How To Use Your 2018 Content Marketing Calendar

Knowing how to use your 2018 content marketing calendar will save you so much time. Here’s how!

Yes, I want to Download the 2018 Content Marketing Calendar HTWM Content Marketing Calendar 2018 spreadsheet

2018 Content Marketing Calendar by Carol Scalzo Hit-the-Web Marketing

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 is a good website with a 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 Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, or Post Planner scheduling tools.

A Content Marketing strategy is about 25% of a successful marketing plan. You need to drive traffic to your engaging content. Learn more about our program to your success in Best Way to Spend $1000 Marketing Your Business.

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+, IG. Instagram and Twitter are similar in that you use hashtags to attract your audience.

We write a similar-but-shorter update for Twitter, it only allows 140 characters. We compose the tweet in Column 3, and note that it’s for Twitter.

Column 5: Content Buckets

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; Introduce, Inform, Interact, Inspire, Entertain, Influence

Content buckets remind you to publish a variety of content types (images, videos, links, text-only) on a variety of topics or themes.

1. Introduce

These posts help our fans get to know the person behind the brandThey 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.

  1. Grab  the readers attention. This looks different for every piece of writing.
  2. Present the reason for the post existence.
  3. Explain how the post will help correct the problem that brought your reader to it.

2. Inform

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.

3. Interact

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.

4. Inspire

Motivate or encourage your fans with graphics, videos, quotes, success stories, and testimonials.

5. Entertain

Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them go aaaaah.

6. Influence

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.

Quick Tips

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 2018 Content Calendar Now

If you haven’t requested your free content calendar template yet, now’s the time!

Download the 2018 Content Calendar Now

Keep in mind the best practices for Creating the Perfect Blog.

Hit-the-Web Marketing is an inbound marketing agency in Boston and Rhode Island. Contact Us today. We’ll analyze your website and online presence to take your business to the next level.

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