The Ultimate Guide To Creating a B2B Content Calendar That Boosts Your Content Marketing Program

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The Ultimate Guide To Creating a B2B Content Calendar

Your next blog post, or social media update is due, but you’ve been so busy that you’re only now looking for a fascinating subject to write about. Has this ever happened to you?

You are under pressure to finish it quickly, and after it is published, you barely have time to bask in your sense of accomplishment before your next deadline approaches.

When you really grasp what content marketing entails, you realize that it requires maintaining a regular posting schedule. The entire situation can be thrown off by a single minor delay that simply cascades forward to delay other articles in its wake.

Because of this, having an actionable content schedule can drastically improve your ability to consistently find, create and publish content. The creation of excellent content calendars can be as straightforward as using an Excel spreadsheet.

Better still, to get you started along this organized journey, there are many readily usable templates that are available.

In this article, we will talk about content calendars and why having one is important for b2b businesses that hope to do content marketing, or are already well into it.

We will also share some content calendar templates to make it easy for you to start this journey. Here are the topics that we will cover:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is a content calendar?
  3. What are the benefits of creating a content calendar?
  4. What are the steps to create a content calendar?
  5. Content Calendar Templates
  6. Conclusion

Introduction

Making a content calendar from scratch is one of those activities that appears to be much more difficult than it actually is.

It can be intimidating just to open a blank Excel spreadsheet or word document to start creating the plan.
Thankfully, after reading this article, you will know exactly what to do.

Before we jump into the steps to create a content calendar, let’s talk about what a content calendar actually is.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar, commonly referred to as ‘editorial calendar’, is a written schedule of the dates and locations of planned content publication.

All articles that will be published in the future including planned promotions, status updates, partnerships, and even the revisions to current material must be part of the content calendar.

Along with dates and topics, it is also important to do some research and find out what type of content must be published and when to make it most effective and useful.

What are the benefits of creating a content calendar?

Like any project management tool, content calendars require dedication, especially when you first create one from scratch and have to get used to the practice of updating it once a week or once a month. But having a content calendar has a bounty of benefits.

Listed below are some of the benefits of creating a content calendar:

  1. Making a plan beforehand relieves stress

    Nobody likes working in a culture that is reactive. To avoid feeling perpetually behind, use a calendar to be proactive and look 30, 60, or 90 days ahead.

  2. It helps you stay true to your production objectives

    If you claim to be producing six pieces of content per month but aren’t keeping track of tasks and deadlines, you won’t be able to do so.

  3. Things are more organized

    The calendar employs content workflows to streamline procedures, and since everything is in one location, it keeps everything organized and increases productivity.

  4. It ensures transparency

    Everyone can see what is in the queue by looking at your content calendar, which offers transparency. Additionally, it makes it possible to see content projects from any angle.

  5. It helps find bottlenecks easily

    You can understand why when deadlines are missed and things go awry. It may be because of the approval procedure or insufficient design resources or another thing. The point is that you will be able to recognize it and take steps to fix it.

  6. Collaboration is simpler

    Collaboration is made simple by using a content calendar that gathers notes, comments, files, and other information in one location.

  7. It helps build accountability

    Having a position for each team member aids with accountability. A calendar makes it clear whether they are or are not meeting it. Then you may deal with it directly.

What are the steps to create a content calendar?

Here are six easy steps to build an effective content calendar from scratch for B2B businesses:

  1. Decide Which Topics to Include

    The broad themes you must address should be listed. If you have already created content, consider the topics you haven’t yet covered.
    What do they need to know and who is your audience?

    They are more likely to interact with, share, and convert into leads and customers when your content directly answers their concerns.

    Just keep in mind that as your consumers progress through the buying process and get closer to completing a purchase, what they need to know may change.

    There are multiple places to look for inspiration:

    1. Competitor Blogs/ Industry Leader Blogs
    2. Summit/ Conference Topics
    3. News Topics

    Make a list of these and you will find that it isn’t so difficult to find topics.

  2. Determine Which Publication Channels to Use

    How will your content be distributed? Different content types are better suited for different channels:

    • Your blog: Ideal for delivering business thoughts and ‘how-to’ content
    • Your website: To boost your authority and conversions, make landing pages/ micro-sites, videos, and gated content.
    • Video sharing platforms: For interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and explainer videos
    • Social networking sites: Excellent for raising brand awareness and promoting new content of value to the audience
    • Emails: Here, you can use newsletters, press releases, surveys, blog content of value, and seasonal material to target particular audience segments.
  3. Finalize the Frequency of the Posts

    You could attempt to post a new blog entry every day, but is this required and do you have the resources to do so?

    Create a manageable publishing schedule that will work for your team. Make sure to stick to your timetable no matter what. Start out modestly with one to three postings each week if you’re unsure.

  4. Create a Spreadsheet

    Most content marketers can get by with just a spreadsheet.

    Use Google, or One Drive to collaborate with other team members as it offers secure online storage and backup. Include columns containing the following details:

    • Publication date
    • Author name
    • A working title
    • Description of the content
    • Marketing goals
    • Publication channels
    • Keywords to be included
    • Calls-to-actions to be added
    • Notes and resources
    • Status of the piece
  5. Start Filling In the Details

    A content calendar’s flexibility is one of its best qualities. Everything else can be shifted about in accordance with your timetable and marketing objectives, but seasonal content is set in stone.

    Thoughtfully consider your resources while coming up with as many ideas as you can.

    Depending on the size of your team, the amount of material will vary; if in doubt, prioritize quality above quantity.

    Keep in mind that you can reuse information and tackle particular topics from many perspectives.

    For example, posts that do well in one format can be extended to other formats – text article, image gallery with captions, animated or explainer videos, slideshows, PDFs, Infographics, Webinar Video Snippets, Tutorials, etc.

    Squeeze the most out of content that works by repurposing it in this manner.

  6. Define the Workflow

    Give each team member a content strategy guide that includes spelt out processes like the following

    1. editorial guide for writers
    2. a succinct explanation of best practices in writing
    3. how to write blog outlines or social media posts using formulae
    4. how to brief external writers
    5. how to evaluate if the writing’s on target
    6. details of who is in charge of what, etc.

    This will guarantee that the content marketing process works smoothly.

Content Calendar Templates

If you do not have the time to build a content calendar from scratch, you can simply use a content marketing strategy template.

Luckily, there are quite a few dependable templates available. Here is a list of some reliable templates:

  • DivvyHQ Content Calendar Template
  • Trello Board Content Calendar Template
  • HubSpot Content Calendar
  • CoSchedule Annual Content Calendar Template
  • Backlinko Content Calendar Template
  • Hootsuite Social Media Calendar Template

Conclusion

Content marketing takes time.

It requires a dedication to creating excellent material. In the end, an editorial calendar will assist you to reliably create and distribute pertinent material through the appropriate channels. This in turn, enables you to further your content marketing objectives.

Start with a simple spreadsheet and allow it to develop over time into a more precise content calendar.

This regardless of whether you decide to write your own material or purchase it from freelance writers. Soon, you’ll be left wondering how you ever survived without a content calendar.