How To Create a Content Calendar

Your website and social media channels can be key to attracting and growing your business — if you use them effectively.

Without a clear content marketing plan, your posts can feel scattershot and disorganized. But with one, your key messages ring clear.

That was the case for one of our clients, a communications and printing company. While they were knowledgeable about the “shoulds” of good marketing, it took a content calendar for them to finally lose the label of “cobbler’s child” (you know, the one who never has any shoes?) and gave them the framework to start communicating with their customers in a regular cadence. That simple four-week formula laid the foundation for a multi-channel content marketing campaign.  

Ready to effectively create well-planned, engaging content to boost your business? Start by aligning content with a centralized content calendar.

What is a content calendar?

Like its name suggests, a content calendar offers a year-long or monthly view of your company’s content goals, including topics for timely online articles and engaging social media posts.

Content calendars help fine-tune your marketing by forcing you to identify your key messaging goals for the year. They also help ensure you’re covering key topics while making each post timely and engaging.

4 steps to creating a content calendar 

Using a content calendar doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially if you break it down into these essential steps:

1.      Define your objectives.

Are you hoping to attract new customers? Retain existing ones? Boost your name recognition within a given industry? Perhaps all of the above. Each of these goals is possible with an effective content campaign.

Knowing your immediate and long-term business goals helps you identify and prioritize key talking points, so you can develop social and web-based content to capitalize on them.

2.      Start with calendar-driven topics.

Create content around annual or seasonal topics of interest for each month of the year. CPA firms might publish a series of Q&A blogs on common tax-filing questions in March and early April, for example. College prep advisors might explain the pros/cons of applying Early Decision in their August and September TikToks. Garden centers could post YouTube videos about the best ways to fertilize backyards in May, while plumbers’ December Instagram feeds might highlight strategies to keep pipes from freezing. You get the idea. For our printing client, who did a lot of work for nonprofit organizations, fall appeals letters were one timely focal point. 

The point is, once you start looking carefully at the calendar, some content topics pop up naturally — since they’re the types of questions or challenges people face each year around that time.

3.      Fill in with evergreen issues.

Next, complete any gaps in your calendar by assigning blog or social posts on topics that are useful any time of year. 

Stuck for ideas? Consider addressing topics that:

      • Speak to new or exciting innovations in your industry or within your company’s range of services

      • Are tailored to meet the needs of a diverse set of clients. (Note: Taking this approach can often lead to a rich series of posts on a single topic. For example, consider how different a blog on “saving for the future” might be if it’s written for college students with little savings history versus experienced investors nearing retirement.)

      • Engage creatively with a current social media trend or meme

      • Predict upcoming shifts within an industry landscape 

      • Speak to common search queries or trending keywords. (You can discover these using online tools like Google Trends, Semrush, or Quora.)  

    4.      Understand your channels.

    Finally, the posts you create for your website shouldn’t be copied and pasted verbatim to your social media channels.

    Effective content strategy understands that the “voice” of your content should shift across your online presence, particularly when it comes to deciding what tone to take on each social media platform.

    While LinkedIn tends to be more formal, posts to TikTok and Instagram can be more casual and fun, for instance. If you’re feeling unsure about whether your tone is the right fit, take time to explore trending feeds on each platform to identify approaches that seem to work best there.

    Evaluating effectiveness

    After a few months of calendar-driven content creation, conduct an audit to see how your posts are performing. Take note of what topics seem to be connecting with your customers — and which ones aren’t, in terms of clicks and views.

    Use this data to fine-tune your messaging for upcoming calendar topics and scheduled social posts. This approach helps you keep readers engaged and highlights your company’s skills to the broadest possible audience.

    Still not sure where to start?

    Dragonfly writers are skilled in both content writing and content strategy. Whether you need a helping hand from time to time or someone to take the reins of your content creation, we can help. Contact us to learn more.

    About the Author

    Robin Roenker is a content writer for Dragonfly Editorial.

    Prior to joining the writing team at Dragonfly Editorial, Robin Roenker wrote for leading national consumer-facing publications, including AARP, Southern Living, and USA Today. She’s been delivering exceptional content for Dragonfly’s clients since 2022.

    A man looks at a bulletin board to plan marketing content.


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