How to plan your best 2018 content calendar

2017 is winding down fast, so we want to be sure you have everything you need to start 2018 off strong, including your content calendar.

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Get your baseline

First, look at your 2017 stats. Ideally you’ll be paying attention to these at least monthly, so now you can pull everything together to look for trends over the course of the entire year. Compare these trends to trends from past years, if you’re able to pull that data or have access to it. (And we can always help with measuring how your content is performing across social! You can even go back in time on Twitter; we have access to the entire Twitter archive with Echo.)

What has changed? Have different types of content gotten the most attention and feedback over the years, or has your audience remained steadily interested in the same kinds of things?

Determine which types of content- including formats, any media attached to it, etc- performed the best and which performed the worst. List all of the things the best and worst performing content had in common. Some of your worst performing content might have been good subject-wise, but it was published at an inopportune time. That’s content you might want to set aside to refresh in 2018.

Establish your goals

Part of your 2017 content review should include comparing content performance to goal performance. Did your content marketing help you accomplish any of your larger company goals? Would you like to work harder to have that happen in the upcoming year?

If your brand hasn’t already, it’s a great time to establish your brand goals for 2018, breaking them out into goals for the entire year and goals for specific quarters.

Then decide how your content marketing can help support and accomplish these goals.

Start planning

Start brainstorming Q1 content ideas- and maybe even some pieces for later quarters if you have a clear enough idea of your calendar and goals; these can always change later- making a list based on a combination of which pieces of content performed the best in 2017, which pieces you think could use a refresh and another shot, and which ideas (new or remixed) will help you achieve your goals in 2018.

While earlier weeks of the year might be pretty firm, let the rest of your calendar be flexible. You want to incorporate new ideas as new trends in your industry emerge, as you learn from your metrics, and even as your brand goals might shift over the course of the year. And always, always leave a little bit of room for experimenting!

Especially as social platforms release new features, you want to test sharing your content in different ways across them. They might even inspire you with new and interesting content ideas to add to your calendar going forward.

And if you ever need help measuring your content’s performance across social, you know who to call. (It’s us. Don’t call the Ghostbusters; this is not their area of expertise.)

Specific, actionable social intelligence. See how Union Metrics helps marketers win.

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