Content Marketing Plan – The Perfect Calendar Using Trello
Creating a sustainable business requires a Content Marketing Plan, that’s based on the steady flow of content production and promotion. Finding time to consistently post content is a challenge to the typical busy business owner. In this article we look at content calendars and how planning, choosing one focus topic per week and then applying across all channels by using the technique of repurposing.
Incredibly, we see a lot of small business owners simply posting daily on social media and this is essentially their process. It’s time to take the pressure off by PLANNING AHEAD. A Content Calendar is a schedule of when and where you intend to publish upcoming content. Content calendars typically include ideas, upcoming articles, key dates and status updates. If you’re a casual blogger, then you probably don’t need a content calendar. However, if you’re using content marketing to grow your online business, then staying organised and consistent is essential.
Focus on one
What if I told you that one piece of content per week could cover ALL your content needs. In fact, for many one piece of content per month would be enough. This is possible through the art of repurposing.
For example, you create a blog post of 1200+ words that covers a specific topic idea. You can then convert that post into a script for a video, and segment this down into captions and maybe short videos or social media posts. Now we’re not having to generate multiple ideas daily from scratch! We’re getting more work done in half the time with half the effort.
6 reasons why creating a content calendar (machine) is important for businesses
- Making up content ideas on the spot can be difficult when you’re a busy business owner with other things going on
- Content production can become overwhelming if it’s done on the fly like this.
- Little thought is given to an overarching strategy. There’s a tendency to just publish anything to get it done.
- Manually posting things up can result in less time spent responding to comments or interacting with your audience (we know that engagement is VERY important on social platforms)
- The lack of a process or system makes it difficult to get any outside help with content production because they don’t understand how you would like it done!
- A lack of a process might prevent you from following consistently following best practices, which will limit your growth.
Create a content machine
In the video above I explain how we can create a Content Calendar in Trello. Personally, I think it’s much more than your typical Calendar because I’ve embedded processes, checkboxes, reference guides and best practice. I therefore refer to it as my Content Machine! Please watch the video and let us know what you think!
Running the machine successfully
- Maintain a healthy backlog. Maybe take inspiration for a typical agile sprint and schedule in time / meetings for Backlog Refinement
- Always have a couple of items in the Ready to Roll column. These should be fleshed out with a reasonable amount of detail about that topic
- Create an output template that works for you. Choose a week or month. Choose your strength as a starting point (blog, video, series of captions)
- Create fantastic checklists that you develop over time. Particularly important if you’re working in a team.
- Duplicate your output template each week / month and try to get ahead of yourself
- Create detailed guides that you update regularly. The game is always changing and it’s a great place to log best practices for each channel
- Ensure you create a column for reference material to help speed up your workflow. Have everything to hand.
As a quick reminder, put in very simple terms – each piece of content should conform to the following:-
- Who is your target audience?
- What type of content resonates with them?
- How do they like to consume it?
References or Guides (just a few suggestions)
Content Marketing Strategy – This should be accessible at all time. Open it frequently, make sure it’s a living document and ensure that you’re adhering to the goals and ambitions of your business.
Branding – this will provide a place to store brand assets include the brand statement, tone of voice, logos, colours, fonts and anything else that’s related to the brand.
Hashtags recycling – It’s important to cycle your hashtags so this seems a good place to store those.
Social media images dimensions – There’s a growing list of dimensions for social media images to ensure they always look their best.
Other examples of guides include:
- Keyword research
- Creating the perfect blog post
- How to get the most from Linkedin company pages
Creating these guides will strengthen your process and ensure you’re creating content that’s got the very best chance of helping you grow your brand and achieve your business goals.
Of course, it’s only possible to get ahead of yourself if you are able to schedule your content. This is possible if you choose the right tools for the job:-
- Blog – WordPress or Webflow, both include scheduling
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – All these accounts can be connected to Hootsuite. One point of data entry and then scheduled for release across all these platforms
- YouTube – In YouTube Studio you can upload your video and schedule a release date
Remember, planning out your content in advance doesn’t mean that you can’t post spontaneously any more! You absolutely can and you should! HOWEVER, this is designed to take the pressure off. This will give you the peace of mind, knowing that content will be going out whether you’re feeling spontaneous or not. We all know how life can take over and it’s good to know that the content machine is working when that happens. This system is purely designed to lay down a base layer of content, nothing more.
Let’s review exactly what you’ve achieved
- You’ve created a great baseline layer of content by taking one topic and repurposing it through the week
- We’ve reduced pressure. Nothing has to be done on the fly now however there’s room for spontaneous posts and stories if you feel like it
- Your content links to an overarching strategy
- Less manual tasks will result in you having more time for engagement
- You have a process that means you can share this board and outsource the parts that you don’t want to do and you’ll know they’ll be done just how you like it because you’ve created a system of checklists to make sure that happens.
A few recommended actions
- Create a Trello account and create your first board.
- Create your ideas bank, your backlog of topics
- Put your ideas in a list of priority
- Flesh out the details in the top 2 cards, move them to Read to Roll
- Produce your typical week list (or month), that contains tasks (blog post, social media, newsletter etc).
- Duplicate your typical week and drop a card from Ready to Roll into the top of the list
- Create your masterpiece of blog content and then repurpose it down though the other tasks (social, video etc.)
- When you’re ready, duplicate the typical week and start to get ahead of yourself!
There are several ways you can approach content planning within Trello, this is just one approach. I think it works because it’s based on weekly timeframes. I think that creating a strict one week timebox pushes you to create a steady stream of content that’s required. This is almost like running Agile Sprints each week. I feel that content marketeers can take influence from the typical sprint process by including scheduled meetings for backlog refinement, sprint planning and retrospectives. This will help a larger team to get more velocity in terms of content output.
Please also read our related article about doing a little research to create great content ideas for your Backlog.