Have you ever found yourself without content to post on your blog, social media platforms, or digital signage displays? If so, the chances are that you failed to create a content calendar for your content marketing strategy. Without the proper tools for planning your workflows, content creation and publication become hard to manage.
While the market is awash with many content calendar templates for small businesses, their learning curve might be steep. Fortunately, a content calendar template in Google Sheets is as simple to use as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for social media management.
5 Steps to Create Content Calendar
Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the software to create a content calendar.
1. Rename Your Google Sheet
One of the most crucial things to do before everything else is to rename your spreadsheet. The name you choose distinguishes it from all the other templates. As a tip, try to choose a name that’s as descriptive as possible, for example, Social Media Editorial Calendar. Besides, try to:
- Make everything as brief as possible
- Use hashtags to distinguish the template from other similar names
- Maintain a consistent naming convention for all file names
Navigate to the top right-hand side corner of the screen to find the name “untitled spreadsheet,” which is the placeholder. The text disappears once you click on it to let you type your desired title. Remember to save it.
2. Reformat the Cells to Create Calendar Days
Once your content calendar template in Google Sheets has a new name, it’s time to start formatting it. You can format the template to capture as many workdays as possible based on your marketing strategy.
The spreadsheet has columns titled A to Z, and you want to create space for the days. So,
- Place the cursor on the line you want to expand
- The counter converts into a double-sized pointer
- Drag it horizontally to the desired cell-size
3. Add a Title Cell for the Editorial Calendar Template
Next, you want to create labels for the weekdays. Different content types will fall on different days for simplicity. Therefore, use these steps to rename your cells:
- Highlight any two cells above each larger cell
- Merge the two cells into one
- Indicate “Monday” in the first cell
- Using the spacebar, center the text in the middle of the larger bar
- Repeat for all the days of the week you want to capture
- Highlight the days and bold them
4. Add a Month Title Cell on Your Template
Your content plan is almost there, but it needs a month label to sit above the days. To do this:
- Highlight the entire length of a cell capturing Monday to Friday
- Merge them to create a lengthy cell
- Click “ENTER” and indicate the month
- Center the text and make the month’s font larger
5. Duplicate the Information for an Entire Month
The template you have provides room for content planning from Monday to Friday, covering only one week of your digital marketing calendar. You need to create more space for the entire month and year if possible. The process is as simple as highlighting the large cells and copy-pasting them on blank cells. Then, you’re ready to start adding your content ideas or topics for each day.
Importance of Using a Content Calendar
Having a content calendar is crucial for any content marketer serious with their project management tasks. Whether using a simple spreadsheet or a commercial-based marketing calendar, here are reasons to have one:
- Determine the type of content to create: With a content calendar, you can quickly strike a balance in creating blog posts, webinars, podcasts, infographics, social media posts, video content, or newsletters. You can also plan for email marketing content, which is 40 times more effective than social media in customer acquisition.
- Enhance teamwork: A shareable content calendar makes it easy for every team member to keep up with the content schedule. For example, they only need to check the calendar to see who is responsible for what and when. Besides, you don’t need a brainstorming session now and then to develop new content ideas.
- Establish a content creation and marketing routine: Your content calendar is the best guide on how often to publish and the due dates for each piece of content.
A lot goes into creating a content calendar. However, you can make your work easier using a content calendar template in Google Sheets. It comes in handy when a large team handles various aspects of your social media marketing campaign. The free content calendar template is sharable on Google Drive and easily accessible. Leverage it for your content planning and see your team’s productivity improve.