Chances are, you’ve put creating a content calendar on your to-do list. Then, months pass and you still haven’t created your calendar. Perhaps you still find time, here and there, to produce content and score minor victories in the market, so you shelve the calendar idea.
- Your publishing schedule is sporadic
- Your content is patchy in quality
- Your topics are pretty random and unfocused
- You realize you are retreading old ideas after your competitor has already covered them
- Your investment of time isn’t really showing any signs of return
In short, it is lacking something.
All of a sudden, you start thinking about the calendar again. You start thinking that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Let’s take a look at this in more detail and examine five noteworthy advantages of creating a content calendar.
Achieve the Right Focus
Content has become the fuel that drives the marketing engines, lead nurturing strategies, and social identities of the majority of companies around the globe. And rightly so. The internet provides the ideal platform from which to reach your audience and the perfect medium for launching innovative content.
But too many businesses opt for the shotgun approach. They are aware that they need to publish, and publish often, but they miss out on the focus that their content needs. By developing a content calendar, you are forced to plan ahead, be deliberate in your content ideation, and give your organization the long term content strategy it needs to really build and hone its focus.
You will find that with focus, you create more effective content pieces than ever before.
Reinforce Your Brand Vision
Content is more than just a marketing tool, it is a key part of your brand identity. And although individual content pieces should have a clear focus, your content should be building toward something, just in the same way that your business is building toward a vision, towards growth, and more effective relationships with customers and clients.
This means going beyond simply planning what you are going to publish and when — this means planning your goals for each month, each quarter, and each year, and achieving real, quantifiable metrics by which to measure success. This cannot be achieved without a calendar in place that is aligned with those goals, and the overall vision of the company.
Take Your Audience on a Journey
You are probably noticing some commonality between the points mentioned above. Each point is geared toward adopting a holistic approach for planning content rather than simply releasing pieces when your team gets around to it and covering whichever topics arise that day.
Content should take your audience on a journey. They have a problem or pain point, they search online, they reach your content by whichever means, and the content then guides them to a solution. This, of course, is a journey in itself.
However, by crafting a content experience over several pieces of content, developing audience understanding and knowledge on the way, the journey becomes more engaging and effective. While giving the audience the information and guidance they need, you are working to actively build a trusting relationship between the audience and your brand.
The resulting connection becomes far more profound and long-lasting than it would have been had you merely released a series of standalone content pieces.
Consistency in Cadence
The publishing industry does one thing that many companies fail to replicate. They never miss a deadline. They always deliver on time.
Do you have a favorite magazine that you’ve subscribed to for years? How would you feel if one month it just didn’t show up in your mailbox? Maybe you have a favorite daily podcast that you love to listen to on your way to work every morning. What happens if your podcast app comes up blank one day?
There’s a good chance that in the two scenarios above that A) you’d be let down, and B) the reason you love those publications so much is that they’ve delivered consistently for a long period of time.
If you are not creating and publishing content consistently, it’s unlikely to garner the fans or audience growth that you’re probably longing for.
Consistency in Quality, Voice & Style
Having a team of different writers, each with different perspectives and areas of expertise, is fine — in fact, this is great, as it shows that you are serious about putting the right man or woman on the job. However, you still need a degree consistency across all of your pieces, a voice that your audience can recognize as your own.
Set up a style guide to unify your content and to pin it to your specific brand. Then, develop your calendar based upon this style guide, making sure that everyone knows what is expected of them with every piece of content. With these tools in place, it is much easier for your organization to achieve that branding consistency you really need.
Make Delegation All the More Effective
You can’t do everything yourself. In fact, even if you have a content team in place, there will be times when they need some assistance and support if they are to get all of the necessary tasks completed. This is where delegation provides such an advantage.
Crafting a content calendar makes this delegation far easier and more effective. When delegating tasks to other team members, your staff has a clear and concise scheduling document to refer to. They can use this to create winning content with only minimal input from management.
Delegation works best when you can trust your team members to get the job done after the first briefing — being able to rely upon a content calendar makes this far more achievable.
Are You Ready?
Hopefully I’ve made a strong enough case and you’re ready to get serious about creating a content calendar. A content calendar is truly the key driver to becoming a mature content marketing operation and we’d certainly love to help you get up and running. Get in touch with our team today for a quick demo of our content calendar software.