Having a content calendar in place for your overall marketing strategy is key, having a plan will allow you to stay consistent and top of your content. In this video, we go over 4 different types of content calendars, the key here is to find one or pull components from each that you like and would work best for you and your team.
00:00 Amber Irwin: Hello. I am Amber Irwin and co-founder of Social Speak Network. I’m your host today on the Social Speak podcast. It is January of 2020, and we’re almost to the middle of the month already. So, you’re either in one of two positions. Number one, you have all your content planned out for the year, you are on track and have your content strategy put together. Woo-hoo. Number two, not there quite yet. This video and podcast are for the people that are number two that are still struggling to put together that content calendar. I want to talk about content calendars today, because it is the most important piece of your digital marketing strategy, and it is something… Usually, we have our clients do these content calendars beginning of December, planning out for the new year because once the holidays come, it’s just crazy. Time goes by so fast, and then it’s the new year, back to business, and it gets crazy.
01:07 AI: So having a content calendar is really about being able to have a really good overview of what your year looks like. What are the national observance days that you need to pay attention to? What are the seasons? So for medical practices, if you are a pediatrician, you need to pay attention to flu season, summertime, back to school. What are the other sicknesses that kids are dealing with? You may wanna be talking about just tips of handwashing and nutrition. So looking at what you are talking to your patients about. And that’s really the biggest thing is it’s changing that mindset from having these conversations in the office with your patients and taking that… Those conversations and turning them into content and implementing them into your content calendar.
02:04 AI: So, I always recommend having a sticky note, a pad of paper, your phone. Something where, you know, once that patient’s done taking a few minutes and either jotting down questions they had or giving it to a nurse to write down and then being able to take those questions and incorporate them into your content strategy. Because if this patient had that client like’s are, you’re gonna have more patients that have that question, and you wanna be able to be a resource for them. So, I’m gonna give you four different examples of content calendars. There’s no right or wrong way to a content calendar. It’s really what works for you and your team. So if you have a marketing team in-house that’s doing all of your social media, great. You guys are gonna figure out a plan together of what works, what works for them, what’s easy for… Maybe it’s the office manager, the practice manager that’s looking over everything, maybe it’s the head doctor. Whoever that person in charge is that wants to see the overview of everything, what format works for them?
03:13 AI: If you’re working with a marketing team, such as Social Speak, we have an intro call with you. We show you the different content calendars. And then, the last one I’m gonna show you today that we’re gonna talk about is the one that we put together. And we’ve taken bits and pieces from content calendars that we’ve used and the pieces that work for us. So, we have one with everything on there. So, the first two I’m gonna talk to you about are from CoSchedule and HubSpot. And these are more focused around your social media, which is great because a lot of your content that you’re doing for digital marketing is going to be social media, blog posts video marketing. So, these are a great way to just keep everything organized.
04:00 AI: So, I’m gonna go ahead and show you these two. So, this first one is from, let’s see, this one is… This one here is the one that is from CoSchedule, I believe. And this is outlined very nicely. It breaks it up by platform. So, obviously, you’re only gonna be putting the platforms on here that you’re using. So if you’re not using Twitter, you’re not going to have this Twitter section here. Google Plus doesn’t exist anymore, so you would have Instagram on here instead. Pinterest, we use a tool called Tailwind, and I’ll put a link below for that. But that’s really where all of our Pinterest scheduling goes, through Tailwind. So, I wouldn’t have Pinterest on here, but Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. So, here you’re gonna have the post copy, the image, so you know what image is going with what post. The hashtags, the destination URL. So is this going to a curated content unit, outside articles? Is this going to a blog, a YouTube video? And then, on this one, one thing I liked was that this actually measures… Each week, you could come back and look at how those posts did. So, how many likes were there? How many shares? How many comments? So, this one is a great way to just get started for social media.
05:42 AI: The other one, this one here, is one that is from HubSpot, I believe. And this one has your overview schedule, what account, the date and time, message link campaign. And then, this one is your monthly calendar. Now, I really like it when… Having this monthly calendar. And this is something that we implement into our content calendar because I like seeing that overview. So again, if it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Diabetes Awareness Month, I wanna make sure that I’m talking about that topic each week and in different ways. So maybe we do a video around Diabetes Awareness Month. We’re writing a blog on it. We are getting testimonials. So figuring out how that National Observance Day ties into your practice and your clients, and then how can you deliver that information?
