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Better Content Management Using Your Online Calendar

By | Scheduling | No Comments
Content Calendar

Whenever marketers talk about marketing and begin to construct a content calendar, there’s a phrase they like to throw out. And that phrase is “Content is king.”

It’s believed that Bill Gates coined the phrase back in 1996. And, it turns out, he was right. When you consistently create valuable content, it builds meaningful relationships with your audience. It also improves brand recognition and establishes you as an industry thought leader. Content is also crucial for SEO and marketing your products and services.

Here’s the thing, though. For content to reign supreme, you need to take a strategic approach. In other words, you can’t just wake up and wing it. For instance, by sharing random social media posts or writing a blog post for the sake of having content on your site.

Instead, it needs to be relevant. And more importantly, it needs to sync with your long-term goals.

While it is essential, this can be time-consuming. Thankfully, you can use your calendar for better content management.

Content Calendars: What Are They and Why Do You Need Them?

In terms of content planning, a content calendar is simply a spreadsheet or calendar that details the content you will be publishing over the next few weeks, months, or even years. Besides giving you a quick overview of your content schedule, your content Calendar can also be shared with your team to keep them informed.

Your blog probably doesn’t need a content calendar if it’s just a hobby. However, staying organized is crucial if you’re using content marketing to grow your business.

Your content marketing strategy can benefit from content calendars in the following ways:

Keeps you organized and saves you time.

You can compile your ideas with a content calendar whenever you have the time. As a result, you won’t need to multitask. As a result, you can spend your time on other things instead of wasting time on ideation and creation.

Ensures you post regularly and on time.

In social media and SEO, consistency is the key and is rewarded with better metrics. As well as keeping your audience hooked, consistent content can help you recall your brand more effectively. For example, to make your audience feel more personalized, you can select specific events, holidays, or seasons that are important to them and post accordingly.

Collaboration is made easier with your content calendar. 

With most calendars, you can collaborate with the calendar and have multiple editors and creators on the same calendar by using team collaboration tools. Team members can stay informed and work together more effectively this way.

Errors and mistakes are reduced for you and your whole team.

It is easier to proofread multiple times when everything is planned and organized well before time. Furthermore, since numerous eyes are on the content calendar, mistakes are spotted quickly and corrected immediately.

You can develop your strategies for distributing content and using social media.

By keeping everything in one place, you can keep track of all the activities on your social media. By thinking long-term, you can devise strategies for what to do next.

It keeps you up-to-date on the latest trends.

A comment on a trending topic will always get you more traction than a non-trending one. You can make content according to all the trends when you use a content calendar. Instagram hashtag contests could be a simple example.

Tracking and improving content performance is made easier with it.

You can identify gaps and improve upon them quickly when you keep track of your daily or weekly activities. A/B tests can help you determine the content mix that gets your audience the most attention using your calendar.

Content Calendar Best Practices

Content management strategies can be made more successful by developing a content calendar. These tips will help you create steady content that meets your marketing goals and elevate your organization’s content calendar.

Pick a format you like.

For hosting your content calendar, you can use a variety of platforms. For example, you can use a spreadsheet, content management software, or a calendar app. It really depends on what works best for you and your peeps.

If you want to track more than just deadlines, a traditional calendar may not be the right tool. If this is the case, a spreadsheet might be a better alternative. Why? Because you can neatly organize everything into columns and rows. And this lets you include more information about each piece of content, such as the author, keywords, current status, and links.

Calendar and project management functions are included in content management software such as Asana and Trello. To improve your team’s efficiency, you can also use spreadsheets alongside these tools.

Come up with content ideas.

After identifying the correct format and tools, the next step is brainstorming content ideas. In addition to being topics that fit your brand persona, they should address any concerns your audience may have and demonstrate your expertise in your field.

Looking for some inspiration? To get you started, here are some ideas:

  • Regular blog posts.
  • Videos, webinars, or how-to guides.
  • A recurring post, series, or theme, such as Motivation Monday.
  • Case studies.
  • Customer success stories.
  • Business-related infographics, statistics, press releases
  • Make use of popular culture, news, holidays, or trends.
  • Reading lists.
  • Product or service launches.
  • Interview with a leader in your industry or business.
  • Business behind-the-scenes.
  • Business-related infographics, statistics, press releases
  • Upcoming industry events

Also, to save time, look for ways to repurpose existing content. A blog post on how to use your product could be turned into a video, for example.

To schedule content as far in advance as possible, you should come up with enough ideas. At least a six-month supply of ideas is ideal for me. But, there are some content ideas that I can plan further out. For instance, I can map out a content marketing strategy for the holidays a year or so in advance since key dates are pretty much set in stone.

