Building a content calendar for your digital marketing strategy – and sticking to it – can be one of the most tricky things to do when wanting to build an online presence for your business.
Generating content ideas, producing content, designing assets and scheduling it all can be very time consuming.
Whether you are working alone or with a team, I find it very useful to have a system in place where you can plan content in advance for your social media, your blog or your youtube channel.
After trying different ways to build my own calendar, including trying Google calendar, trello or the old spreadsheet, I found that the best solution so far was on Airtable.
Airtable is a free project management web tool which looks like excel but better and smarter.
If you have downloaded my free template already, please read this blog to know how to use it!
What to include in your research & content calendar template
- Key dates
- Content calendar (for everything but social media)
- Social Media calendar
Ideally, each piece of content you create should be speaking to your persona. And if you have different types of persona for your business, well, you’d need to know which one you address in which case.
For example, if you provide B2B services, you might have different persona based on their jobs, the size of the company or their own specific challenges.
If so, you can record this information in the ‘Persona’ table in the template. Make sure you customise each field to make it suit your needs. You can easily edit a field by clicking on the little arrow next to the field header and click on ‘customize field’. There you can edit the field name and the field type.
It is always interesting to research the influencers of your industry.
Looking at what influencers in your industry post can be a good source of inspiration for content ideas but also to learn about your audience, looking at how they react in comments. Ultimately, you might even want to run an influencer campaign and reach out to them.
In the influencer tab of the airtable template, you can record: the influencer name, their social media, their following, the link to their social media, a description of who they are and what they do as well as the hashtags they use.
A content strategy on social media can’t go without a little hashtag research.
Hashtags are important on Instagram, Tiktok and LinkedIn to get your content ranked and found by people.
In the content calendar template, use the hashtag table to record your research, log the number of people following them and, when relevant, the influencers using them.
In this table, you will record all the main dates that are important for your business and around which you can create content. I’d recommend you spend time on this as it could be a real time saver in the future.
Dates you can include are:
- International days relevant to your industry. Are you a health coach? Maybe you’d be interested to run a campaign during the mental health awareness week.
- Seasons and international events like summer holidays, christmas, black friday or valentine’s day.
- Industry events like conferences or seminars which you might join or follow.
- Company events like your business anniversary or a product launch.
The content calendar & the social media calendar
This is the place where you will log all your big piece of content ideas and keep track of the editorial process.
I like to have two calendars, one for content like blogs, videos or email. And another one of the daily social media, which is why there are two calendar tabs in this free template.
In both, make sure you use the different views.
In the content calendar, you have different views based on the status of the piece. I find it helpful to filter and separate what’s “in progress” from “what’s published”. And, of course, on top of the classic grid view, you can use the proper calendar view.
Same for the Social Media calendar where I have created views per channel.
In this table, I am managing my content by recording the post idea, the post copy, the format of the post and by attaching the visual asset.
The visual asset is a very interesting feature to use when you externalise the production of the visual to a designer who can then attach the work when completed. When you click on the image, you can leave a comment, which is very handy if you want to leave feedback.
Last but not least, Airtable makes it very easy to use simple formula like ‘character counts’. If you scroll to the right of the social media calendar, you’ll see that I created a field to measure character counts on LinkedIn and Twitter, which again, is interesting when you work on the copy of your posts, to make sure that you are not going over the limit.
I hope you find this content calendar useful for your business. Remember that you can invite people to your airtable base so it is easy to collaborate too.
Happy planning and happy marketing!