New User Q&A: How Many Divvy Content Calendars Do I Need?

 In Content Marketing, Editorial Planning

Since launching Divvy back in September of 2011, we’ve had the chance to talk content with hundreds of marketers, content practitioners and media specialists. The only constant that we’ve recognized among these conversations is that every organization is unique, especially when it comes to the maturity of their overall content strategy, planning and production processes.

On the mature, well-seasoned side of the coin, an organization’s “managing editor” or “chief content officer” is typically able to set up a Divvy account and quickly understand/adapt Divvy’s content calendar structure, workflow and content data management offerings to fit their existing structures and processes. If Divvy fits like a glove, they’ll be nice and cozy for the foreseeable future. If the fit needs a little tailoring, then we jump on the phone and talk through it.

On the noobie side of the coin, some hand-holding is often required, but the teacher in me loves this part just as much (if not more) as talking shop with the pros. Earlier this week, we received an email asking…

“We are a church. How do you figure out how many calendars you need?”

Most churches probably don’t have a seasoned publishing veteran at the helm of their communications department. But they have a congregation to serve and lots of programs and activities to promote. How many content calendars DO they need?

Since this is one of the most important decisions that new Divvy customers need to make, I thought I’d dig into this thought process (and our methodology) a bit to help all new Divvy customers determine their ideal calendar setup.

Strategic & Operational Considerations

1. Your Org Chart

How is the organization structured? Are there multiple regions, departments or business units? Do they each need a separate calendar or a set of calendars? As much as we’re not a fan of silos, some organizations are stuck with them. If that’s the case, you might want to consider setting up a content calendar structure that mirrors your org chart.

2. Primary Content Vehicles / Channels

This is probably the most popular (and recommended) scenario we see organizations using. If your company has well-established content properties and distribution channels, you can set up individual calendars for each property or channel (ex: a website content calendar, a blog editorial calendar, an email marketing calendar, a social media calendar, etc.).

3. Your Goals & Objectives

Occasionally, organizations choose to set up their calendars based on specific business objectives that they’ve identified through strategic planning efforts. Examples we’ve seen include a New Customer Acquisition calendar, a Customer Retention calendar or a Community Engagement calendar.

4. Your Target Audiences

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of buyer profiling as part of your organization’s ongoing content marketing effort. Some organizations have fully embraced this concept and set up individual calendars for the different buyer/audience segments, profiles or personas for which they’ve identified and created content plans.

5. Your Content Topics, Categories, Themes or Campaigns

Coincidentally, I just talked with a potential Divvy customer last week and she was heading down the path of creating individual calendars for each of the major “content pillars” that they’ve identified through their content strategy efforts. This could certainly be a valid approach, but note that we have other fields that are specifically provided to manage things like topics, categories and themes, not to mention campaign management functionality for organizing campaigns. If any of your themes or campaigns will have an “end date”, then they probably shouldn’t be a calendar.

6. Volume & Frequencies of Content

As you think through these different calendar-setup scenarios, keep content production volume and publishing frequencies in mind. For example, setting up an individual content calendar for an email newsletter that is only produced once per month is probably overkill. But if your organization has multiple business units who are each publishing multiple email marketing campaigns per week, then multiple email calendars are probably warranted.

7. Production Workflows

As you think about the different types of content you plan to manage in DivvyHQ, one obvious differentiator is typically the production workflow that is required for each content type. For example, the production steps required to get a blog post published probably look a lot different than getting a tweet on Twitter. This is where DivvyHQ’s workflow builder enters the picture. Divvy Pro & Enterprise customers can build out one default workflow for each calendar. So if you feel that Divvy’s custom workflow functionality will be an important part of your process, then your calendars may need to align with the different content channels/types you will be managing.

8. Your Content Team

The last piece to consider is your team of contributors that are busting their humps to get all your content done every day. You need their buy-in and adoption. Which scenario would be an obvious fit that they’ll easily understand and adapt to quickly? How did you organize your editorial/content schedules before? How is your team accustomed to seeing that data? Should you try to maintain a similar organization within Divvy? Or was that foundation crumbling and your team is ready to start fresh?

Quick Note for Agencies

Much of the thought process discussed above is obviously tailored for individual companies. If your agency is looking at setting up Divvy for your customers, you just need to walk through this same exercise with each client so you understand their organizational structure, content strategy and editorial schedule. Use this info to guide the setup and implementation process.

At the end of the day…

There’s really no right or wrong way. We’ve tried our best to architect Divvy to fit all possible scenarios and we hope that this blog post helps you find your ideal approach.

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