers on multiple channels" - http://www.businessinsider.com/omnichannel-marketing-strategy-and-research-e-commerce-and-online-sales-2016-11
 Convince & Convert - "How to Build a Content Calendar (Plus a Free Template)" by Jamie Griffiths - http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/how-to-build-a-content-calendar-plus-a-free-template-for-2014/
 Hubspot - "The Social Media Content Calendar Template Every Marketer Needs [Free Template]" by Linsday Kolowich - https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33415/The-Social-Media-Publishing-Schedule-Every-Marketer-Needs-Template.aspx#sm.00019k4zo22f4dd1w7d12adpsu9j3
 CoSchedule - http://www.coschedule.com/
 Airtable - https://airtable.com
 Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing
 Usability.gov - "Content Strategy Basics" - https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/content-strategy.html