Identify the channels and frequency of your publications.

Decide where and when to publish your content once you’ve brainstormed ideas. After all, there will be a different purpose for each channel. Using varying content means your content is written and relevant, uniquely suited differently to each channel.

Blog

Your business and industry insights are published as “how-to” content. A blog post should be published every day, ideally. The best thing you can do is share 1 to 3 quality posts a week if this isn’t possible.

Website

Using landing pages, videos, and gated content can improve your credibility. In addition, it improves your search engine optimization. If your business or industry changes, this type of content only needs to be updated once it is created.

Social Media Networks

You can promote your new content on these channels, build brand awareness, and engage your audience through social media channels. Depending on the channel, the frequency changes; Facebook once or twice a day, Twitter three times daily, LinkedIn once per day, Instagram 1.5 times per day, and Pinterest five times per day.

Video Sharing Sites

YouTube has become a great chance to mix your content up a little. YouTube is used to upload explainers, training, and interview videos (or even something funny about your company or brand). You can publish videos as often as you feel necessary. Don’t start thinking you can do a video every day if you haven’t made these vids before. Making YouTubes are hard to keep up with every day. Choose a weekly or every other week schedule to start out — depending on your audience. You will need to plan long video sessions where you get several done for your upcoming calendar obligations.

Emails

Content such as newsletters, press releases, surveys, and seasonal content should be tailored to specific audience segments. Find the best time for your emails through A/B testing. Avoid annoying your audience by sending arbitrarily timed emails.

Develop a content marketing strategy.

A content marketing strategy will help you achieve the best results from your content calendar. The first step is to determine your goals each quarter or year. Then, if you’re stuck, ask the following questions:

  • What is a content creator, and why do you create content?
  • Do you want your blog to attract more traffic?
  • Are you looking for more leads?
  • Do you want to be a thought leader in your field?

It is crucial to identify your goals before creating any content, determining where and when it should be published and how often it should be published.

Next, determine who will be involved in the content. Setting up team roles will help you determine how much content you can put out based on your team’s capacity, whether you have a dedicated content marketing team or outsource. During this stage, a content planner can be helpful.

To determine your context mix: and the type of content you will create, you need to identify your goals and establish who will be involved in the process. In order to get the best results, you should set up a consistent posting schedule.

Map out your content calendar.

The next step is to create a content calendar based on your content creation process and content marketing strategy. Depending on your business, your calendar will differ. To keep everything cohesive, you should only plan 2-3 months ahead. It’s also possible for content ideas and goals to change.

Here are some things you might want to include in your content calendar:

  • Title or Topic
  • Due Date
  • Publish Date & Time
  • Writer/Author
  • Target Keyword
  • Content Description
  • Promotional Channels
  • Notes & Resources
  • Status
  • Links

A calendar may also help map everything out. As Choncé Maddox explains, “I like to set up days dedicated to brainstorming, outlining, creating/scheduling, polishing, and promoting. Yes, the content production process is pretty tedious, but having a solid plan laid out in writing can make all the difference.”

Additionally, you can use your calendar to “set reminders to hold yourself accountable for meeting specific deadlines and allowing yourself enough time to prepare what you need to complete the content.”

Schedule posts.

“Once you’ve organized everything in your editorial calendar, you have another useful tool at your disposal,” suggests Max Palmer in a previous Calendar post. “Most blog platforms allow you to schedule posts to go live at a specified date.” Content for the upcoming weeks and months can be created by your team and scheduled to publish at the appropriate time. You can schedule posts for social media as well.

“Dashboard services like HootSuite allow you to enter posts and schedule them to go live on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or all three at the same time,” he adds. “By always working in advance, a team also has the opportunity to tweak posts as needed before they go public.”

Promote and measure.

The final stage of creating a content calendar is promoting the content. Again, the most effective way to achieve maximum results is to plan a consistent posting schedule. Also, figure out what promotional channels you’re using and when.

You can measure your content’s success in a variety of ways. For example, you might measure brand awareness, lead generation, or SEO depending on your content marketing goals. Then, to plan for the next quarter, track these metrics consistently every quarter.

Be sure to leverage both web and social analytics, as well as revenue data. With this information, you can optimize existing content, such as titles, introductions, outbound links, etc., to increase visits and engagement.

The Bottom Line

There is no one-step formula for creating a quality content calendar. However, to achieve the best results, you must plan, create, complete (along with the image and SEO), and post steady content regularly. With a content calendar, you will remain organized, facilitate team collaboration, keep on top of deadlines, and increase your content marketing success.

