Benjamin Franklin said it best: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” A major reason marketing efforts fall short is that they were never fully executed. During the month, your team gets busy with other projects or priorities shift and marketing and public relations efforts tend to drop to the wayside as a result. Over time, this can reap unintended consequences for your business, so what is the solution? Enter, content calendars!
A content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar, is a living, breathing document (OK, maybe not breathing) that maps out an organization’s intended marketing activities. With the sole purpose of keeping a team organized and accountable, such a document might outline both past and upcoming marketing responsibilities including when and where you plan to publish upcoming content, who is responsible for creating and editing that content, status updates, revisions to existing content and more.
Your calendar should include everything – blog posts, ads, social media, public relations, email marketing, promotions, newsletters, etc. Once you put it all down in a plan, you will start to see and take advantage of the synergies between the tactics.
What is Happening?
A strategic, organized content calendar ensures all content-related tasks become realities. After a brainstorming meeting, where are notes, ideas and to-dos brought together? Post-meeting minutes might be helpful immediately after, but if your team does not have a communal “idea” space, good ideas might fall between the cracks and never come to fruition. Spaces for ideas might include Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox and other shared spaces. These are good places to store and share content calendars and other documents related to strategic marketing and public relations as well.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
A shared content calendar gives everyone on the team the same reference point for information, but if there are too many people making changes and updates, the once-organized content calendar can quickly become the opposite. Be sure everyone on the team understands what is within their realm to completely change and what change should instead be notations, suggestions or a side note update. Keeping the calendar in a shared drive where everyone can access it will reduce conflicts and help keep everyone participating in marketing on task.
Content calendars give the entire team a broad, overall view of what is expected of whom by when. For example, the Denim Marketing team’s content calendar is shared as a document in Microsoft Teams and is outlined month to month with blogs, news releases, newsletters, speaking engagements, webinars, graphics, campaigns, interviews and other content. Notations include who is to write what and where the piece is throughout the process, such as whether the blog or news release is in the hands of another team member for updates or revisions, if there is a reason we are holding off on posting the content and more. This way, we can see our entire content plan for the next few months on a single screen.
Ultimately, content calendars do not have to be complicated or even very fancy. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are excellent places to begin outlining a content calendar. After all, the only bad content calendar is the one that didn’t happen.
Content calendars are excellent for both small and large teams to stay on track with marketing goals and objectives. They are key to successful marketing for home builders, e-commerce, nonprofits and other industries. In fact, we think they are the secret to most companies’ successful marketing campaigns.
Consider partnering with the Denim Marketing team for exciting marketing and content strategies for your brand. For more information, call 770-383-3360, ext. 20 or contact us.