What to Consider When Planning and Creating Your Content Calendar

By Jennifer Johnson

Finding the time to produce and promote content can be overwhelming.

One way to stay on top of your content creation is by adhering to a calendar of events that are ripe for digital content.

As marketers, we know the major holidays by heart.

You likely have some experience creating content around popular events, as well.

But developing a time frame for publishing that material is often a challenge.

When should you start creating content, and when should you push your message out for the most effective timing?

To help you plan your year, the team at Alexa created a 2016 Content Calendar, which features the best times to produce and promote your content.

(Yes, I know the first quarter just ended, but this will help you go well into 2017.)

Focusing your content on holidays and popular events is one of the best ways to connect with people—even if you’re trying to connect with companies.

Behind every business, there’s a person whom you’ll need to engage with and impress.

Here, we’ll break down each step of topical content creation and promotion and show you what’s worked best in the past.


Coming up with content ideas for your brand can be difficult and time-consuming.

But when you’re trying to capitalize on seasonal events and holidays, the time crunch compounds that struggle.

You want to create seasonal content pieces that stand out from the rest and deliver consumers something that adds value to their lives.

That’s why you should never leave production until last minute.

The Content Calendar designates content production start dates, per content type, that fall one to three months before your outreach strategy should begin.

Start by producing videos and interactives right away.

The production of these content types should typically begin three months in advance.

And keep your eye on the prize; these engaging formats are the most shared for more than 40 percent of seasonal events.

Two months from the event, it’s time to prepare infographics.

Focus on creating evergreen graphics. If they perform well, you can build off them time and again.

Last step?

Spend time constructing your articles and graphics.

This phase should begin one month before the big event to ensure you have enough time to publish and promote your work.

Finally, make sure your work is Facebook-friendly because this platform generated the most social shares for nearly every event.


Now that the hard part is done and the holiday is near, it’s time to start promoting your content.

If you start your outreach strategy too far in advance or long after the event has passed, it could thwart your marketing efforts.

For example, your Mother’s Day articles and graphics should begin April 11 to ensure you’re ready to begin promoting on April 18 even though the holiday takes place about three weeks later.

Allowing yourself this time to get your work published will ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

Mother’s Day received the highest shares on content formats including videos, “why” posts, and lists.

In the past, these included posts such as “Happy Mother’s Day From National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative” and “25 Easy Steps to Wow Your Mom This Mother’s Day.”

These stories were most shared on Facebook and Pinterest.

Similar content performed well on the following websites: YouTube, USA Today, GMA Network, BuzzFeed, Time, 123Greetings.com, Today.com, ABC News, and Elite Daily.

If your goal is to get a story picked up by publishers, focus your outreach efforts on events that have a longer life cycle in the media.

Graduation and the Summer Olympics offer more exposure opportunities because they have longer engage periods.

Alexa Content Calendar: Looking at the Month of April


This is an example of what’s included in the 2016 Content Calendar for April.

This calendar will help you take your PR outreach to the next level.

By producing and publishing high-quality content, especially around holidays, your brand will surely see an increase in traffic and overall brand awareness throughout the year.

The Alexa 2016 Content Calendar is available for download here.

It’s never been a better time to start thinking ahead to seasonal holidays that will connect your audiences with more captivating content.

Get to work!

image credit: shutterstock

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is Marketing Coordinator at Alexa. With a knack for syntax and passion for building connections, she drives daily content strategy to bring you the latest and greatest happenings within Alexa and the wide world of web analytics and marketing.

View all posts by Jennifer Johnson