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Featured in:
Convince & Convert logo.
ProBlogger logo.
Marketing Association logo.
The Icehouse logo.
NZ Business logo.

    Conquer Consistency: How to Create a Winning Content Calendar for Your Business

    Need help with consistent content creation? Conquer inconsistency with a winning content calendar! This ultimate guide keeps your audience engaged and boosts results. Learn how to create yours today!

    Published on April 26, 2024

    Found logo.

    By Megan Smith
    Content Marketing Specialist

    Published on April 26, 2024

    Let’s talk strategy, more specifically, planning your online content. Consistency is the heart of establishing and maintaining audience engagement, but how do you stay visible, drive audience engagement, and boost results? Enter the humble content calendar.

    What is a Content Calendar?

    If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed at the prospect of churning out fresh content for your business, you’re not alone.

    In today’s digital marketing landscape, a content calendar is your roadmap to success. It is a tool that helps you organise your content strategy, schedule posts, publish, and track the progress and outcomes of these over a period of time. The content can encompass videos, blogs, social media, podcasts, newsletters, emails, websites, ads, and more!

    A content calendar keeps you on track, ensuring that there is always a steady stream of content.

    You’ll need a content calendar…

    1. If you work with a team to brainstorm, write, and publish content.
    2. If you are aiming to achieve specific goals with your content.

    Why You Need a Content Calendar

    A content calendar (or editorial calendar) takes the guesswork out of what to create and when ensuring your content is:

    • Focused: If you are trying to enhance brand awareness, encourage more sales, or lend yourself to being known as the industry expert, a strategy should earmark these as goals to incorporate into your plan.
    • Targeted: Understanding your audience is the cornerstone of effective content creation. A content calendar can help you do this by guiding you to create content that resonates with your ideal target audience, addressing their needs, wants, and interests, and thereby maximising engagement.
    • Consistent: High-quality content builds trust, and your audience will keep coming back for more. A plan will hold you accountable and avoid the dreaded radio silence.
    • Optimised: Knowing where and when to circulate your content is essential to keeping your target audience returning and inspiring interest from new, would-be customers. A content plan will establish the best channels to reach these individuals.

    Here’s what a content calendar can do for you…

    • Kiss brainstorming on the fly goodbye. A plan keeps you focused, organised, and accountable.
    • When you shape your content to attract the right audience, you’ll increase conversions, sales, and overall ROI.
    • Valuable content will place you in front of your competitors and the thought leader in your industry.
    • Refined, targeted content will help you see what works and what doesn’t, meaning there is always room for improvement and refinement.

    Human hands connecting puzzles.

    How to Create a Content Calendar: Your Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Building Your Template

    There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Pick a format that works for you, whether it’s a straightforward spreadsheet, a project management tool, or even a hardcopy planner.

    Now, let’s populate your calendar with the fundamentals…

    • Publish date: The date your content goes live.
    • Due date: The deadline for creating or finalising the content.
    • Content type: Blog post, video, infographic, social media post, website copy, etc.
    • Topic: Subject of your content.
    • Keywords: Include suitable keywords for search engine optimisation (SEO).
    • Platform: Where you’ll publish (e.g., website, social media channels).
    • Author/Assignee: Assign ownership for accountability.
    • Status: Track the progress of your content (e.g., brainstorming, in progress, complete).
    • Links: Link to any relevant information needed, such as image files, Google Docs, Google Drive, influential websites, etc.
    • Graphics: Images to be included.
    • Notes: Add any further details relevant to the content.

    Now, where should you place all those pointers mentioned above?

    The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to go with something that fits your technical skills, and that considers whether you are a one-man show or working with a team of individuals.

    • Spreadsheets like Google Sheets are easy to use and free. Excel is also a popular choice for its practicality.
    • Content Management Systems (CMS), like HubSpot, typically have built-in calendars that integrate seamlessly with your current workflow.
    • Project management tools such as Trello and Asana offer a user-friendly interface that allows for efficient planning and task assignment. These tools can significantly enhance your project management process.

    Here’s what a content calendar can look like…

    Content Calendar Example by Found - Digital Search Specialists

    Remember: Content marketing calendars can vary depending on the mix of formats you use, like blog posts, videos, or social media content.

    Since content types have different needs, we’ll delve into what elements you might include for some popular formats:

    Content Elements Example by Found - Digital Search Specialists.

    2. Planning Your Content

    Now, here’s the fun part!

    Strategically fill your calendar following these guidelines…

    • Content Pillars: Identify 3-5 core themes relevant to your brand and audience. Tip: Try AI tools like Gemini and ChatGPT to guide you if needed.
    • Brainstorm: Consider engaging subtopics within your pillars. Tip: Semrush’s Topic Research Tool is beneficial for sourcing content ideas and will even guide you on which subtopics to include.
    • Content mix: Balance informative blog posts with visuals like infographics and interactive content. Tip: Use creative tools like Canva to help you create eye-catching visuals and videos.
    • Seasonality: Incorporate relevant holidays and events. Tip: Days of the Year is an exciting website highlighting unusual days, such as Golf Day and World Book Day, for New Zealand-based holidays and observances. Time and Date lists important dates, such as Matariki.
    • Audience interests: What are your target readers interested in? Conduct surveys or analyse website traffic to identify popular themes. Tip: Use Google Analytics, Semrush, and Similiarweb to access your site’s traffic.
    • Trends: Stay ahead by incorporating current industry trends and news. Tip: Google Trends is a place you want to look for knowing just what people are following on a global and national scale.

