Digital marketing is essential to your success as a political campaigner. This means posting consistently on social media, sending emails regularly, and updating your website periodically. A content calendar will help organize and plan all of this digital marketing output. It will keep your messaging on track and ensure that you are reaching your target audience with the right content at the right time.
At its most basic, a content calendar is a schedule that details what, where, and when you’ll post or send an update. It helps you:
- Plan and schedule your content in advance.
- Keep track of what content has been published.
- Monitor the performance of content over time.
- Balance your digital messaging between fundraising, persuasion, activation, and other objectives.
In this article, we’ll walk through the process of creating a content calendar and how it helps your entire campaign.
How To Create A Content Calendar
Your campaign’s content calendar can be as simple or elaborate as you want it, but oftentimes a basic spreadsheet is the best tool. You want to know what content you’re posting, which channels it’s going to, when it will post, and who the responsible parties are for executing.
Your content calendar will help you ensure you’re hitting key messages and audiences for your campaign. Most campaigns use a shared Google Sheet, but some other options to consider include this spreadsheet from HubSpot or social publishing platforms like Buffer.
Which Channels Should You Include In Your Content Calendar?
Any digital channel that your campaign uses should be included in the content calendar. The key to effectively using these online platforms is posting consistently to build your audience.
- Social media. Plan for 3-5 posts per day on Facebook, 1-2 posts per day on Instagram, and 7-10 posts daily on Twitter. If you’re not able to maintain that level of volume consistently, consider setting the account to private so supporters aren’t disappointed.
- Email. Successful online fundraising programs require a consistent sending schedule. Include details about segments, objectives, and resends for each email.
- Text Messaging. As text messaging becomes a central part of your campaign, make sure you’re planning at least one marketing text per week, usually aligned with your email content.
- Website. Your website is your campaign’s home online. Let supporters know there are signs of life by regularly updating blog posts, calls to action, and announcements.
If you’re not sure how you’ll be able to produce this much content, click here to read more about the Content Buffalo framework that will help you get the most out of everything you create.
Coordinate Your Content Calendar With The Rest Of Your Campaign
Building your content calendar is a great exercise to force coordination across different team members. The digital content calendar should reflect all of the campaign’s activity, including earned media, volunteer efforts, and events.
How Far Out Should Your Content Calendar Go?
For most campaigns, a weekly content calendar will be ideal. You have a realistic sense of the priorities and enough lead time to execute.
Your content calendar can’t predict everything, so plan on leaving some slots open or being flexible enough to move posts around.
The Benefits Of A Campaign Content Calendar
Your campaign’s content calendar keeps your digital marketing efforts proactive, instead of reactive. It should take into account approvals processes so you’re not rushing to get something out. You can create more worthwhile content with better lead time.
Most importantly, it frees up your time by planning ahead.
A content calendar is an important tool for ensuring your campaign is using its digital marketing effectively. For digital campaigners, it provides peace of mind to the decision makers and other teammates that you’ve got a plan.