written by
Ilias Ism

What Is a Content Calendar & How to Build One

Content Marketing 1 min read

As a content marketer, consistently publishing high-quality, engaging content is essential to building your brand and attracting your target audience.

But with so many content ideas, formats, and channels to manage, it can be challenging to stay organized and ensure your content strategy is aligned with your business goals.

That's where a content calendar comes in.

What is a content calendar?

StoryChief content calendar
StoryChief content calendar

A content calendar is a schedule of all the content you plan to create and publish across your marketing channels, such as your blog, social media, email, and more.

It's a framework for effectively planning, organizing, and executing your content marketing strategy.

A typical content calendar includes details like:

  • Publish dates
  • Content titles/topics
  • Content formats (blog post, video, infographic, etc.)
  • Target keywords
  • Distribution channels
  • Authors/owners
  • Production status
  • Additional notes

By documenting your upcoming content in one centralized place, a content calendar provides a strategic overview of your publishing schedule.

This helps you maintain a consistent cadence, balance different content types, and ensure your messaging supports your overarching marketing objectives.

Benefits of using a content calendar

Implementing a content calendar offers several key advantages:

  1. Keeps you organized and on track - A calendar provides a bird's-eye view of your content, making it easy to identify any gaps and ensure you're covering all the important topics and themes.
  2. Enables strategic planning - By planning content in advance, you can align your efforts with key dates, seasonal trends, product launches, and marketing campaigns.
  3. Improves content quality - Having a calendar allows more time for keyword research, writing, editing, and designing assets, leading to better content.
  4. Boosts consistency - Sticking to a regular publishing schedule keeps your audience engaged and helps establish your brand as a reliable source of valuable content.
  5. Streamlines collaboration - A shared calendar keeps all stakeholders informed about content projects and makes it easier to coordinate efforts across teams.
  6. Saves time - Planning ahead minimizes last-minute scrambles and fire drills. You can batch content creation and free up more time for other priorities.

How to build a content calendar

Now that you understand the importance of content calendars, here's how to create one for your own content marketing program.

1. Clarify your content strategy

Your calendar should support your high-level content marketing strategy. Before building out your calendar, make sure you've documented:

  • Your target audience and buyer personas
  • Your brand voice and style guidelines
  • The primary topics and themes you want to cover
  • Your content goals and KPIs

2. Choose your format

Content calendars can take many forms, from a simple spreadsheet to a robust piece of software. Some popular options include:

Consider your team's needs and workflows to select the format that will be easiest to use and maintain.

Look for features like the ability to visualize your calendar in multiple views, add custom fields, and integrate with your CMS and social media scheduling tools.

3. Create your calendar template

Start your content calendar in StoryChief

Build out your calendar template with the specific fields you want to track. Typical components include:

  • Date
  • Author
  • Topic/Headline
  • Keywords/SEO title
  • Content type
  • Funnel stage
  • Distribution channels
  • Visuals needed
  • URL
  • Status

Customize your template to match your unique content planning process and information needs.

4. Fill in your content ideas

storychief content example

Populate your calendar with specific content ideas for at least the next month, quarter, or whatever planning horizon makes sense for your business.

Mix in different content types (blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.) and topics to deliver variety to your audience.Align your calendar with key events and dates, like holidays, industry conferences, and planned product launches or campaigns.

Look for opportunities to repurpose content across multiple formats and channels. For example, a webinar recording could be sliced up into social media clips, or a blog post could be expanded into an eBook.

5. Keep it up to date

Your calendar should be a living document that you're continually updating as priorities shift and new ideas emerge. Schedule regular content brainstorms and calendar reviews to stay ahead of schedule.

Track your content performance and use those insights to optimize your calendar. Double down on the topics and formats that are resonating, and replace underperforming content with new experiments.

Manage your calendar with StoryChief

While you can maintain a content calendar manually using spreadsheets or Google Calendar, investing in a dedicated content marketing platform will make the process much easier and more efficient.

StoryChief's content calendar feature is specifically designed to help you plan, collaborate on, and promote your content all in one place. You can:

  • Visualize your upcoming content in a custom calendar view
  • Click on a date to easily create a new story or social media post
  • Assign content projects to specific team members
  • Attach editorial briefs to keep everyone aligned
  • Set up custom workflows to manage your content production process
  • Publish content directly to your CMS and social channels

StoryChief's unified content calendar streamlines content organization and planning, so you can focus on creating great content that grows your business.

To see how it works, start your free 14-day trial of StoryChief today.

social media content calendar