Your content marketing calendar provides a central point of focus for your marketing efforts and keeps your whole team organized. A content calendar is essential to ensure you stick to a consistent publication schedule and make the most out of all the content opportunities available to you.
Content marketing calendars range from basic spreadsheets and calendar apps like Google Calendar to sophisticated solutions that integrate with other content marketing tools.
Choosing the right tool may not seem like a major decision, but solutions that are not fit for purpose can be the cause of inefficiencies, lost productivity, and communication difficulties.
So what exactly should you be looking for when you’re researching content marketing calendar solutions?
In an ideal world, you’d plan out your content for a year in advance, stick completely to that schedule, and never need to change your plans. In reality, of course, this never happens.
Your content calendar should offer flexibility so if you need to make adjustments on the fly, you can do this easily and efficiently.
Content marketing platforms should offer some form of automation to account for the inevitable waterfall effect of changing a date or a deadline. For example, if a copywriting deadline is extended by a week, the editing, uploading, and publication dates should also be extended automatically.
In some cases, a news story in your industry or unexpected event may mean that your entire content calendar should be shifted to make way for new content.
For example, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, many brands have shifted their focus onto content that’s highly relevant for this time, such as remote working and advice for doing business in times of economic uncertainty. Pre-planned content around topics such as travel or events would certainly not be appropriate at this time and would need to be moved to a later date.
Your content calendar should offer you the ability to shift the bulk of your content quickly in this situation so you can quickly make room for new, timely content.
Sophisticated content marketing tools with lots of bells and whistles can be very appealing. But, unless these tools are simple and easy for your team to use, you may be wasting money.
If you’re forcing an organizational system to be unnecessarily complex, the chances are that nobody will stick to it. Individuals will fall back on their own simpler ways of staying on track, and the whole system will fall apart.
While it’s important to keep track of your content as much as you can, make sure that any software you choose is intuitive and easy to use.
If you’re moving from an existing system to a new content calendar solution, make sure all your team members receive sufficient training on how to use it, and plan for a gentle transition period rather than expecting everyone to adjust overnight.
3. Built for Accessibility and Collaboration
Your content marketing calendar should be easy to use for anyone who needs it. In most cases, this means opting for a cloud-based solution, so you don’t end up with multiple versions of your content calendar every time someone makes an edit.
At the same time, not every individual will need to see everything on your calendar, so opt for a solution that enables you to set up groups with different permissions and visibility levels.
Many content teams include remote workers, so it’s important that anyone who needs to access the calendar and collaborate on it can do so, wherever they are in the world. This functionality is particularly vital in current times when millions of people are working from home.
4. Allows You to Manage Many Different Types of Content
As you know, content takes on many shapes and sizes. If you’re an enterprise-level organization, you’re most likely managing multiple types of content, including articles for various publications, videos, infographics, ebooks, white papers, emails, social media posts, and more.
Not only do you have to plan out all this content, but you also have to make sure it all integrates and flows together. A single piece of content may start off as a blog post and to make it pop, creating a special infographic would be ideal. Then that blog post will be promoted via social media posts and sent to subscribers via email. And a CTA in the blog post may be encouraging downloads to ebooks and white papers. All this has to be ready for publication and promotion at the right time.
A good content calendar will make it easy for you to plan out all your different types of content and content campaigns, helping you to develop efficient operational workflows and make the most out of your content marketing strategy.
5. Multiple Views
Sometimes, you might only want to focus on the content you’re producing and promoting this week. At other times, you might want to get a wider view of the content you have planned for the upcoming quarter.
Your content calendar should allow you to switch between these different views, displaying tasks for the day, week, month, or quarter, depending on the level of detail you need.
Then your boss walks in and throws you a curve ball, “Sales are down on Product XYZ. How much content do we have planned this quarter on that product?”
Without a sophisticated content marketing calendar in place, producing a view or list of those content projects may take hours (that you don’t have). Alternatively, giving your boss access to your content marketing calendar platform that makes it easy for them to filter their view of upcoming content projects down to that specific product eliminates this situation altogether.
A Content Marketing Calendar Designed for Enterprises
DivvyHQ is a complete content marketing platform, including the best content on the market, designed for multiple teams to have a holistic view of everything that’s going on with their content at any time.
You can organize by business unit, team and/or region, manage shared and private calendars, filter projects by team, keyword, or individual, and manage by tasks, assets, or campaign.
The DivvyHQ content marketing calendar is incredibly powerful, but it’s also easy to use. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we were voted the best content marketing platform in the Content Marketing Institute’s annual Audience Choice Awards for four years in a row.
Start a free trial so you can try it out for yourself. It’s time to simplify and automate your content marketing.