If you’ve felt like it’s a daily struggle to keep on top of your content plan and calendar, let alone co-ordinate CMS uploads, SEO optimisation and promotion you’re not alone. One of the most popular questions delegates have on the Content Marketing course is how they can create and use content calendars to plan their content out over the long-term and create an effective workflow.
Our solution to this is a simple content calendar, preferably set up as a collaborative document like Google Sheets. I’ve used this calendar format with dozens of Jellyfish clients and find it takes the headache out of a lot of content marketing organisation!
How to use the content calendar
First of all, I like to map the number of pieces I’m going to be creating each month, along with the title and description. Then I’ll assign each one to a writer and set the status. Personally, I like to set up a drop-down menu for this - it’s straightforward to do using Google Sheets - so that there are only a few options which people can choose from.
My default options under status tend to be: not started, briefed, creation, proofing, approved, published, promotion and completed. But you can use whichever status options make sense for your business. For example, if you are in a heavily regulated industry, you may need to take into account a longer review and sign off process.
I add in which persona is being targeted so that the writer can adapt the content to that particular audience, along with any SEO keywords.
Once the piece is created, I add the meta title and description to the sheet along with appropriate social posts (you don’t need to do a post for every channel, just those that are relevant). I find this is particularly helpful when one person is creating the content, but then someone else is uploading it to the website and another person is responsible for managing your social presence, as everyone knows where all the information they need is.
Can I add something in or take something out?
Yes, absolutely! This is a template for you to make your own. Every organisation is different, so feel free to add or remove fields to suit your needs.
Can I combine this with other project management tools?
Yes - that’s what we do at Jellyfish, where we might also use a tool like Mavenlink or Trello to track topline project management.
While you're here, check out our Digital Marketing Toolkit and Social Media Toolkit for all our favourite online tools to help with your marketing efforts. Stay relevant with your content marketing; let the experts tell you everything you need to know on our Content Marketing course