The idea of using an editorial calendar to plan production actually comes from the world of journalism where magazines have been publishing content calendars for years to encourage PR people to pitch content relevant to the theme of upcoming issues. But these days content calendars are used just as much by content marketers.
Are you thinking about putting together a marketing calendar to guide your content creation this year? Here are some reasons why doing so might make very good sense for your business.
You Can Do It For Free
You don’t need to invest heavily in order to create a marketing calendar to guide your content creation asset. In fact you don’t need to invest any of your precious marketing budget at all.
A content calendar can be as simple as a Google Sheet. You can also use a project management tool such as Asana and drag and drop content around the task board as your plans evolve.
Most project management tools give users the ability to set a deadline and assignee for every task. This makes it really easy for marketing project managers to see exactly what’s happening with the content workflow.
There’s no need to invest money in order to upgrade your marketing project management.
They Can Keep Your Team On Track
If you’ve ever worked in a busy marketing team then you know how quickly competing campaigns and projects can crowd out the schedule. Trying to put together a social media calendar in this environment can be difficult at the best of times.
If you’re responsible for assembling a suite of marketing plan tools that can help to keep everything on track, then make sure that a content calendar app or planner is on your list of essentials.
Once you’ve created a content calendar, it will help to guide your team’s efforts and make sure that your content creation stays on a consistent schedule. The best way to develop and engage an audience is through continuously feeding them great content. Planning your content with a content calendar makes it easier to do this.
It Allows You To Batch Your Content Creation
With a robust content calendar and marketing campaign software in place to guide your efforts, you can see at a glance what needs to be coming up on the production schedule.
Compared to creating content on-the-fly and publishing whenever it’s available, this makes it substantially easier to batch the creation of content.
If you’re working with agencies and freelancers to streamline the content creation process, then this means that you can retain them more effectively. If you’re working with an agency, for instance, you may be able to avoid signing up for a costly monthly retainer by only hiring resources as you need them.
Content Calendars Boost Transparency
While the marketing team is typically going to care more about content marketing than any other department within the business, equally it’s important, as a marketing project management planner, to keep other teams and departments in the know.
Some of the organizations and team members that might be interested in seeing what content the marketing team has cooked up and planned include:
- The sales team
- Product managers
- The communications team, if they’re working outside of marketing
- Executive team members responsible for setting down overall strategy for the company
Ensures Alignment Across Channels
You might have different team members working on social media and, say, your company blog.
If this is the case then using a content calendar can help improvement the coordination and alignment of messaging within the organization.
A content calendar and social media calendar can be separate documents or they can be rolled into the same planning document. A social media calendar template can be integrated into a broader content plan in order to ensure that the posts going out on various social networks complement the information and target audience being reached through the blog and other channels.
Content Calendars Support Better Content
Like many things in life, content is better when it’s planned rather than developed as needed. Marketing project managers should ensure that they are equipped with the proper tools to get their content planned in an orderly fashion and coordinated across channels. For marketing teams running on a tight budget, the great news is that both social media and general content planning tools can be rolled out affordably or for free. Content that is planned and coordinated is also more visible to other stakeholders in the organization. Better coordination ensures better results.