Why Creators Should Use a Social Media Content Calendar and How

Social Media Content Calendar

Highlights

A social media marketing calendar gives creators a chance to handle their marketing strategy and take control of their career
It allows you the ability to be more organized, collaborate with others and have perspective of the types of content produced
Finding the right application to use is key, with Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel and paid programs being very popular
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Living in a content creator’s economy is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that the avenues to become a content creator and make money on Instagram have never been more democratized and available. The curse is that in addition to being an artist, to succeed, creators also must be their own managers and marketers. Staying organized can be difficult for creative types, especially if their brains burst with ideas!

Lucky for creators, there is a practical tool for content planning. Social media content calendars are great for organizing, collaborating, and gaining perspective on your marketing strategy. In this post, we’ll discuss 3 things:

  1. Define what a content marketing calendar is.
  2. The advantages of having a content calendar
  3. The different tools for organizing your social media posting schedule.

We’ll show how to create a content calendar and which applications are best to use. In no time, you’ll be on your way to creating your own social media marketing calendar.

What is a Social Media Content Calendar?

social media calendar template

A social media content calendar (also known as an “editorial calendar”) is a schedule of not only the types of content you intend to publish, but also the rollout of the intended content. This means that your calendar can break the rollout of the content into gradual steps. Here are a few examples:

  • Status updates
  • Promotional activity
  • Partnerships with other collaborators
  • A reminder of what content to create for specific holidays and events that are upcoming.

A social media content calendar must be realistic in terms of your ability to produce output. This will always come through understanding the production process and evaluating your own capabilities. Below, we’ll explore why having such a calendar can increase production and afford you the chance to share the load with your planned productions.

3 Reasons Why You Need a Content Calendar

Organization

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Obviously, being an artist in today’s marketplace is very demanding. You are trying to keep up with the latest trends, find your style as a creator and keep up with the multitude of ideas you have. But, before you know it, your ambition and creativity can undermine your progress as you feel pulled in every direction in the ever-expanding marketplace.

A calendar is an excellent tool because it can act as a social media posting schedule. This allows you to work towards specific benchmarks for future posts instead of getting bogged down in too many options. You have a pre-set schedule of holidays or dates to plan content for. This structure can provide a lot of freedom. The constraints of the Instagram content calendar can allow you to work toward a single goal of completing the next deadline.

Collaboration

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If you’re working alone, you may simply appreciate the organizational aspect. But if you plan on working with others, having a central content calendar example for your team to use is essential. Think of it as the roadmap everyone is attentive to. You can organize your schedule according to specific roles so that each member fulfills their obligations on time. You can also communicate what the team has to look forward to so that everyone is prepared for what lies ahead. Having a central calendar allows you the chance to do just that.

Perspective

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Taking a step back is important. You can move on from one post to the next and forget your overall career trajectory or video marketing strategy. Having a central calendar has the added benefit of giving you a sense of the overall arc of planned content. You have the chance to ask bigger questions over what type of creative you plan to be.

On a less philosophical level, it also allows you to have a birds-eye view of the type of content you plan on releasing over the next year. Say, for instance, that you publish a lot of outdoor content and don’t want to post too much of one setting or activity nearby. Having a calendar gives you the perspective to check that before your posting timeline appears too one-note to your followers.

Major dates to mark in your content calendar

The Super Bowl – February 14

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The last Super Bowl attracted 96.4 million viewers. Given the vast amount of ready eyeballs, posting during that time is a great chance to make money on Facebook.

Women’s Day – March 8

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Ever since the #MeToo movement began, there’s been a hunger for female-driven content that is inspiring and empowering. And even if you’re only an ally, Women’s Day is a must on your calendar.

Earth Day – April 22

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With so much environmental consciousness in the air, concern for nature is becoming more ubiquitous by the day. So whether you’re lighthearted or more serious, you can guarantee more people are tuning into this holiday.

Father’s Day – The 3rd Sunday of June

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Give dad more than a tie on Father’s Day! People are looking for fun and creative ways to surprise their father on this special day. Hopefully, they’re sending a video recently produced by you (if you’re publishing on TikTok, be sure to check out how to create in the TikTok video format).

Thanksgiving – November 24

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Gratitude is in the air. The world is slowly returning to normal, and people need reasons to smile. So commemorating this holiday where people are with their loved ones is something that will be handsomely rewarded.

Christmas – December 24

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Whether you celebrate or not, this holiday is as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola in December. You can’t help but see it advertised everywhere. Therefore, having material ready to publish for this marketing bonanza is crucial for any creative. Here at Artlist we put together a great ready-to-use collection with Christmas music and Christmas sound effects.

Get all you need to create the perfect video

Tools for Organizing Your Content Calendar

Before getting into specific applications, let’s review the different types of content you can publish.

Editorial content

This is the content you either share over social media, on a podcast or over your blog in your voice. Whether it’s a commercial or an interview, given the central nature of this content to your brand, you’ll want to stay on top of the production schedule to make sure you have consistent output.

Promotional content

This may be a heads up to your followers that a more extensive video coming up so they can stay tuned for your bigger productions. This will spare you the heartache of having your special shoots go unnoticed.

After parsing your different types of content, you can move into the different types of platforms and applications to put your calendar on. If you plan on publishing solo and are more the analog type, feel free to use pen and paper if that’s what’s comfortable. However, for most people, you’ll want something that can be shared, readily accessed and edited.

Google Sheets

google sheet social media content calendar organizing tool

By Abas Gemini – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pricing: Sheets is part of the Google Drive suits, which is free for personal use and costs 6$ per month for businesses

Google Sheets is one of the most popular options for individuals and teams. Readily shareable and collaboration-friendly, it is a great resource if you’re willing to put in the time to set it up properly.

Microsoft Excel

microsoft excel is a great tool for organizing an editorial calendar

Pricing: Excel comes free as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription, which costs $100 per year (with a 1-month free trial)

Excel is what Google Sheets was based on, and kudos to the Microsoft team for making their product more collaborative than before.

Todoist

how to create a content calendar with todoist

By yashimaCC BY-SA 2.0

Pricing plans: Free / 3$ per month / 5$ per month

If you’re a solo creative and are willing to spend money, Todoist is a great tool. You can create project tabs where you’re able to scale back from your completion date and benchmarks along the way.

Loomly

Price plans: Starting at $26 per month (with a 15-day free trial)

Loomly is another excellent paid content calendar tool. And it offers more than just organizational help. Loomly will help you come up with content ideas, give you optimization tips, allow you to collaborate with others and more.

There are plenty of other tools. of course. Having the right one for your work method is what’s most important.

Conclusion

Content planning is essential to handle your own marketing strategy in the 21st century. A social media marketing calendar is an excellent resource for organizing, collaborating with others and gaining a birds-eye perspective about the content you release and the creator you’re becoming. In addition, having a shortlist of holidays and important dates in mind will help you plan ahead for the year. Lastly, finding the proper application to have either an Instagram content calendar or a general social media posting schedule is key. Your content marketing calendar will give you freedom and professionalism moving forward and equip you to be the best artist you can be.

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Jonathan Mateer is a writer based in California. Currently attending UC Berkeley, he covers topics such as filmmaking, storytelling, politics and culture.

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