06:47 AI: I tend to be very visual, and same with our social media marketing team, they’re very visual, so we really like when we have this color-coded key, because, as we look at this, we can say, “Okay this is going to a blog post, this is going to a video, this is going to a holiday campaign,” or whatever it may be. But this helps break it down so we can attach that color to that topic. So, overview, we say, “Okay, this week I’m gonna do… Create two videos on this topic.” So it helps us and our team stay organized. The one thing I really like about this content calendar is it has tabs for each platform. Now, if you’re using one of the awesome tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, or HootSuite, it’s easy to put your content in there and share it to all the platforms at one time, which makes it really simple. At the same time, we recommend not doing that.
07:49 AI: So if people are following you on Instagram and Facebook, they’re usually checking both of those every day, and you don’t want them to get on Instagram and see your post and then head over to Facebook and then that exact same post shows up at the same time in their newsfeed. There’s no value there. So why would they follow you on both platforms if there isn’t value? So I like this platform here where it breaks it into each network. So you can see, “Okay, this is what we’re doing for this network.” And even if you have a blog post that you are promoting, you can have that blog post, you can pull different sections from that blog for each platform, it can link back to the same blog, but maybe you have a different image for each post.
08:43 AI: The other thing that you can do is, we are all about reusing content, so what you write for your Facebook posts one week, you can use the following week, or the next week, for Instagram and LinkedIn. So it’s really about writing the social media posts for the month and then organizing them to the different platforms. With Twitter and Instagram, it’s really important that you have those hashtags that you are implementing into the content. With Facebook and LinkedIn, and even Pinterest, it’s not as important. But here you can see what day it’s going out, that you may have two or three posts going out per day on one network depending on how many likes and followers you have.
09:35 AI: So this is the link it’s going to. Now, the next two templates I’m gonna show you, you can actually… With Google Sheets, and I’m pretty sure with Excel as well… You can insert the image into a cell. So we actually put the image in here and then we create all of our images in Canva, and so we can then put the link there too. So, as you’re scheduling them, everything is in one spot, it’s easy to pull from. The head person that wants to look over this, they can see, “Okay, this is the message. That looks good. This is the link. This is what the campaign,” if it’s linking back to a certain campaign. “This is the image. Okay, let’s go with this.”
10:15 AI: So, the other one I want to share is this one. And… Oops. So, here… So this is the one from HootSuite, and I really like this template. Because, again, it… Outlines by the network, which is really important, because, again, that social copy should be different for each platform, especially depending on your audience. So sometimes our clients get a lot more engagement on Facebook than they do LinkedIn or Twitter. So on Facebook and maybe even Instagram, we wanna make sure that we are asking questions, doing posts that are engaging our audience, because that’s where we see the most interaction. So this one here kinda takes that monthly calendar and puts it right into kind of a weekly column.
11:21 AI: And so if you are doing five posts per week onto Facebook, this post is gonna be the new blog post, curated content, evergreen blog post, a live video. So, with Facebook, doing live videos, if that’s what works for your practice, maybe it’s a weekly FAQ with a doctor, maybe it is a weekly kind of a health tip and one of the nurses can just jump on and do that. So I think it’s a great idea to implement those live videos, and then your promotion if you are running a promotion. Now, these content types will change based on what topics you and your practice wanna be talking about, but when you move down to Instagram, you wanna make sure that you’re implementing stories, sharing content, creating those images because it is visual. So this content calendar is great. Now, this just has one sheet, and this is just for social media. So each week you would put the date here and then have your content on here. So, this is another great way to stay organized. You have noted here, image links, where you need to pull that image from, but this is a great way to stay organized for your social media.
12:44 AI: The last content calendar that I want to show you is our content calendar. So, we’ve taken a piece of, as I said, different content calendars that we’ve used, different needs that our clients have had, and what we’ve done is, the first tab is that full content calendar. So we have our color-coded key here, so we can see each month what this looks like. Now, what we may do is I may duplicate this, so this may be the January content calendar. So I may do one for January, February, March, April, May, or I may have this due January and then copy below here for February. So it’s all on one sheet, but sometimes you wanna go back and look, “Okay, what did we talk about in January?” So then when you’re coming up for the following year, you know, “Okay, this is what really worked. These are topics that we talked about what we need to implement again.” And then what we do is here…
13:48 AI: Here are our social media topics. So, this is the little notes I told you to keep track of. This is where you can say in here like, FAQ and then the questions that people had asked. So, you know, “Okay, this is what we need to be talking about. We need to create social media posts or blog posts or videos around this topic, and then also like a link.” So, if you are on, let’s say, WebMD’s newsletter, and they send out a really good newsletter with some great tips that you wanna implement into your social media strategy as curated content. You can put that topic, you can even put the title of the article and then the link so as you need content, you can come back to here and pull from there. And you can also add it to what we have is the content resources and this just builds that list for curated content.