    3. Choosing the Perfect Platform

    Tailor your content to the platform.

    • Websites and blogs: Perfect for in-depth articles and thought leadership pieces.
    • Social media: Ideal for bite-sized content, community engagement, and brand awareness.
    • Email marketing: Encourage loyalty and drive traffic with targeted email campaigns.

    4. Publishing Frequency

    There is no perfect number, but consistency is key! Set realistic deadlines that factor in research, writing, editing, and design time. You can also establish if you plan to post daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.

    5. Goal Setting

    Before firing up your computer or grabbing a pen and notebook, define a clear target for what you want to achieve. Goals act as a roadmap, directing marketing efforts and ultimately determining the campaign’s success.

    Content goals generally concentrate on promoting one key area: website traffic, sales conversions, or lead generation.

    Hit the mark by setting SMART goals for content marketing…

    Without clear goals, your content risks becoming a scattered mess.

    Let’s take a look at what it means…

    SMART Goals Guide for Content Creation.

    6. Finalising Publishing

    You can publish your content immediately or schedule it to automatically post over the next few days, weeks, or months. Many online platforms, including social media platforms and hosting services like Spotify (podcasts) and WordPress, include scheduling features.

    7. Measuring Progress

    Schedule regular check-ins, whether weekly or monthly, to analyse website traffic, audience engagement, and revenue trends compared to previous periods.

    Here are some key questions to ask…

    • Efficiency: How much time does it usually take to complete the entire content process, from writing and designing to publishing and promoting?
    • Consistency: In the long run, is your current content publishing schedule realistic and sustainable?
    • Performance: Which content types and topics appeal most to your audience? Can you figure out patterns to replicate success?
    • Reevaluation: Are there any pieces that haven’t performed well? Is it worth revising them?
    • Workflow: Can you simplify your content creation process to save time and resources?

    By regularly reviewing your content strategy and workflow, you can make better decisions to maximise impact and minimise effort.

    Content calendar example by Notion.

    Copyright © Notion


    The Best Content Calendar Software and Tools

    Streamline your content creation with these top picks for content calendar software and tools.

    Working with a team, try…

    Working individually or have a tight budget, try…

    Looking only for a social media content calendar and planner, try…

    Interested in templates, then try…

    Bonus Tips

    Level up your content creation with these valuable strategies!

    • Repurpose your content: No need to start from scratch! Use the content that receives the most traffic again on different platforms and in ne­w formats.
    • Stay flexible: Update your conte­nt plan based on how it’s doing and what your audience wants.
    • Analyse the competition: Look at what your competitors are doing—Le­arn from their wins to improve­ your approach. Try tools like Moz or SE Ranking to help you along the way.
    • Visually appealing: Include high-quality visuals to grab people­’s attention.
    • Sharing is caring: Share­ your content across your social media and rele­vant online groups to reach a wider audience.
    • Keep it evergreen: Create content that stays use­ful for a long time, so you don’t always need to create new pieces of content.
    • Work in batche­s: Schedule content cre­ation sessions to be more e­fficient.
    • CTAs: Include a call to action for all your content, for example (using a luxury clothing brand as inspiration): “Discover your statement piece. Shop the new collection today – www.verdure.com/summer-2024-wardrobe”.

    A woman plans her content marketing strategy.

    Content Calendar FAQ

    Q: What are the two main types of content calendars?
    A: There are calendars for overall content strategy and those focused specifically on social media.

    Q: What is the difference between content calendar and content plan?
    A: A content plan is the overarching strategy, while a calendar schedules specific content pieces.

    Q: What is the most commonly used format for a content calendar?
    A: Spreadsheets are popular, but project management software offers more features.

    Q: What is a content calendar template?
    A: It’s a pre-made layout to help you easily structure and manage your content schedule.

    Q: What makes a successful content calendar?
    A: The best content calendars balance planning and flexibility, letting you produce high-quality content that appeals to your audience and accomplishes the marketing goals you set for your business.

    Art collage of a man and woman looking at their superhero shadow, symbolising success.

    Let Found Be Your Content Hero

    Are you fee­ling stressed about planning your content? Found can he­lp you create a content strate­gy that keeps your audience­ hooked and gets results. Le­t our experts take ove­r and plan your online content for success. Contact Found today for a fre­e chat!

    Megan Smith, Content Marketing Specialist.

    Megan Smith

    Content Marketing Specialist
    Megan is a seasoned digital marketer at Found, specialising in creating compelling content strategies that boost brand visibility and business growth.
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      Get Your Business Found

      Ready to go where your customers are?

      75% of people never scroll past Google's first page. If you're ready to get found where they're looking, get in touch and find out how we can grow your business and drive more traffic, leads, & sales with search marketing.

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