The Calendar You Need Before the Content Calendar
A huge time saver in the world of content planning is having a content calendar. A content calendar is a tool where you plot out the content you will publish and when you will publish it. Without it, you’ll either lose track or your content, or constantly waste time coming up with content to post (we’ve all done it).
In order to develop a content calendar efficiently, you first need to create your events and promotions calendar. You can work on this as far in advance as you’re able, but at a minimum you need to review it every thirty days and continue refining and adding to it. It should be pulled out every time you sit down to plan your social media content. So let’s get started.
Here are four things that should go into your Events and Promotions Calendar:
1. Holidays & Special Occasions
This is where you ensure you have all of the necessary holidays figured out. Don’t over think it, you can Google “2017 holidays” and all sorts of resources will ensure you don’t forget a special date. In addition you may want to consider plotting in employee birthdays, business birthdays and milestones, or even special dates related to customers and communities.
2. Events & Special Dates
Depending on your unique business or organization, you’ll likely need to plot in some events. These could be trade shows you’re attending, conferences, community events that affect your business, or events you’re hosting or coordinating. It’s also important to consider special events happening in your industry or target market. If you market to schools, you need to plug in the school calendar or even the sports calendar here. This will help you keep your target market’s world in mind when you’re planning your content. Don’t forget about industry specific dates such as “National Coffee Day.”
3. Sales & Promotions
Here you’ll be plotting in any planned discounts, or seasonal elements to your business. If you’re in retail, you probably run sales around certain holidays and push discounts during slower periods in your business. If you’re a restaurant, you might be pushing gift cards in the holiday months around Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you service college students, you’ll obviously want to consider their calendar and have a plan for dealing with times that they are not in school vs. when they are in school. If you’re struggling on this section, the Holidays, Special Occasions, and Events should come in handy in generating ideas about promotions.
4. High Level Promotional Budget
There’s the B word! I hate budgeting too. I really do, but it’s critical to really sit down and understand high and low points of revenue for your business. Or, times when you’ll want to spend some extra money on advertising. If your winter months are crazy slow, then that is a great time to plan on spending money for advertising (which requires planning ahead to save that money). If you have a big event you’re putting on, decide when you will spend money to advertise the tickets you’re selling. If you can’t pin point a target dollar amount, simply flag the months that you will spend larger amounts of money and the ones that you’ll spend lower amounts or zero money.
Ok, now that you have those areas covered, you’re ready to sit down and come up with an awesome content calendar that will take those items into account. Boom! Take it from me, having this calendar set up before planning content makes planning content SOOOOO much easier. The good news is, once you’ve done it for one year, you’re way ahead of the game for next year.
Want a fun tool to brainstorm and schedule marketing content? Try Trello. We love it! NO, I’m not getting paid by Trello, but they did send me some awesome swag once.