insights | 29.11.2023

The benefits of a content calendar and how to create one

Article topics
  1. What is a content calendar?
  2. What are the advantages of having a content calendar?
  3. What can you use a content calendar for?
  4. How to create a content calendar
  5. Keeping your content calendar organised: hints and tips

It can be hard to stay organised when planning the marketing strategy for your eCommerce store. There are multiple channels to manage, and you must ensure your branding and tone of voice stay consistent each time.

An easy way to keep on top of your content is through the use of a content calendar. In this article, we’ll introduce the benefits of a content calendar and how you can use one to keep your marketing efforts on track.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar is a planning tool that helps you identify what type of content you’ll publish, where you’ll publish it, and when you’ll publish it.

It’s a great way to plan your content in advance and always ensure you have plenty of blogs, social media messages, and other content to keep your customers entertained.

What are the advantages of having a content calendar?

A content calendar has many benefits for your business, including:

It helps you stay organised

60% of marketers don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. This can lead your team to create content on an ad-hoc basis, which can lead to inconsistencies, duplicated content, and missed marketing opportunities.

A content calendar makes it easy to keep your marketing on track, produce high-quality content and ensure everyone knows what they need to do.

You can use your content calendar to ensure that all your content sticks to a specific theme. For example, you might want to start creating content to promote your Black Friday deals as early as August.

It helps you stay consistent

Consistency is vital in content marketing. You want to make sure all your content shares the same voice and tone, especially if you have different people collaborating on it. This boosts brand awareness and increases trust amongst your customers.

According to Marq, brand consistency can contribute from 10% to over 20% of business revenue growth, so it’s worth getting right!

A content calendar provides a way to review and approve content before it’s published, ensuring everything that goes out aligns with your tone of voice.

If you work with an agency or freelancer, you can share your content calendar with them too. This ensures they know what content to create to drive the right results.

It ensures regular content

When creating content, it’s crucial to think about not just consistency, but cadence. Cadence is the frequency of how often content is published – not just how many times a month, but what day and time.

When your customers know when to expect new content, they’re more likely to hunt it out.

A content calendar ensures that your team create content with a deadline in mind and that everyone knows what they are accountable for.

You can also use your content calendar to monitor metrics to see if your chosen cadence works. We’ll talk about what metrics to measure later in this article.

It ensures everyone knows what they need to do

A lot of work goes into creating a piece of content, for example, a blog post. You need to:

  • Identify a blog post theme
  • Come up with a title
  • Carry out keyword research
  • Write the content
  • Source statistics and quotes
  • Create and source graphics, photos, and videos
  • Proof, edit, and fact-check the copy
  • Publish it on your website

It may be that different people in your team are responsible for different tasks. For example, your sales team may need to provide data for the article while an external graphic designer puts together the images.

A content calendar makes it easy to break a large task into smaller chunks and assign each to a different person. That way, everything can come together smoothly before the final deadline.

It ensures your content provides value

All the content you create must provide value to your target audience. Sticking to a content calendar means you can plan ahead, mapping out content topics and understanding what type of content your customers enjoy the most.

This means you’re more likely to create, as well as promote, content that resonates with the wants and needs of shoppers.

What can you use a content calendar for?

You can use a content calendar to manage all the content your business puts out, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media messages
  • Social media advertisements
  • Email marketing
  • Videos
  • Infographics and interactive content
  • PDFs, eBooks, and whitepapers
  • Guest posts for other businesses

The bonus of a content calendar is that you can see how all your different marketing channels work together. This ensures you stay consistent and that there’s an overarching theme running throughout all your content.

How to create a content calendar

You can create a simple content calendar in a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Docs. Here’s an example of how it might look for an eCommerce store specialising in women’s clothing:

You can add additional fields if needed, for example, a column for keywords to include for search engine optimisation purposes.

However, we recommend keeping the number of fields as concise as possible to make the spreadsheet easy to access and update, especially on mobile. You don’t want team members to accidentally miss important information!

You can also use project management tools like Trello, Monday, or Asana. The benefit of tools like this is that team members can collaborate, set deadlines for tasks, and receive emails when you assign work to them.

We recommend putting your content calendar in the cloud rather than hosting it on an internal server. This means your team can access it from anywhere.

Keeping your content calendar organised: hints and tips

We’ve looked at the advantages of creating a content calendar and how to set one up on your platform of choice, but what else can you do to make the most out of your calendar?

Here’s what we recommend.

Evolve and grow your content calendar as you go

Your content calendar shouldn’t be static. It should grow as your content marketing strategy and needs as a business do.

Regularly check in with your content marketing team to see what they think of your calendar. What do they like and dislike, and what would they do differently?

Here’s an example of how you might adapt your content calendar to fit your changing needs. You might find you have lots of great blog ideas that don’t fit in with your overarching themes. You can create a ‘future ideas’ section of your content calendar that you can add potential article ideas to so you don’t forget about them.

Be flexible where necessary

While the main benefit of a content calendar is that it allows you to plan ahead, it’s still important to be flexible and adapt to new events and trends.

For example, let’s say a social media meme pops up. It’s important to react quickly, as many memes can become irrelevant in a matter of hours. This might mean shuffling your content calendar around and putting what you intended to post on hold for a short while.

Use your content calendar to analyse your performance

Your content calendar can help you track how your content is performing, making it easy to see what’s working well at a glance.

What metrics should you track? It depends on the specific type of content and your overarching goals. Some good places to start include:

Discover more metrics to measure on your eCommerce site.

Need content for your business?

You’ve got a fantastic, easy-to-use calendar for your business; now all you need to do is create your content.

If you’re short on time or would rather leave the content writing to the professionals, Xigen can help.

Our team of copywriters will create blogs, emails, and videos that make your business stand out from the crowd and encourage your customers to buy.

Interested? Get in touch today!

Need help with your next big eCommerce project? Find out how we can support.
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