The following is an edited excerpt from Buzzing Communities.
A content calendar should identify not only the categories of content that will be used, but also the specific content that will feature within that category for that date.
You can look at both online and offline content produced within the sector to identify the most popular categories. This is easier to identify in online content by both the number of comments such categories receive and their placement upon the community platform. The inclusion of these categories is usually a good indicator in itself that they are popular with the audience.
The categories of content include:
- News. Short posts highlighting what's new in the community or the community's sector.
- Announcements. Major announcements about the organization, community, or sector.
- Feature Articles. Interviews, analyses, reviews, previews, in-depth features, polls etc...
- Guest Columns. User generated content with members sharing their predictions, experiences, or thoughts on different issues.
- Classifieds. Member to member sales or company to member sales.
- Statements. Community statements on topical issues.
- Promotions. Unique opportunities/deals exclusive to community members.
- Miscellaneous. There is a range of things here....
For example, a calendar at a single-week interval may look like:
• Monday: daily Community news + Feature interview with Mark smith about (topic)
• Tuesday: daily Community news + Opinion column from a community member (John doe)
• Wednesday: daily Community news + Promotion of live-chat about (topic)
• Thursday: daily Community news + Feature interview with Jane roddis (VIP)
• Friday: Promotions day (sponsors discount offer) + wel-come newcomers
• Saturday: summary of the week • Sunday: Preview of the week ahead
Remember that within each category are several sub-categories. News, notably, may be about the latest events, new members, new/popular discussions, unique contributions, member milestones/achievements or an update on a topical issue.
In the sample calendar above, the daily community news is a constant update of the latest activity. The other category features can be reused every week.
On a calendar with a monthly interval, categories such as newcomer of the month, member of the month, offline meetup content, activity/challenge day may also appear. In addition, a major event will have a significant impact upon the calendar. Regular calendar events may be set aside to focus on building up excitement for the event and covering the event once it is in process.
Content, like everything else, can be measured. In fact, it should be measured.
• number of return website visitors to each item of content.
• Average time spent on each item of content.
• number of times the content has been shared on other social media platforms.
• Familiarity with other members from the sense of community measurement.
• Average number of visits per member to the community within the past 30 days.
You want to discover which types of content gain the most visitors, the most time spent on the page (the article is fully read), the number of times it’s shared externally (word of mouth), and whether members feel stronger levels of familiarity with other members.
You can buy Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities from the links below: