How to master content planning

12-07-2022

Content planning is essential for any company that takes its content seriously. By using a content calendar and extensive checklists, you can ensure that you publish a continuous stream of interesting information online.

From social media and blog posts to podcasts and webinars, a great content calendar ensures you get maximum results from all the content you share online. Provided you clearly structure your output and plan your publications well.

Are you looking for inspiration for great content planning? Or do you need a clear content calendar template? You will find it all in this article.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar is an important part of content planning. It allows you to plan the conception, creation and publishing of all your digital content far in advance. 

The term “content calendar” is also often used to refer to a content plan, and it includes all of the checklists and other things necessary to achieve efficient content creation.

Content calendars come in many shapes and sizes. You can work with homemade spreadsheets, but there are also many third-party calendar and content tools available.

What can you use it for?

You may be familiar with content planning in relation to social media. Many companies already use it to schedule their Facebook and Instagram posts for the months ahead. 

But good content planning involves much more than this. It is an overview of all of the content that will be published in the near future. Not only the social media posts, but also all blog posts, updates, webinars and other digital messages.

A content planning is an overview of all of the content that will be published in the near future.

In addition to a summary of the upcoming content, a content plan also contains all of the information and steps needed to publish any kind of content. It is very useful to do this in the form of checklists. By using these, you will not overlook any steps. Moreover, it offers clarity to the whole team on who is doing what task at what time.

Why do you need a content schedule?

When you implement good, complete content planning with your team, you will enjoy many benefits.

Time saving

First of all, it will save you a lot of time. This is mainly due to the fact that you only do the planning step once instead of every week or month. You’ll no longer panic because you “have to” publish a blog post the day after tomorrow and don’t know what it should be about yet. With a good content plan, you’ll have already decided this weeks ago.

In fact, the text and image will already be finished. The only thing you’ll need to do is post it. You can even arrange automatic publication for a certain date and time. By doing so, you take yet another task off your plate, saving you more time. 

Teamwork

Are you working on content with several people? Then it is important that everyone knows what is expected of him or her. A content plan makes clear to the entire team what needs to be done and when. It also defines whose responsibility it is. Such clear communication works well and ensures fewer mistakes and noise.

Commitment

One of the most important conditions for effective content management is continuity. Especially if you want to stand out in the search engines with your written content and rank high for important keywords.

One of the most important conditions for effective content management is continuity.

It makes no sense to post a blog now and then, with months passing in between. To be successful online, a structured, consistent online presence with strong content is key. When you make a plan, you determine in advance what you are going to do. Furthermore, you are much more likely to actually stick to the plan when it is outlined and agreed ahead of time.

Structure

If you only think about what you’re going to write about every time you want to publish something, there might be little overall structure to the topics you cover. As a result, you also achieve less impact with the content you publish.

When you make a schedule, you automatically get a much better distribution of your topics and content.

When you make a schedule, you automatically get a much better distribution of your topics and content, which keeps readers interested and engaged. A review on Monday, a quote on Wednesday and a link on Saturday, for example. Or a blog post with a testimonial during the first week of the month, an expert in the second week, etc. Plan ahead and you’ll be much better positioned to structure your overall messaging.

This is also important for search engine optimisation (SEO). By structuring your posts, you can choose the exact keywords you want to focus on and identify which ones still need to be covered.

Testing

Planning is also essential if you want to research what content works best. A content calendar is a good tool for A/B testing. It gives you insights into what content and posting schedules work best and vice versa.

How do you set up a good content schedule?

Good content planning has a number of basic elements. These ensure that everyone on your team knows what the intention of the content is. As a consequence, you achieve optimal return on the time and resources you’ve invested. The elements to consider are:

  • What are you going to publish? A social media or blog post, a podcast, or a webinar? Always choose the content form that is most relevant for your target audience. It must fit your content and what you want to achieve with it. 
  • What is it about? What is the subject? Also consider the appropriate keywords to focus on to optimise your findability.
  • What target audience do you hope to reach with your content? If you want to target multiple audiences, it is especially important to be very clear about this. By doing so, you ensure that the entire team uses the right tone of voice and approach with every post.
  • When will the content be published? What date and time will the content be made available online?
  • Where will you publish your content? Choose the channels your target audience is most active on and familiar with.
  • Who does what? Create a clear division of tasks. Clearly define who writes the texts, who takes care of the visuals, who plans the publication, etc. Add a checklist for each piece of content that lists all of the necessary steps. This will help you to structure and effortlessly plan your content far in advance.

 

Inspiration for your content

You now have a clear document or handy tool to plan your content for the coming period. The next question is: what are you going to write about? Where will you get inspiration to captivate and inform your audience every day, week or month?

Where will you get inspiration to captivate and inform your audience every day, week or month?

For starters, it is a good idea to be aware of holidays and other special events in your industry. Even if you do not want to respond specifically to those days, it is smart to keep an eye on them so that you can plan around them. Find a hook-in calendar for a complete overview of all special (holiday) days.

Also think about creating “evergreen” content. That means timeless content, written with keywords for SEO, that can be published at any time of the year. Information about your product or service, testimonials and customer cases, for example, are always relevant and can be read online for years without any problems.

In addition, always keep the option open to respond to current events. Is an event taking place that affects your business? Create a post or article about it and move your planned content forward a little.

Download your content calendar template

Are you just getting started with your content planning? Then it is, of course, very useful to have a template that you can use as a starting point. That is why we have prepared a content calendar template for you.

In this template, you will find all the elements that we believe are essential for good content planning. And we are pretty familiar with creating and planning content!

Download your contentplanner template here.

Do you want us to help you even more? We are happy to! Allow our team of professional writers to take care of your texts. You’ll no longer have to worry about this part of your content planning. Contact us for more information or request your free trial assignment right away.

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