7 steps to creating an edtech marketing content calendar
If you’re working in the edtech sector, it’s a busy time. Widespread school closures earlier this year, alongside the near-universal shift to distance learning, means that educational technology products are more in demand than ever before. In such a crowded market, how can you make sure you stand out from your competitors?
A methodical approach to your content marketing strategy is vital if you want to represent your product and get your voice out there. And a big part of that is developing a content calendar.
Whether you’re hoping to drive more traffic to your website with blogging, or increase your engagement on social media channels, the key to success in content marketing is consistent posting. Read on for our top tips – and a free content calendar template.
The challenge? Consistently creating high quality content
It’s hard coming up with content on a daily or weekly basis. And even harder to keep it sharp, relevant and engaging. If you’re struggling to keep on top of your social media posts, newsletters and your blog, a content calendar is exactly what you need.
It might seem time-consuming, but a well-designed and maintained content calendar will save you time in the long run.
Content calendars help you to plan your posts ahead of publication. They also help you create content in batches, which is faster and easier than coming up with individual posts on a daily or weekly basis. On top of this, you’ll feel more organised. It will be far easier to post consistently, even on those weeks where you’re just not that inspired.
Right, we’ve convinced you. You don’t just want a content calendar. You need a content calendar. But how do you go about making one and filling it with good ideas?
1. Choose your content calendar format
Depending on the size of your organisation, there are different platforms you might want to use for your content calendar. If you’re a relatively small organisation and the content marketing is done by one person or a small team, Google sheets will probably be fit for your purposes.
Check out the Hubbub Labs content calendar template.
If you’re part of a larger organisation, a platform like Notion, Trello or Monday.com will make it easier to manage the workflow. They will also keep everyone up to date on the content you are planning.
2. Use your content calendar to plan ahead
Get key dates into the content calendar (i.e. special international days you want to highlight), so you can create specific content in advance. You don’t want to find yourself scrabbling around on International Women’s Day looking for a suitable image or quote!
The UNESCO website has a fairly comprehensive list of internationally celebrated days, but only pick the days that are relevant to the field you’re working in. For example the International Day of Education on January 24th, or the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th.
Once you’ve got the basics covered, it frees up your time in the weeks ahead. Now, you’ll be able to create content or share posts that are more responsive to real world events.
With big events, like the lockdowns which happened across the world last spring, a lot of brands had to cancel their planned posts and start from scratch. But that doesn’t mean those more general posts will go to waste – just pop them in your content library! (More on that later).
3. Batch your content
Save time by writing your social media content in batches. If you’re writing posts for international days as per the suggestion above, write six months worth in one go. It’s okay for them to be similar as they’ll be well spaced out with other different content. Or if you’re creating images in Canva or another design program, it’s a lot simpler and faster to create three months’ worth of images in one session, rather than creating individual images twice a week.
Investing a bit of time up front will save your future self so much effort!
4. Find inspiration in your team
No man is an island – and no content creator works in a vacuum. If you’re part of a team, engage with them and you’ll find that you’ll get inspired by their conversation and experiences. Find out what your colleagues are working on, what they’re reading, what they’re getting excited about – and you’ll find yourself gathering lots of ideas for posts.
Whether you’re writing a blogpost, designing an Instagram story or putting together a newsletter, you’re taking part in a conversation that’s bigger than you. So it’s good to draw on other people’s perspectives and enthusiasm.
5. Figure out the rule of thirds
When you’re planning a few months’ worth of content, it’s important to keep it varied. Repetitive posting won’t engage your followers. In fact, it may actively put them off. So when you’re creating your content calendar and filling it with posts, keep in mind the ratio of different types of content.
Have you heard of the rule of thirds? In social media content marketing, this refers to the breakdown of the type of content you’re sharing.
Your ideal content ratio is:
- ⅓ posts which add lots of value to your audience, share personal stories about your team, your customers, your successes, etc. This gives your followers the opportunity to see behind the curtain. It also gives your brand a sense of authenticity and helps followers to connect, engage with and learn from you
- ⅓ posts to promote your company or brand. This gives customers the information they are looking for
- ⅓ posts sharing articles, ideas and content from other influencers in your industry. This shows that you are collaborative, informed and part of the conversation happening in your field of expertise
One of the benefits of a content calendar is the overview you get of your content over the course of weeks or months. This will let you can see if your content ratio is balanced.
Tip: Colour code different post types, the visual will make it easier to track.
6. Create a content library
If you don’t already have a content library, now is a good time to set one up, as it will work in tandem with your content calendar. It’s a place to store blogs, pictures, case studies, videos, ideas and topics. These are all types of content that can be tweaked and shared on various channels.
Content libraries are at their most useful when they are organised. Make sure your content is properly labelled and stored in the appropriate folder – we store ours on Google drive and use Notion to make it more searchable.
Just like a real library, it will be much easier to find what you’re looking for when content has been stored according to a system.
7. Repurpose your content
It can be tempting to copy and paste social media posts across different channels – but it doesn’t look good to your followers. What’s more, it can harm your image, making you look lazy and inauthentic. However, it’s fine to tweak your content to make it more appropriate for each specific channel, and ideas which work well for general posts can be shared on different channels at different times of the month or year.
The same is true of other content, not just social posts. Do you have a FAQ section on your website? This could be turned into an Instagram story. Have you got a blogpost that is proving perennially popular? Turn it into an infographic that you can share on Linkedin. Your content library will be invaluable when it comes to repurposing your content, and planning when you’ll be sharing it in your content calendar.
We hope these tips will help you get started with creating your own content calendar. If you have any advice to share, or specific questions about how to use a content calendar effectively, talk to us.