Communications Corner: 5 Steps to Creating a Content Calendar + Template
As NPH ramps up our communications and branding team, we’re sharing resources with you that we find helpful in managing strategic communications.
A Content Calendar is a great way to visualize and plan for what you’re going to share with your key audiences. This can help save you time when it comes to keeping your online presence fresh and make sure your team is organized. Check out the below tips from Connecting Up’s “Five Steps to Creating a Content Calendar” and click here for your own content calendar template to get your team started!
1) Get buy-in and support from your team
First things first, if there are other people who are involved with creating content, it’s important that they have committed to using a calendar. Not only that, but more often than not, it’s handy to have a team brainstorming content ideas and knowing whether your calendar will clash with any other existing schedules.
2) Identify types of content
Secondly, identify the types of content you would like to cover. Each content type can serve a different purpose, but could have a similar topic. For example, if you have an upcoming fundraiser you could write an informal “behind-the-scenes” blog post and a more formal media release. Both are for different audiences, but work off the same content topic – your fundraiser.
Here are a few ideas to get you started with content types:
- Blogs on what your organisation is doing
- Case studies on how you’ve helped the community
- News pieces that might be more ‘formal’ than blogs (e.g. media releases)
- Video content
- Photo galleries
3) Map out your schedule
The next step is to map out a regular schedule for your posts. The timing of your posts should be represented in your content strategy to make sure your making the updating of your content sustainable.
For example, your posting schedule might look something like this:
- 2-3 blog posts a week, posted on Monday and Thursday
- 1 case study a month, posted on the third Thursday of each month
- 1 curated resource article a fortnight, posted on Wednesday in your blog
- 1 newsletter per month, sent every Friday
With further analysis, you could even get down to the best times of the day/week to post content and include that in your schedule.
4) Look for content goldmines
Content goldmines give you opportunities to create multiple pieces of content from them. By having your content calendar and posting schedule sorted out, you can see how they can provide plenty of content fodder. For example, an annual fundraiser could provide a couple of months’ worth of content.
One fundraising event could give you:
- Blog posts leading up to the event
- Curated posts of other people’s content with information relevant to the event
- Photos, videos, tweets from the actual event
- Blog posts for after the event
- Case studies
And that’s just scratching the surface! Figure out what content you can create and fill out your schedule.
Other “external” content goldmines might include competitions (e.g. TechSoup Global’s Digital Storytelling Competition), “national” days relevant to your organisation (e.g. National Volunteering Day) and conferences.
5) Be flexible
Your content calendar is a great tool, but there will be times when things change, so don’t worry if something needs to be put on the back burner. It might even be handy to have a stash of content that you can draw on in a pinch.
In terms of being flexible, you could also look at using your content calendar to use for your social media channels as well, especially if you’re short on time.