Content marketing is vital to your marketing strategy and your brand’s ability to attract and convert your target customers. But content marketing isn’t a simple discipline. It has many facets, central to which is planning, developing, and publishing your content through a variety of channels. One of the best tools you can use to keep it all organized is a content calendar. Let’s explore what a content calendar is and why you should use one.
What Is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is the hub for all your content marketing efforts and one of the most important tools within your marketing toolkit. A content calendar allows you to organize your efforts in a visual manner while enabling clear communication of your campaign schedules and editorial plans.
It’s a transparent depository of what’s due, what’s done, and the status of every content project. It also clearly defines who is responsible for activities related to each piece of content.
A content calendar helps your team, which is often a mix of creative roles from writers to editors to strategists to designers, understand the workflow of each project.
While you may have been using a spreadsheet to keep content organized, this is not sustainable or scalable. Your content calendar needs to be dynamic so it can fulfill its role as the framework for your content strategy and content plan. It enables a holistic view of where your content is and where it’s going. It transforms strategic tenets into actionable plans.
What Every Content Calendar Needs
There are many essential ingredients for your content calendar. To start with, you need these basics:
- Content frequency
- Production workflows
- Ideation space
- Filtering and reporting mechanisms
- Content collaboration capabilities
- Ability to share
So, when you are determining what type of content calendar to use, you should look for functionality that fosters these needs. That means you need a content calendar with features that enable better communication and interaction, so just creating a simple calendar on a Google spreadsheet isn’t going to cut it here.
Why You Should Use a Content Calendar
There are many benefits and advantages to using a content calendar. It could revolutionize the way you plan, create, and promote content. Using a content calendar could significantly improve your operations and the quality of your content, which could increase leads and profits.
Here are eight reasons why you should use a content calendar.
1. Keep Your Team Organized and Aligned
How do you currently source or organize ideas? Are content plans scribbled down in notebooks? Or, do you have endless meetings related to the status of projects?
These are both inefficient processes, which are keeping you disorganized. A content calendar delivers a more holistic view of your content strategy. It helps you uncover content gaps and also provides more oversight, so you’re less likely to miss content deadlines!
2. Brainstorm Better
When your content is organized by topics and your team has a clear view of what’s in the works, it can often get them thinking about new ideas. Brainstorming activities to boost your content calendar are essential to delivering compelling, interesting content.
And they can actually happen within your content calendar. You can create an “idea” space that allows anyone involved in the content process to put ideas into one repository. They can then be discussed and fleshed out into projects.
3. Maintain Consistency
Consistency is critical in content marketing. To keep your audience engaged, you have to be delivering content that helps them learn and is also entertaining. If your posting is irregular and not continually connecting with readers, your audience is unlikely to grow. A content calendar keeps your team honest and accountable to the publishing frequency and schedule that you’ve set out to execute.
4. Sustain Your Audience’s Interest
A content calendar offers you the opportunity to see what topics you’ve covered so you don’t duplicate efforts, while also helping you keep to your themes. You will no longer be picking topics at random so you are more likely to keep your audience engaged.
5. Stay Timely
With a content calendar, you can plot out specific events, holidays, or times of year that are important to your audience and your business. This means you won’t miss out on opportunities to leverage these events and get in front of your potential customers with timely content. You can ensure that you have content that speaks to what’s happening in their world, building your credibility.
6. Enable Visibility Across Teams
Content collaboration across large teams can be complicated. Content calendars make it easier. The most effective companies have alignment across teams. With a content calendar, you can employ a resource that helps everyone stay on the same page. Sales, marketing, product managers, and other stakeholders have clear visibility into content efforts, which can improve the relationships among teams and your culture.
7. Plan Social Media Marketing Better
Content and social media marketing are two parts of your content marketing strategy. A content calendar enables your social media team to schedule what will be posted and where, allowing you to be more consistent in posting.
Plus, with content automation features available on some content calendar platforms, you can save time in scheduling. This helps you cultivate a better social media presence because you can focus more on interacting with followers, instead of manually publishing posts.
8. Track Performance More Efficiently
Measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts is essential. You need to understand what content is performing well and why so you can replicate it. By using a content calendar that also enables reporting, you can keep an eye on your production and performance metrics and uncover insights to inform your future content plan and make it even effective.
Having a content calendar is critical to your brand’s content marketing success. Thus, it’s not an option anymore. Using a content calendar is a foundational aspect of your content strategy. Now, all you need to do is find the right one for your business. And you can start your journey by trying out the DivvyHQ platform for free. Get started today.