When (and How Often) You Should Create Blog Content Calendars
Need help with creating your content calendars? Use this guide.
As content marketers, we’re often tasked with determining how and when to create content calendars. But, the right content calendar strategy for your business depends upon many factors.
Need help deciding when to get started with creating your content calendars? Questioning how often you should be building your content calendars? Use this guide to find clarity.
What Should a Content Calendar Accomplish?
Content calendars can help you keep a consistent writing and posting schedule. But beyond that, there are other benefits to creating content calendars. First, going through the process of creating a content calendar is a great way to start formulating your overarching content strategy.
Content calendars are considered best practice for bringing your content marketing strategy to life because they allow you to:
Define Content Strategy & Goals
Your content calendar should allow you to plainly see what every post aims to accomplish. Each topic in your content calendar should have a clearly-defined purpose, call to action, and goal — whether that be to welcome a new employee or highlight how your company provides quality furniture that fits the latest design trend.
See the Big Picture
Seeing your topics, goals, and strategy laid out can help you see the big picture of your content strategy. Condensing your ideas and topics into one organized space will help you better understand which topics you’re covering well and make it easier to identify any content gaps in the future.
A well-defined content calendar will help keep you organized and efficient. Having your topics preplanned with due dates and publish dates will help ensure that you’re not only posting relevant content on the regular but also quality content.
Track Your Ideas
Don’t rely upon sticky notes for capturing your best blog topics! In addition to providing an outline of your upcoming content topics, your content calendar should also have a space for jotting down future content ideas.
Capturing potential topics as they come naturally can save you time down the line — and ensure your brilliant shower thoughts don’t wash down the drain.
Now that you understand how to create a well-defined content marketing strategy framework, read on to figure out when (and how frequently) you should begin developing your content calendars.
When Should You Create Content Calendars?
Before you get started creating your content calendars, there’s a bit of work to be done. From gathering business goals and trends to completing research, here’s what you’ll need in your back pocket before you start.
Once Business Goals and Merchandising Trends Are Established
Consult with your team at large to see where business goals and merchandising trends lie in the months ahead. If your company is looking to sell more tires, for example, you’ll want to incorporate tire-related topics.
Business goals and merchandising trends are typically solidified at the top of the business quarter — making this an ideal time to gather intel.
After Completing Research
With business goals and merchandising trends in hand, it’s time to start researching. Dive deep into your previous content performance by analyzing your best (and worst) performing posts. Get to know your market by completing keyphrase research — tools such as SEM Rush and MOZ can help you get started.
Completing keyphrase research can help you grasp not only what your consumers are searching for but also how they’re searching for it. And, don’t forget to do some competitive research to see what topics significant players in your industry have recently addressed!
Ahead of a New Product or Service Launch
Is your company branching out and offering a new product or service? Now’s the time to get ahead of the curve and start creating content! Creating content around your new product or service can help establish your business in SERPs and build consumer trust.
How Often Should You Create Blog Content Calendars?
The short answer: it depends. You’ll want to have enough content planned out to feel confident that you have a good game plan for the quarter ahead, but you also need to leave room for flexibility. For that reason, you’ll need to devise a strategy that allows you plenty of breathing room to create content while remaining agile.
The right strategy for your business will depend upon a handful of factors, including:
Your Company’s or Industry’s Age
Have you just launched a new company or segment? Are you in an up-and-coming industry? If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider a shorter time frame for your content calendars. Until you have a solid grasp of who your consumers are and how your products fit their needs, you may need to test and modify your existing content to ensure it resonates.
Shorter time frames on content calendars — such as monthly content calendars — will allow for greater agility and adjustment.
Businesses in well-established companies or industries will have greater foresight into what the year ahead will bring. Therefore, you’re better positioned to create content calendars well in advance. In this case, quarterly or semi-annual calendars can help you get organized and prepared.
No matter your approach, don’t become “married” to your content calendars. Be willing to adapt and adjust as things change.
Trend, News Cycle, and Supply Chain Influence
As a content marketer, you must stay on top of how trends, world events, and supply chain disruptions can impact your business. While your products or services are likely set in stone for a quarter — or year — ahead, these influences may affect how you want to position your products or services.
World events, trends, and supply chains can influence how your consumers search and purchase. If any of the above directly impacts your industry, you may want to consider creating content calendars more frequently — perhaps monthly or quarterly. This way, you can ensure your content calendars are fresh and provide timely, relevant information as things change.
Your Ideal Posting Schedule
Finally, you’ll need to consider how often you want to post. For a social media content calendar, you may want to post multiple times a week — even daily. Posting at least weekly is considered the sweet spot for blogs or articles.
If you plan on churning out multiple posts per week, you’ll likely need or want to be a little more flexible in your posting. In this case, a weekly or monthly calendar is your best bet. For once-weekly posting, refer to the above topics to determine how often you should create your content calendars.
Need Help? Turn to GPO’s Tailor Content
Need help developing your content strategy? Turn to GPO’s Tailor Content. Let our team of experienced, qualified content writers handle your content strategy from inception to posting. We’ll work with you to learn and understand your business goals, marketing initiatives, brand, and voice. The result? Research-backed, search-optimized content that seamlessly fits your brand.