Want to watch a YouTube Video Instead? Here you go!
The more ahead you plan your digital content publishing, the better placed you are to produce a consistent flow of content that builds your ministry. Looking at the year ahead, you might see several events that you want to plan content around – the content calendar is a place to store and manage this information.
You might plan content on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. You might need to be reactive or adapt your plans frequently.
- Plan content around key events in your ministry or important dates;
- See where you have gaps in your content plan, with plenty of warning to line up more content;
- Make sure you have your content ready in plenty of time to publish.
Building a Content Calendar in Three Easy Steps
Step 1: Identify your topics/audiences
Whose attention are you wanting to get? It’s likely that you’re working to reach more than just one audience. For those in campus ministry, you’re likely trying to target your known students as well as recruit Christians on your campus to join, and those who do not know the Lord. That’s three separate audiences to consider.
You should know how much content you’re capable of putting out each month/quarter/year. You could divide this up into person-hours or put a monetary value to it. Weighing content production, this way will then help you determine exactly how much content you should be aiming to produce for each audience.
Step 2: Take stock of your content assets
It’s usually not necessary to produce all your content from nothing. Look at other sources to find content from Cru.org and other ministry sites, as well as known sources like Gospel Coalition or Relevant Magazine. Many of our countries have wonderful content on their national sites, hear from them what their best performing content is and see if you can adapt it for your context.
These content assets might take the form of:
- Slidedecks from training sessions that can be re-purposed as videos, blog posts, or online slide decks;
- The expertise of your colleagues that can be tapped for video, audio, or transcribed interviews;
- Bible studies that can be rewritten as a series of blog posts;
- Old blog posts that can be updated with fresh information or, if they’re all on the same topic, combined into an uber-post.
Step 3: Schedule, publish, promote, track and tweak your content
- Schedule content for social media as far in advance as possible and add to it as time goes on.
- Large events like webinars, Q&As/interviews, ebooks/product releases & conferences can be scheduled as soon as you’ve locked down a date.
There are some principle ideas that industry leaders have shared about creating a content calendar that should help give insight into how to best handle the need for stories on your website, social media accounts and your personal blog and prayer letters.
For Facebook, it’s suggested that you post twice a day if your page has more than 10,000 followers. If you have less than that, one time a day is all you need to worry about. If you’re in the hundreds, you could even do two to three times a week.
For your website, it’s ideal to post two to three times a week so that those visiting your site anticipate that new content is coming and will visit weekly. If you have stale content on your site for too long, then you may end up losing visitors who would have been loyal to you otherwise.
An effective content calendar saves you time and energy. It keeps you organized and on track throughout your hectic workday. Most importantly, it keeps your readers and audience engaged by preventing your content from stagnating – or getting repetitive or overly random.