Does present-day you ever look back and thank past-you? You know, like the time you stocked up on toilet paper and Lysol wipes right before a global pandemic? Having a content calendar will give you that same feeling of smug satisfaction and peace of mind!
Planning a year’s worth of content can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be.
First, start with a format that works for you. I find the simpler the format, the better and more likely you are to use it. A simple Excel document like the one below often does the trick. If this isn’t for you, there are plenty of others to choose from or create something that works for you.
Populating your calendar
I start with low hanging fruit: statutory holidays and company events that you participate in annually. Meeting with department heads and the senior management team are also key to completing your content calendar.
Another great source to help fill-in your content calendar are the United Nations Observances and International Days. I also like “national day calendars” (e.g., https://nationaltoday.com/national-day-calendar/) for the fun “days” like National Donut Day (June 4) and National Nap Day (March 15)—not real holidays, but are great for helping your organization stay relevant on social media. These “days” provide a wonderful opportunity for your organization to showcase its personality across its social media channels. Have fun, but remember to also keep it professional.
Once your calendar has been populated (if not for a year, try for at least the next quarter), now you have to figure out what you’re going to do for each of these entries. Are there hashtags you should include? Do you have collateral for the post? Do you have time to write a blogpost or article for the newsletter around one of the events or days listed? Is this something that could also engage your internal audience?
Finding the time to create engaging and relevant content is not an easy feat. Some people find blocking time off in their calendar every week works for them, while other people always have the document open and work on it in between larger projects or as a “break”. And sometimes inspiration won’t come until the day of and you see what others are posting about it. That’s OK too. Whatever method, just don’t ignore the calendar.