06 Jan How to create the perfect content calendar for 2021
Businesses, brands and LinkedIn professionals the world over have all waved goodbye to 2020 (or rather kicked it out the door), and opened welcoming arms to 2021 – a new year!
A new year means new all sorts of things for different people, like new hobbies, routines, and goals. And for brands and businesses, it’s all about new strategies, campaigns and content!
Whether you’re a blogger, big brand or a quirky online shop, communicating digitally and creating content has never been more important, and competitive! As lockdowns continue, we’re spending more and more time online, reading through articles, scrolling through feeds with time to actually click (or tap) and read…
It’s therefore crucial you get a strategy in place to make sure your brand or expertise doesn’t miss out on capturing readers’ and your target audience’s attention. But where exactly do you start? Well, you start with a content calendar, and we’ve got just the guide on how to create the perfect content calendar for 2021.
Do I need a content calendar?
“Damn, I didn’t even know it was National Pizza Day yesterday!” – ‘Everythingpizza.blog…’
“Wait, what, there’s a British Pie Week?” – ‘Pat’s Perfect Pies’
“We missed Mental Health Awareness Week and we had so much to say!” – a mental health blogger
If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the year’s events and ‘Days’ – even for those that relate specifically to your brand or offering – then you absolutely need a content calendar.
With so many ‘Awareness Weeks’ and ‘National Days’ being added, having a calendar with specific campaigns, blogs, thought-pieces and social media content planned out is invaluable.
One social media ad with a beautiful essay linked to a trend or event could be the best lead-generating post for your brand all year. Or not, if you totally forget about that event coming up.
Content calendar 2021 strategy
Before you even begin looking at the year’s events planned, you first need to understand your brand, and we mean really understand it. That means that whoever is on the content or social media team, or any platform that is putting out content and messaging, that they know the brand through and through – its messaging and what it wants to and can say.
It’s no good spending time putting together a calendar of events, from an exhaustive list, when you actually don’t have much to add to that topic or event. Tenuous linking is a no-no. Everyone can see right through it, especially when it comes to selling something.
Knowing your tone of voice, authority and ability to speak on certain topics and issues is key. What one piece of content, joke, meme or image could work for one brand, could land another in hot water or could just completely miss the mark.
It’s simple. Know your brand. Know your style (brand guidelines to a tee) and know your insight. If you can bring something to the table, something new, you’re onto a winner, and you may even be onto a viral hit.
Social media content calendar for 2021
You need to analyse all your social media channels. What’s working and what you could benefit from being on. These will act as your main platforms of communicating content, aside from any PR and SEO campaigns.
Depending on your budget or size of business, you can use social media scheduling tools, like Hootsuite, to plan and post content in advance, even simultaneously across all your social media platforms, saving a lot of time.
Social media platforms like Facebook already have publishing and scheduling tools in their Facebook Pages Manager. You can even download a separate app to your phone to go in and schedule posts. National Fish & Chip Day next week? Have your post lined up ready in no time, thanks to a social media content calendar.
Content calendar for blogging
Whether you’re a blogger by hobby or one for a company, or quite a few (we’re talking to you freelancers), a content calendar can make your job or side hustle not only efficient and of high quality, but more fruitful.
When setting up content calendars for your clients or for just the one website, you can use simple spreadsheets with organised tabs to categorise the clients or events. For each event or client tab, have a range of titles and content ideas that are related, along with keyword research.
With this, have notes on a content marketing strategy to help get these pieces of content seen in front of the right eyes, and robots! For a fully efficient and commercially strategic content calendar that boosts your website, the help of an SEO and content marketing agency goes a long way here.
And when it comes to blogging, Pinterest is a fantastic social media platform to get content out in front of niche, target audiences, so make sure this is on your calendar. Especially if you’re a blogger for art, DIY, crafts, recipes, fashion, lifestyle and beauty (the topics are truly endless), using Pinterest will help you increase visibility and traffic to your website – if you use it right. Learn more about how to use Pinterest for blogging from our blog!
Make it fit your brand
It can’t be stressed enough to make sure whatever event or trend you’re jumping on the bandwagon with – that the link isn’t tenuous – and that it fits your brand. Some will work brilliantly for some but weak for others.
It would probably take us days (maybe weeks!) to find all the events related to all the different sectors, so we’ll just focus on the main, popular one of food and drink for now to give you some ideas. And don’t be put off if the event isn’t exactly related to your offering, you may find some events here could work for your niche business.
An example content calendar for food and drink businesses
|International Waffle Day||25 March 2021||-Interactive timeline of the history of the waffle|
-A blog listing the best film or TV scenes with waffles in (maybe you’re a film blogger!)
-Run a competition to design the best waffle & topping with the winner’s choice getting to be made (we’re talking to you bakers)
|National Tea Day||21 April 2021||-Us Brits love a good cup of tea, so basically any British business could rave about this one, but why not run a poll to get people talking on how to best make one? Milk or no milk? Milk first or last? Tea bag left in or not? The divide you could create!|
-’And that’s the tea’ meme, this is your Day! Maybe you’re a gossip blogger “Spill the tea”
|World Vegan Month||November||-Schedule to showcase a new vegan menu in celebration of the month |
-Whatever your business, what have you done to help animals and the environment this year? Share a thoughtful blog from the CEO
-Conduct a survey to find out some insightful data on vegans. Could you be the brand behind the latest vegan stats headline “2021 saw a 25% rise in those turning vegan”?
Check out the full list of events for 2021 here.
Content calendar templates
With easy-to-use documents, you can create a content calendar from a range of resources, or you can use templates already created online – how handy!
- Planet Social Media 2021 Content Calendar – full of tons of prompts and ideas you can adapt for your business
- Hootsuite Social Media Content Calendar
- Airtable Content Calendar
- HubSpot Content Calendar
Ready to get started? Pin this to help you create your content calendar and put ‘must follow and check The Audit Lab’s blog‘ on it to keep up to date with all our insightful content! And if you need help with thorough keyword research and content marketing planning, we have the resources and know a thing or two about digital marketing (we do it on the daily), just get in touch!