An online community is an ideal space to connect with your potential customers and boost brand advocacy. But to achieve that, a solid content strategy is a must.
No doubt, an online community thrives on user-generated content. But, to ensure that your members are able to understand when and how they’re supposed to participate and contribute, can prove to be an uphill battle.
Depending upon the size of your community, it can get challenging to manage the abundance of ideas and volume of content that’s generated.
The fix? Enter: Online Community Content Calendar
Let’s deep-dive into the nitty-gritty of a community calendar and how it can be a game-changer for the growth of your online community.
What is a Content Calendar?
The widening horizons of online communities have pushed community managers to utilize various tools to manage their communities. Editorial calendars are one of those tools. Up until recently, editorial calendars have been quite popular amongst marketers. But with the advancing features of editorial calendars, they now complement communities. A community calendar enables community managers with an advanced, well-thought content strategy.
An online community calendar looks something like this-
4 Ways a Content Calendar Impacts Online Communities
Apart from efficient organization and management of the community, there are various other reasons for you to incorporate an online community calendar. Let’s understand how a calendar can help you boost engagement within your community and add value to your business-
1. Stay Ahead in your Planning and Adapt to Changes Flawlessly
An online community calendar can enable you to curate a flexible content strategy. You can pivot without faltering as it allows you to plan for months or even years in advance. For instance, if you are launching a product that wasn’t planned before, it will help you make space accordingly. This way, adapting to the changes in the plan becomes easier. Or else, you might have to spend valuable time thinking of something new to post every day which is a proven productivity killer[i].
2. Customize Content for Better Member Engagement
Community managers can leverage an online community calendar to craft custom content for the relevant group of members. With an online calendar, you can categorize your members into smaller groups according to their interests. And, then curate content according to their distinct interests. For example, a group of new members wants to learn more about your products that have been launched recently. Since they are new to the community, they might not be familiar with your recently launched products. You can plan a seminar for new-joiners to walk them through your existing products. This way, you can appear more thoughtful and intentional to your community members.
3. Optimize Content Strategy by Tracking the Performance of Your Content
Without an online community calendar, managers will be posting content into the void as they are unable to visualize the big-picture. However, tracking the performance of your content weekly or monthly will enable you to optimize your content strategy. You can use analytics to take a look at your previous posts to figure out what time works best for your community. Whether they check out your posts during office hours or after dinner when they go to bed. Then, fine-tune your schedule accordingly to get the most out of your content posting. For instance, if a particular discussion forum or webinar event brought significant engagement, you can recreate it for similar topics to attain the same level of engagement.
4. Regularize Content Posting
Another benefit of having an online community calendar is that it helps you cultivate a culture of regularity. You get used to posting content regularly in your community. When your members are aware of your consistent posting scheduling, they keep returning to you, effectively boosting their engagement.
How to Get Started With an Online Community Calendar?
Now that you know what a calendar can do for your online community, it’s time to create one for your community. Here’s how you can create a content calendar that will empower community managers with a flexible content strategy.
Establish a Brand Voice
The first roadblock you will experience is deciding what to post that will voice your brand. It is important to establish and maintain a consistent tone throughout your content. Some types of content genres you can follow are:
- Educate: Provide meaningful content that educates your audience and adds value, such as eBooks, how-to blogs, webinars, and so on.
- Humor: Engage your audience through exciting and witty content. It can be funny one-liners, behind-the-scenes, fun posts, etc.
- Engage: Create open discussion forums that demand input from your community members to bring engagement.
- Inform: Share information about your brand, business goals and values, new product launch, achievements, and more.
Plan and Organize Your Content
Now that you know what you want to post, it’s time to plan the ‘when’. The goal of having a content calendar is to keep your postings scheduled and deliver them as planned.
Your content planning should include-
- Content topics you want to touch
- Content publication frequency (weekly or monthly)
- Assigned owner of each content asset (for accountability purposes)
- Where and how the content will be delivered (distribution and promotional channels)
Measure the Impact of the Content You’re Creating
Lastly, evaluate the effectiveness of the content you are creating and offering. It helps you improvise your content strategy to get closer to your goals. Assess the metrics that align with your community goals to measure the success of your content strategy. Some of the metrics you can consider evaluating are-
- Social shares
- Form completion
- Email open rate
- Post engagement
A content calendar will help you come up with creative, high-quality content that aligns with community goals. This is why a calendar is an essential tool for an efficient community manager with the goal of bringing quality engagement. It enables you to experiment with different types of content (open forum discussions, blog posts, humor posts, polls/surveys, etc) and see what gets the best results.
Let’s start scheduling! Shall we?
Wish to Learn More About Increasing Organic Engagement Within Your Online Community? Talk to Us!
Team Grazitti is adept at building dynamic online communities that bring engagement and ROI to the table. To learn more about our CMaaS expertise, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
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