Content Calendar Magic for Agencies: How to Plan & Prep Your Client Campaigns for 2024

With so much in flux in the marketing world, prepping for 2024 probably has you feeling overwhelmed. You’re certainly not alone, especially in the marketing/digital agency environment.

Between managing high volumes of marketing campaigns and content projects, and all the people and tech that you’ll need to execute efficiently, it’s enough to make any marketer not want to come back from their holiday.

But the truth is, when it comes to managing a content operation at scale, all you need to do is get organized.

That’s why we recommend setting up systems, a robust content calendar for agencies, and automation to help you streamline your production processes.

If you’re ready to do things the right way in 2024, keep reading.

In this helpful guide, we’ll show you how to plan and prepare your upcoming marketing campaigns in six simple steps.

Step 1: Outline Your Client Programs for 2024

Which clients are you managing in 2024? What do they need from you, and how often do they need it?

To get organized, create a client program summary for each of your accounts. These can be created individually or stored in one “Client Programs” document. Save them in a centralized folder/location so your team always has access.

Here’s a template and example you can reference:

MIRA Client Summary

  • Client Name: MIRA
  • What They Do: MIRA builds displays and fixtures for large retailers, such as Walmart and Best Buy
  • Target Audience(s): Enterprise-level retailers
  • Types of Content: Blog posts, landing pages, email campaigns, and social media campaigns
  • Funnel Details: Top, middle, and bottom-funnel content
  • Content Themes: Industry insights, industry predictions, thought leadership
  • Scope of Work: 4 x Blog posts monthly, 2 x landing pages monthly, 2 x email campaigns monthly, and daily social media posts (M-F)
  • Retainer Agreement: $15,000 per month, due on the 1st

Step 2: Create a Content Order Spreadsheet for Each Client

Use Excel or Google Sheets to organize content orders for each 2024 account you’re managing.

Name each Sheet appropriately so you can quickly locate the correct client order when needed.

For instance, “Client Name + Content Orders + Year.”

Here are some columns we recommend including on each spreadsheet:

  • Piece number/ID
  • Due date
  • Content Property/Channel
  • Type of content
  • Project description w/ word count
  • Brief/outline link
  • Project/Editing Notes
  • Official Guidelines
  • Style Guide
  • Price
  • Done?
  • Paid?

Step 3: Create and Fill in Your Content Calendars

Pull all necessary data (deadlines, channel, content type, description, etc.) from your content order spreadsheets and input (or import) them into a separate content calendar for each client.

3A: Set Up Your Calendars

Name each of your content calendars appropriately so you can quickly locate the correct deadlines for each client when needed.

For instance, “Client Name + Content Calendar + Year.”

If you manage social media content orders, too, consider creating dedicated social media content calendars (separate from your email and blog post content calendars). Since social media orders tend to have more projects and due dates, this can help you reduce overwhelm.

In this case, you’d have the following calendar names for each account:

  • “Client Name + Blog & Email Content Calendar + Year”
  • “Client Name + Social Media Content Calendar + Year”

You can also create separate calendars for each content type if you have an influx of orders.

In this case, you might have the following calendar names:

  • “Client Name + Blog Content Calendar + Year”
  • “Client Name + Email Content Calendar + Year”
  • “Client Name + Social Media Content Calendar + Year”
  • “Client Name + Ad Content Calendar + Year”

Finally, create a master content calendar that houses due dates for each of your clients. You could name this calendar (or calendar view) “Client Name + Master Calendar + 2024.”

Content Calendar for Agencies - DivvyHQ example

3B: Editorial & Topical Ideation

Since service offerings across agencies vary quite a bit, there may be a stage within this content planning process where your agency team is ideating and collaborating with your clients to determine the purpose and subject matter that will be covered for each piece of content you’ll be executing.

For example, if one of your service offerings is assisting clients with long-form blog content, part of that service may be doing extensive industry analysis and keyword research to develop a laundry list of blog post topics. If that is the case, part of your preparation for filling in a client’s content calendar would be to grab that content order spreadsheet (discussed in Step 2) and add a column that identifies a “working title” for each blog post item in the spreadsheet.

The same could be said for other content types as well. The client may already have a handle on various campaigns, events, and themes that they’re planning to execute throughout the year. Thus, collaborating early in the process can help add meat to the content plan prior to actually filling in the calendar itself.

3C: Input or Import Individual Content Items

With your content calendars established, and a flushed-out spreadsheet of content orders, it’s now time to start filling up the calendar. Depending on how you’ve formatted your content orders spreadsheet, and what system/tool you’re using that is built to be a content calendar for agencies (ex: DivvyHQ), you’ll likely be able to import that data, as opposed to inputting content orders manually.

Below is a tutorial video that shows how content items can be imported via a CSV file in DivvyHQ. Note that this video is a little outdated, but you’ll get the jist.

Step 4: Divvy up Content Assignments (pun intended)

Which team members and contractors are you managing in 2024? What are their capacity levels, and what verticals and assets are they helping you with?

4A: Create Content Team Summaries

As agencies grow, there will likely come a time when your brain can’t keep track of who has specific skills, who has domain knowledge in various fields, how much capacity they have per day/week/month, etc.

To get organized, create a summary for each of your content writers, editors, and other relevant marketing team members. Add these summaries to a document and name it “Content Team Summaries.”

Here’s a template and example you can reference:

Content Team – Marisol Garcia – Writer – Summary

  • Contractor’s Name: Marisol Garcia
  • Types of Content: Blog posts, quizzes, product launch campaigns, video content
  • Vertical Expertise: Public relations, project management, product advertising
  • Capacity: 30,000 words per month and 4 x videos per month
  • Content Rates: $0.17 a word, $300 per video (30 seconds each)
  • Payment Agreement: $6,300 per month, due on the 1st

You can then reference these summaries when it comes time to assign resources to specific content orders.

