It’s no secret that strategic content marketing is the key to breaking through the clutter to interact with the digital audiences you want to reach. And it’s also no secret that creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy takes time. One way to save time while putting strategic thought behind your content marketing is through an annual content calendar.
Why should I spend the time creating an annual content calendar?
An annual content calendar allows you to have a yearly view of your content plan. As with any other marketing or budgeting planning, the benefit to thinking about your content from an annual perspective means you’ll make your team take a step back and start from the highest level, thinking about the big picture as you go.
By taking that perspective and thinking about your content from a broad viewpoint, you’ll force yourself to ask questions about what you’re trying to achieve, who you want to reach, and how you’re going to make it happen. And by asking those questions, you’ll identify overall content themes and topics you want to be sure to capture. After you’ve captured your topics and themes, you can then shift your focus to filling in the details.
What advantages does annual content planning give me?
Taking a year-long focus to your content planning will make your content marketing faster and easier in the long run. When you take the time to create your annual content calendar, you:
- Can start at any time. Though your calendar should be designed with an annual focus, there isn’t a hard and fast rule about when you can create it. It doesn’t have to match up with the calendar year or even your fiscal year. The whole idea is centered around planning out content in advance, so as long as you’re ready to take an annual perspective in your planning, you can start it any time of the year.
- Save time. The initial time investment to create your content calendar is big, but by having content themes and detailed ideas mapped out in advance, you’ll save time month to month as you draft your content and specific posts.
- Unlock the ability to be flexible. Because you’ll already have documented the key content themes and topics you want to talk about, you’ll be able to create and schedule most of your content in advance. This means that when timely or newsworthy topics come up and you want to jump on the chance to incorporate them into your content marketing strategy, you’ll have the time and energy to devote to spur-of-the-moment and fast content creation.
- Make sure important dates don’t get missed. By documenting things like important events or industry observances, key dates will stay top-of-mind. That way, as you look ahead on your content calendar each month, you’ll see the important dates you want to be sure to talk about, and you'll be prompted to think ahead about how to integrate them into your content marketing strategy.
- Help your team be more efficient. Just like with any other project, having a plan in place to get started will give your team the context and direction they need to move forward with their individual responsibilities related to your content marketing strategy. And by having a consistent plan in place, everyone will be on the same page with what the current content focus is, what’s coming up, and what the end goal is.
Where do I start with my annual content calendar?
To start creating your annual content calendar, check out our other blog posts on annual content calendars to get ideas on content themes to incorporate, see inspiring examples, and more. And if you’re looking for some hands-on help getting started with yours, reach out to us today.