How to start planning your content calendar
Planning your yearly content calendar is one of the most important tasks any artist can complete. Whether you’re working alone or with a team, planning your schedule is vital when distributing your output. Without planning, your content will soon fall apart and your persona won’t achieve the exposure it deserves. But how exactly should you get started when planning your content calendar? We’ve taken a look at some of the initial stages in planning your calendar.
Your musical output
Firstly, you need to think about your output. How many tracks do you have ready to release? How many are almost finished? How many more do you plan to produce this year? The answers to all of these questions will dictate the shape of your content calendar. It is important not to overestimate your capabilities. For example, if you produced one track per month last year, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can create one per week this year, that simply won’t work out. It is important to know yourself enough that you can be certain whether you’ll achieve the goals you set yourself.
Once you have an idea of your output, you can then add each track’s release into your schedule. Naturally, the already-finished tracks should be released earlier than the ones you haven’t started yet. Make sure that you are allowing enough time in your schedule for track production. If you’re heading on a tour, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to productively produce music during that time. Be realistic but remember to push yourself, set yourself targets to make sure that you won’t be late to release your tracks. This is one of the many reasons why you should check your calendar every day to see which deadlines are looming.
Before you plan your calendar you should also have a think about the amount of money that you can dedicate to marketing. Be careful not to spend too much or too little, the right amount will vary from artist to artist. You don’t want to over-spend and purchase advertising that you cannot afford, but you also want to make sure that your content reaches enough people. Select a figure that is substantial enough to allow it to distribute across all of your releases and campaigns.
Once you have decided on a budget for the year, you must then split it between each month. You may want to vary the amount dedicated to each month if you have more campaigns or releases planned for a particular month. Be careful though, you want your content to be distributed so that you don’t go through quiet spells and you can keep your audience interested year-round. Make sure that you stick to your budget, otherwise you’ll run out of money and your campaigns later in the year will suffer as a result. By setting a budget you ensure that you won’t overspend and will keep better control of your finances.
Be aware of the industry calendar
One of the most important aspects when setting out to plan your calendar is being aware of events, both within the music industry and beyond. For example, you won’t want to release a track on 4th July if you want your track to reach its full potential in the USA. You should also avoid the holiday season for major campaigns, your audience will be distracted by celebrations like Christmas. While it is not compulsory to avoid these dates, you can’t expect your track or campaign to reach its full potential.
Aside from global events, also be aware of what is occurring in the industry. For example, Tomorrowland, EDC and Ultra are big distractions for fans. Unless you’re performing at these events, you will want to avoid focusing on major campaigns during these events as the attention of the masses will be elsewhere. Of course, the festival calendar is now saturated so you shouldn’t avoid colliding with all events, but Tomorrowland, Ultra and EDC are special cases that overpower the timelines of fans. On the other hand, releasing a track right before a conference like Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is a great idea, as it gives you the opportunity to really push the release during the event.
You may also want to keep an eye on the calendars of other artists, although there shouldn’t be many issues. This is only really an issue if you’re planning something huge like the release of an album. In this case, you may want to avoid the release date of other electronic music albums, simply to draw as much attention as possible. Many artists also try to release most of their tracks towards the spring and summer season, as this is the time of the year that many people become even more interested in listening to dance music.
Planning your content calendar is something that takes a great deal of time and thought, but it is one of the most important tasks for you to complete. January is the perfect time to get planning, as it is one of the quieter periods of the year and the festival calendar is relatively empty. Planning your content ahead of time is necessary in order to allow your content to receive the attention it truly deserves. Don’t be daunted, if you plan your content calendar and don’t like how it looks, you can always adapt it to make it better suited to your needs.