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With streams of new content and ideas, and various platforms and outlets, it’s quite easy to be overwhelmed by your company’s content marketing. This is just one of the many reasons why building a content calendar is a good idea.

Also known as an editorial calendar, a content calendar is a written schedule of when, where and how you plan to publish your company’s upcoming content. Your content calendar may include company news and updates, promotional activities, and partnerships and collaborations.

A content calendar not only allows you to see everything you’re creating, publishing and distributing, but it also helps you to plan, strategise and monitor.

Creating and developing a content calendar shouldn’t be overly complicated. After all, it’s purpose is to help streamline your content marketing efforts. There are several steps that you should take when building a content calendar.

The first is to determine the calendar location and creating a template for the calendar. Whether you use an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets, or a content tech tool from companies like Asana or HubSpot, it’s up to you!

Next is working out what the calendar needs to track. What social media channels are relevant to your brand or business? Do you also send out eDMs regularly and publish blogs?

Now’s the time to begin adding your own content. Outline a roadmap for the future, that is, the weeks and months ahead. Think strategically about your content. What events are coming up? Add company milestones, popular holidays ie. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas. Always keep a steady stream of evergreen content at the ready.

When using a content calendar, you should clearly define your goals – who is the content for and what are you hoping to achieve? Is it for brand awareness, to promote an upcoming sale or perhaps it’s to let your audience know about a partnership or new company role?

Finally, decide on the publishing frequency for each of your channels. Will you publish every day on social media and send out an eDM bi-weekly? How often will you post a blog to your website? Ensure that you meet these deadlines.

Plan ahead. Ideally a content calendar should allow you to plan your content days, weeks and months in advance. However, always be flexible. Things can change and you can always come back throughout the year to tweak your content. As a rule, try to always stay a week ahead with your content. This includes imagery, links and tags.

Track and monitor your successes and failures. Determine what the measures of success are and look at the data behind every post, eDM and blog. Alter your publishing frequency and type of content as necessary.

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