Congratulations! You’ve recognised the need for Digital Marketing in your business, created a few Digital Media accounts and started your Digital Marketing efforts with a stab at content publishing. The first couple of weeks went ok; you published content on most days. But now you’ve ground to a confused halt. You start each day wondering what content you should put out next. How do you keep up?
You can reduce your stress levels and free yourself from content publishing anxiety attacks by creating a publishing calendar. However, before you do that you should have already spent time working on your Plan, i.e., setting your Digital Marketing goals and KPIs, identifying who you’ll be communicating to (personas), and working out what you want to say to them (message categories).
The Best Approach
If you’re a ‘to-do list’ type of person, you may be tempted to make a list of everything you want to publish for the next couple of weeks. However, this quickly becomes overwhelming – a long list of anything can be daunting. A much more effective way is to create your “list” in calendar format:
- It helps you to visualise your publishing schedule, which gives you a useful picture of what you plan to do and when.
- It helps you plan ahead on how you will maintain a consistent Digital Media presence.
- It makes your task seem much more manageable; instead of a long list of things to get through, you see bite-sized chunks of content to publish.
- It helps keep you and your team accountable.
Done right, your publishing calendar tells you at a glance what you should be doing when, for whom and through which channel.
Take it Step by Step
Your first step is to set aside some time to think through and populate your publishing calendar for the next week or 2. This will be time well spent. Instead of being frazzled every day wondering what to post, you will have already invested a couple of hours formulating your plan of action.
Enter your content topics for the next 7 days in your calendar. This is the first point at which you will be thankful for the time that you already spent on your Digital Marketing Strategic Plan. This is because you already know what your audience wants to hear from you. Go back to the Messages Categories section of your plan and decide on content topics based on those categories. Also bear in mind relevant holidays and special events in your industry and your company.
Next, make a note of the persona or personas towards whom you’re targeting each piece of content. Again, refer to your Digital Marketing Strategic Plan to help you complete this part. It’s important to know your audience because this informs the type of content that you’ll use for each post. For example, you may use a video or text on image in content that’s geared towards 13 to 19 year old students, but use a blog post to present content that’s geared towards professionals.
Now it’s time to note the channels that you will use to distribute each piece of content. For example, you may use YouTube or Vimeo to post a video, as well as microblog on Facebook and Twitter with a link to the video. The important thing to note here is that you leverage all appropriate channels for each piece of content.
Also, remember to repurpose and re-use your content. The blog post you wrote may be a source of some text on image posts and other microblogging content. So from 1 piece of content, you can generate 2 or 3 more.
Finally, make a note of who will be responsible for publishing each piece of content so that there is some element of accountability in your publishing calendar. If you’re an editorial team of 1, then you can skip this step, since you’ll be responsible for publishing all content.
Where Can You Get a Content Publishing Calendar?
We’re in the digital age, so it’s not necessary to run out and buy a desk sized calendar to write all this stuff in. You can use a Microsoft Word or Excel calendar template or download our Digital Marketing Publishing Calendar Template. Alternatively, a calendar such as the one in Branditise.com is very easy to use when entering your publishing content. It also keeps you on track by sending you email posting reminders.
In the end, ensure that your calendar has all of the relevant information that will make your publishing life manageable.
Are you already using a digital marketing publishing calendar? What works best for you? How do you minimise publishing stress? Please share your thoughts with us by commenting below.