Knowing how to use your 2017 content marketing calendar will save you so much time. Find out how!
How to use your template
Columns 1 and 2: Day and Date
The first two columns list the day and date in which you will post your content. In column 1, we highlighted major U.S. holidays and observances. If you’d like to modify them, here are two good websites with extensive lists of major and minor holidays, as well as those fun, “weird” observance days:
Column 3: Social Media Updates / Blog Post Teaser and Link
In this column, write your social media updates or blog post “teasers” (remember to insert the hyperlink to your blog post).
What is a blog post teaser? Say you have an article listing 7 ways to make spaghetti. “One way to make great spaghetti is…. See more ways to make great pasta!” and link to your article. Don’t give your reader the entire article up front.
I draft updates about a month in advance. At the beginning of each week or each month, we schedule our updates using Facebook’s native scheduler or Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Post Planner, or other scheduling tool.
Column 4: Social Channels Posted To
In this column, note which social channel you’re scheduling or posting to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Google+, and Pinterest.
Often, we’ll schedule identical content on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, so in Column 5, we note FB, L, G+.
We write a similar-but-shorter update for Twitter. We compose the tweet in Column 3, and note that it’s for Twitter.
Column 5: Content Bucket
In this column, list the content buckets into which you are filing the post. A content bucket is a visual way to apply a theme. This helps in organizing your posts. We organize our posts into six content buckets; introduce, inform, interact, inspire, entertain and influence.
Content buckets remind you to publish a variety of content types (images, videos, links, text-only) on a variety of topics or themes.
These posts help our fans get to know the person behind the brand. They can be fun, goofy, random, reflective, inspirational… whatever you want. But they need to be candid, and to reflect the “real” you. You might introduce a person, your company, products, services you offer. Make it interesting.
Need help writing an Introduction? Here are 3 steps on How to Write an Introduction and grab the reader’s attention.
- Grab the readers attention. This looks different for every piece of writing.
- Present the reason for the post existence.
- Explain how the post will help correct the problem that brought your reader to it.
Help your followers solve a problem or meet a challenge by offering a wealth of niche-related educational content. This is my favorite content bucket; as many as 80% of my updates are informational.
We all know that social media is intended to be relational and interactive. Yet many of us (myself included) forget to ask our followers to participate in the conversation. Ask questions; challenge your followers to do something you’ve taught them.
Motivate or encourage your fans with graphics, videos, quotes, success stories, and testimonials. xs
Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them go aaaaah.
Be extremely careful about overwhelming your fans with “buy my stuff” posts. Limit promotional content to about 10% of your posts.
Column 6: Keyword Phrase
In this column, list the keyword phrase you want your blog article to rank for. You’ll know this by performing keyword research prior to starting your blog posts. Creating content calendars for better SEO.
Carry the keyword phrase into social media for maximum impact.
Mix-and-match social media updates into multiple content buckets. Write an update that is both informational and interactive, by sharing a tip and then challenging your followers to put your tip into practice.
Or write an entertaining “influence” post. Promote a product or service you offer, but do it in such an entertaining way that your fans don’t even realize you’re promoting something.
Link to other people’s content. One of the best ways to establish authority in your niche is to serve as a reliable source of information. My personal goal is to link to other people’s articles, blog posts, or social updates 40-60% of the time.
Give yourself permission to move things around. Monitor how your updates are performing on various social channels, and adjust regularly.
Save As. We manage social media accounts for several clients, so before we start filling in the calendar, we first save a blank calendar for each client.
Print once. At the end of the year, we have a complete record of every social update we have posted to every network. At the end of 2017, I will print the entire calendar and store a hard copy.
Get Your 2017 Content Calendar Now
If you haven’t requested your free content calendar template yet, now’s the time!
Keep in mind the best practices for Creating the Perfect Blog.