4B: Plot Your Resources

The rubber is really hitting the road now, but your methods for assigning content orders to team members will vary depending on your process and the tools you use.

For example, you might be stuck with the old-school method of creating and emailing separate spreadsheets of content orders for each of your writers, editors, etc. If that’s the case, your spreadsheet columns might look something like this:

  • Due date
  • Item number
  • Working Title
  • Type of content
  • Word count
  • Project/Task description
  • Brief/outline link
  • Project Notes
  • Editing Notes
  • Official Guidelines
  • Style Guide
  • Price
  • Done?
  • Paid?

Alternatively, smart agencies will deploy a content operations platform like DivvyHQ and invite all relevant content producers to produce and collaborate within the platform. Content operations platforms like DivvyHQ act as content-centric project management systems so team members can be assigned to content items/projects and receive immediate notifications of new assignments (among other things). More on this later.

Step 5: Provide Access to Relevant Production Tools

Give your content team access to the tools they need to produce, stage, and publish campaigns and content — in advance. This is key to preventing unnecessary back-and-forth and missed deadlines.

Here are some examples to consider:

Video Editing Tools

Help content creators edit videos on brand every time with video editing tools.

Get inspired by Sofi, a brand that shoots Instagram videos about lending tips, student loan refinancing, and money tips:

content calendar for agencies - video editing example

Image Source

In the above example, SoFi uses a video editor to split the video screen between the interviewer and interviewee. It also adds caption overlays for the hearing impaired and anyone watching videos on mute. Finally, it adds a sticker to label this video as part of its content segment called “Richer Lives,” followed by its logo to encourage reshares and mentions.

add video captions with

Image Source

Some video editing tools your team can use to produce branded videos, like SoFi, include:

Landing Page Builders

Give marketers access to builders to create beautiful, high-converting landing pages, like the following one that focuses on highlighting Tirzepatide as a promising weight loss drug:

content calendar for agencies - landing page example

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In the above example, Henry Meds uses a landing page builder to add its brand’s fonts and colors, relevant calls to action (CTA) buttons, sales copy, and captivating images that bring the eye down.

Many landing page builders also include responsive templates, fast load speeds, ROI tracking, and even A/B testing so your team can create with intention. Here are a few landing page builders your team can use to produce branded sales pages, like Henry Meds, including:

Form Builders

Provide access to form builders to push target audiences to hand over contact information in exchange for downloading confidential content, as the following lead magnet from the TigerLRM sales playbook offers:

Content calendar for agencies - lead magnet form example

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When it comes to using lead magnets to grow email lists, simplicity is key to encouraging users to sign up. In the above example, TigerLRM uses a simple form with just two fields and one CTA button. It also brands the form with its fonts and colors to give it a professional look and feel.

*Pro-Tip: Take this up a notch by allowing leads to sign up using their Google or social media credentials for faster conversions.

Some form builders your team can use to produce professional lead magnet forms, like TigerLRM, include:

Quiz Builders

Empower your team to create guided selling pages on your clients’ websites and online stores with quiz builders.

Get inspired by FormHealth, a telehealth brand that uses quizzes to help its customers secure a Mounjaro prescription online, or other relevant weight loss medications:

content calendar for agencies - quiz builders

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FormHealth adds several “Take our quiz” and “Start the quiz” CTA buttons on its dedicated landing pages to nudge visitors to conversion. At the end of the quiz, the patient will receive a custom weight loss recommendation, which may include an offer to meet with a doctor and get a prescription.

Guided selling quizzes are also great to use if you market for beauty brands, skincare brands, and fashion brands. They can also help B2Bers discover the right software or solutions for their pain points.

Some quiz builders your team can use to produce guided-selling pages, like FormHealth, include:

Other Helpful Tools

Here are some more software options you might consider giving your team access to:

  • AI writing assistants
  • AI-powered content editing apps, i.e., grammar checkers and plagiarism checkers
  • Email campaign builders
  • Email marketing templates
  • Social media caption templates
  • Professional stock imagery
  • Photo-editing tools
  • Screenshot tools
  • Stats and research tools
  • AI-powered SEO research tools
  • AI-powered readability tools
  • Staging and publishing tools
  • Graphic design tools, i.e., infographic makers and poster templates
  • Task managers

Step 6: Create and Automate Everything With a Content Operations Platform

Congratulations, you’ve officially organized your deliverable plans for 2024 and provided access to all necessary tools… except one.

If your agency would be considered a small content operation, you might stop where you are. But if you’re an efficiency nerd or manage a larger agency supporting enterprise-level marketing teams, you’ll likely need a beefier platform to streamline your content planning and creation processes.

In other words, you’re going to need some advanced technical support.

My recommendation: Ditch the spreadsheets and summaries and just use DivvyHQ, the best content calendar for agencies.

With Divvy, you can set up content calendars for each client, create campaign and content workflows, add unlimited projects, and set up automation so your entire operation works like a well-oiled machine.

If you don’t have experience optimizing processes, work with one of Divvy’s experienced content-marketing experts to hold your hand through the process. They can help you with everything, including:

  • Setting up content calendars for each client
  • Prepping your content work orders for import
  • Creating production workflows for each type of project
  • Assigning team members
  • They can also assign the correct workflows to designated team members so everyone works in sync.

Curious to learn more? Why not request a quick demo!

Book a DivvyHQ Demo

Wrapping up

Planning and prepping your 2024 marketing campaigns in advance is pivotal to avoiding overwhelm and producing quality content — on time, every time.

If you’re ready to rethink the way you set up your content calendar for your agency, Divvy is here for you. Cheers to your success in 2024! 🥂