14:45 AI: Sometimes, it’s easier just to go to Facebook and share from WebMD’s Facebook page or American Heart Association’s Facebook page to your Facebook page and the same thing with Facebook, but you also may wanna use their blogs as resources or other… They may have other tips and tools on their websites that you wanna share. So, just having one place where you come in, put the name of the source and the link, so when you are writing that social media content every week, it’s right here. And then, the next sheet would be the blog topic, so you could tie in the month, the blog title, the topic, the due date, when you published it and the link. So, you can pull from here, come back to your overview of the content calendar and be able to say, “Okay, on this week, this blog post is… ” And then, the title so you know.
15:47 AI: Now, one thing you do not see on our content calendar is the place to actually write your content. So, the way we do our social media is we have found that it is much easier to have a content calendar like this as an overview that you can refer to, look at. “Okay, what do we have coming up? What videos do we need to make? What blogs do we need to write? What social media posts are we gonna be talking about?” And then, what we do for our social media posts is we actually then create a Google Doc. So, our content calendar is in Google, and our weekly social media posts are in Google. I like it better because Google Docs works like a Word doc or like pages on Mac, but everyone that has access to that article or to that document can look at those posts. So if you have… This is just kind of a side note, but if you have a Mac and you don’t have Microsoft, then that Word document gets translated into a page and then vice-versa. So using Google Drive and Google Docs is just kind of a universal way. Anyone that has that link that you share it with can open it, can make edits, can see it. It also checks for grammar, spelling. And so, I like to put all of the social media posts into there.
17:16 AI: I think that makes it look very clean, you know what the content is, the hashtags. So on the content calendar, we are very clear on what day, what that needs to be, what hashtags we need to use, so then we can just transfer that to our Google Sheet, have the image on there, and then be able to put that into whether it’s Buffer or HootSuite. If you are… I will always recommend our clients scheduling all of their posts through Facebook rather than using a third-party app like Buffer or HootSuite or Sprout Social. Facebook likes when you use them. And then using those tools for LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. HootSuite does Instagram so that’s great. Tailwind, it does Pinterest and Instagram. So, it’s just important to figure out what works best for you.
18:15 AI: Sometimes we have a few clients where we just have an open document, and we put our post on there, but they like the format of a sheet better. Like an Excel sheet where they can see the post, they can see the link. It’s all right there. So again, it’s just really figuring out what works best for you and your team. And if you are working with an agency like us, like Social Speak, then being able to know, okay, what system does that agency have in place and is it easy for you to understand? So you know what posts are going out for your practice because you wanna know what’s going on and you wanna know how to make edits. And if you say, “Okay, let’s use this instead of that.” So just making sure that when you are creating this content calendar that you and your team are on the same page.
19:05 AI: So, I will add each of these as links below, so you can make sure you can see each of them and see which ones work best for you. And if you want help putting together the content strategy for your practice and really understanding how to implement that, let us know. We are here to help you. You can head on over to socialspeaknetwork.com and do the free consultation. That’s a 30 minutes free consultation that we can walk you through this. We can answer questions for you. And if you are looking for more help from having an agency manage this for you, we would love to have that conversation as well. So, I hope that this helped and really got you on the track of being organized. Even if you do it quarterly, but quarters go by just as fast as weeks. By the end… By the snap of the fingers, it’s gonna be the end of quarter one.
19:46 AI: So, it’s important to have that year even if you just have the topics and your blogs, because the blogs turn into social media content. If you do one cornerstone blog of 3000 words, and you have maybe two videos in there and each blog has 10 images, there is social media content for a month. So, it’s really about maximizing your content and where it needs to go in organizing it. So, hopefully, this gave you some good insights on a content calendar and how it can work for your practice. And if you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help. Have a great day.