Planning Your Content Calendar: What to Know and Shortcuts to Get You There Faster!

Planning Your Content Calendar: What to Know and Shortcuts to Get You There Faster!

Looking to get the most value from your content calendar? Look no further.

If you’ve developed a content marketing strategy, you know that putting together a content calendar is key to meeting your goals. But the truth is that it can be a long, difficult, and tedious process with a lot of trial and error, which not all of us want to slog through. The good news is that we’ve gathered a list of all of the hacks and shortcuts that you can use to make the process of planning your content calendar faster, easier, and more seamless. Here they are.

Brand Voice Chart

A big part of your content strategy will be defining what your brand voice sounds like. Ideally, every piece of content in your content calendar will be perfectly aligned with your brand voice, regardless of who created or edited it. This is crucial to keeping your brand consistent and unified, which is in turn necessary for helping create trust with your audience.

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While you could spend months and months developing and testing your brand voice in order to know it inside and out, there are also much simpler ways to do it. Our recommendation? A brand voice chart. This is a visual organizer that clarifies the characteristics of your brand voice and how to apply them. Fill out this quick chart for your brand and you’ll see a huge step up in creating consistent content.

A brand voice chart for your content calendar. Source: Content Marketing Institute
An example of a brand voice chart for your content calendar. Source: Content Marketing Institute

Content Value Checklist

As you probably know, one of the most important things to keep in mind in content marketing is that each piece of content you make is valuable to your audience. If it’s not, there’s no point in making it.

To make sure that you’re following this golden rule, consider creating a content value checklist for your organization. Before adding anything to your content calendar, make sure it checks off every box of your handy checklist. That way, you can publish with confidence.

An example of a content value checklist
An example of a content value checklist. Source:

Know What to Publish in Your Content Calendar

There are hundreds of ways you can decide what to add to your content calendar. These tools are some of our favorites to help guide a smart, data-based content strategy.

  • Google Alerts. A tool that notifies you every time there’s a new search result for specified keywords, Google Alerts can be tremendously helpful for content marketing. From keeping an eye on competitors to knowing what people are saying about your brand to tracking conversations about your niche, Google Alerts let you stay updated so your content can always be ahead of the game.
  • SEO Keyword Planning Tools. You probably already know how important SEO is for content marketing. The bottom line is that the better your content’s SEO, the more people will see it. Tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush can all help you use real search data to determine what new content to publish that people are actually looking for. That’s one surefire way to guarantee value.

Generate Catchy Headlines

Every content marketer knows that a piece of content is only as good as its headline. That’s why we spend nearly as much time generating headlines as we do content. After all, the headline is what has to do the challenging work of getting somebody to click.

So instead of leaning only on your instincts to do this important and difficult task when planning your content calendar, why not use a tool that will do it for you? There’s plenty to choose from, including these great, free options:

Quality Check In Your Content Calendar

If you care about the quality of your content, you don’t want to let anything get published without a thorough proofread, spellcheck, and edit process. But humans are fallible and dedicated content editors are expensive… That’s where something like Grammarly comes in. All you have to do is install and it will automatically check your content’s spelling, grammar, tone, and readability. It’s like having a little robot editor on your shoulder all the time. Think Microsoft’s Clippy, updated for the 21st century.

Track ROI Data

Last, but not least… What’s all this work for if it doesn’t actually end up paying off? That’s why it’s so important to use data to track the impact of your content and adjust your content plan accordingly. After all, you wouldn’t create content without knowing your goals first, would you? So how can you continue using a content strategy without regularly checking whether or not it’s actually helping you make progress toward those goals?

That being said, juggling Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights and YouTube Analytics all separately can be annoyingly time-consuming. Thankfully, tools like Hootsuite and HubSpot can help you measure ROI by tracking engagement, mentions, leads, and SEO over multiple social platforms all in one place.

Next Steps To Build Your Content Calendar

Schedule a time to connect with one of our expert content marketing strategists. We’ll help you get your content marketing plan into the next gear and even create a FREE Content Marketing Playbook to help you.

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Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer is the Chief Marketing Officer at WriteForMe. Andy has been CEO, CMO, VP of Product for 8 fast-growing companies in his career. 3 of those companies became Top 10 Internet companies. Content Marketing has always been at the core to differentiate these companies from their competition. You can always schedule a 1 on 1 meeting with Andy by grabbing some time on his calendar here. List articles below that have Andy on the byline on the rest of the page. Here’s my calendar link: » More blog posts by Andy Steuer

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