This article was originally published on Calendar.com. Image Credit: Judit Peter; Pexels; Thank you!

Face-to-Face Meetings are Important for SO Many Reasons

By | Business Tips | No Comments
Face-to-Face Meetings

You may ask whether face-to-face or in-person meetings are still vital in today’s digital era of communication. Yes, they are; let’s see why.

Despite technological advancements, many firms still prefer face-to-face meetings because they allow for more effective communication, the development of solid connections, and increased participation.

Learning how to hold an effective face-to-face meeting will help you reach your objectives to lead, organize, or contribute to improved workplace communication. This post will examine why face-to-face meetings are crucial, their advantages, and how to conduct them with your team, customers, and coworkers. Unfortunately, hybrid work models can be challenging to implement.

What are the benefits of face-to-face meetings?

Because we build our companies on connections, face-to-face encounters are essential. While digital communication has come a long way in recent years, face-to-face interactions are still crucial for fostering a strong culture, developing rapport with customers, and engaging with individuals on a deeper level.

Many organizations prefer face-to-face meetings over other kinds of communication — so knowing the advantages and how to manage a great meeting may help you succeed in your career.

Face-to-face meetings provide many advantages.

Because of the many advantages they give, face-to-face meetings remain a popular choice for organizations. Meeting with coworkers, customers, and colleagues face to face may help you increase your capacity to achieve the following:

You should watch for and interpret nonverbal indications.

People don’t always convey the most critical information via words. Meeting people face to face helps you analyze micro-behaviors like body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. Simple nonverbal communication may help you judge how involved other people are in the discussion and provide insight into how they feel. You may use these nonverbal clues to direct your replies and discussion.

For example, if you’re at a meeting with a customer continually checking their watch, you may employ a more exciting tone or change the subject to refocus their attention.

Come up with creative ideas.

When individuals can discuss their thoughts in person, collaboration occurs more naturally. Face-to-face meetings also simplify attendees to detect when someone speaking is complete. Consequently, allowing them to feel more comfortable contributing their thoughts.

It may also allow participants to graphically exhibit their thoughts on a whiteboard or piece of paper to ensure everyone is on the same page. Finally, consider scheduling a face-to-face meeting when you need to discuss challenging strategic or creative ideas with a group.

Limit the use of technology.

While technology has its advantages, having a meeting without dealing with a camera or audio problems, internet connection issues, or other technical issues may save time and reduce stress. In addition, make face-to-face meetings a priority for critical discussions so that everyone can hear and see what is going on.

Make new connections.

Long-term company success requires strong partnerships. Meeting customers, employees, and colleagues in person allows for more human engagement, which may assist in creating trust and make it simpler to form deeper bonds. Consider meeting face to face with a new customer or someone with whom you haven’t yet developed a solid connection over coffee or in the office to build your relationship.

Pursue meaningful small chat.

You can lose small chats in digital interactions. However, asking someone how their day is going comes naturally in a face-to-face chat. For example, asking what they have planned for the weekend may demonstrate that you care. Indeed, it helps you discover mutual interests that can enhance your bond. It may also assist you in gathering information for a future project or proposal.

Spend a few moments at your next face-to-face contact, getting to know the person.

Deal with delicate problems.

When dealing with a delicate topic, face-to-face conversation might help you convey the situation effectively and avoid misunderstanding. It’s also simpler to demonstrate empathy and understanding, making it easier to work through the problem together. Try to meet with someone face to face the next time you have to handle a sensitive subject with them. You can show them you care about them and want to assist them in fixing the problem.

Effective communication is essential.

Face-to-face meetings facilitate successful communication by offering nonverbal clues and the capacity to pose questions to participants. This reduces the chances of misinterpretation of messages, emails, and other communications. To improve clarity in your business, consider holding face-to-face meetings.

Do not allow yourself to be distracted.

It’s generally simpler to have their full attention when you’re in the same room as someone. Participants in face-to-face meetings are more likely to remain focused. Outside distractions are less apparent, and people resist the impulse to multitask. Schedule a face-to-face meeting for essential matters that demand everyone’s full attention.

Increase involvement and engagement.

Clients, employees, and colleagues may be more engaged and participate in face-to-face meetings by encouraging them to be completely present. When meeting attendees can see each other in person, they are more inclined to participate in the discussion.

Consider organizing face-to-face meetings if you want to enhance engagement and involvement in your company.

Face-to-face meetings will help your employees form tighter bonds and will help retain talent. Additionally, face-to-face meetings will benefit marketing efforts with client and customer efforts.

This article was originally published on Calendar.com. Image Credit: Helena Lopes; Pexels; Thank you!

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