What is a Content Calendar and Why Should You Use One?

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.

what is a content calendar

While you may have been using a spreadsheet to keep your content plan 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.

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.

You can start your journey by trying out the DivvyHQ platform for free.

Key Features of the DivvyHQ Content Calendar

The core components of a content calendar are:

  • Goals
  • Content frequency
  • Pillars/themes/topics
  • Deadlines
  • Production workflows
  • Team member assignments/accountability
  • Idea repository
  • 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.

From the beginning of our journey in 2011 to today, DivvyHQ’s success in becoming the world’s best content planning solution has come in large part from executing on customer feedback.

Our mission of “Simplifying the lives of content teams” has steered our operations, but customers have been at the center of our product’s functional offering and roadmap prioritization. Our calendar interface is arguably the most vital planning tool available for content, marketing and communications teams across the globe.

“There are a ton of new features and improvements packed into Divvy’s 3.0 Calendar interface. We’ve kept all the filters and functions that DivvyHQ fans know and love and built upon those to help users easily manage the chaos of their busy content schedules.”

Brody Dorland – Co-Founder
DivvyHQ

Our core focus with the recent redesign was to improve efficiency and workflow for users who are often trying to juggle the production of 20 to 30 pieces of content at a time across multiple departments, contributors and channels. With that goal in mind, we added several improvements in our 3.0 interface:

  • Customizable, Saved Views to quickly filter down to important campaigns and deadlines
  • A Priority Filter to quickly see your highest priority projects and tasks
  • Expand-and-Collapse Function for long-running campaigns to optimize screen real estate
  • Slide-In Sidebars offer a quick preview of individual content items, tasks or campaigns
  • Unscheduled Content panel (formerly Parking Lot) allows for drag-and-drop of all unscheduled content and ideas
  • Add Reminders for non-content-centric events like holidays, important meetings, OOO reminders, etc.

As with any interface release, we pay close attention to usage data and customer feedback. As the leader of our development team, it’s rewarding to get feedback like this:

“DivvyHQ’s new updated calendar view and functions brings a fresh new look and experience to our workflow process. I’ve been working in DivvyHQ going on three years now and am very pleased with the updates the platform has made in that time. I know it will only continue to get better as it grows.”

Sam Craft – Digital Media Specialist
Texas A&M’s Health Science Center

Calendar Organization & Setup

When it comes to content, no two companies are alike. With that in mind, we built Divvy to scale and mold to almost any type and size of content team, and to help those teams produce any type of content required. A big part of that foundation is a single content calendar, which may be all most small businesses need to manage all of the content throughout their organizations.

Larger companies, however, may need to utilize multiple calendars to organize content by department or by marketing vehicle. For example, a company may have a blog calendar, an email calendar and an internal communications calendar. Then you throw marketing agencies into the mix and they’ll probably want to have a separate calendar for each client or campaign.

If your Divvy plan provides you with multiple calendars and you are an account administrator or editor, log into DivvyHQ and click Calendar Admin in the top right. This page allows you to create your calendars, name them, specify a calendar color and provide access to applicable contributors. When you’re done, click Save.

The calendar colors come into play when viewing your master calendar. Color-coded content items delineate which calendar each item belongs to. For example, if I have a purple blog calendar and a blue email calendar, I can quickly see what’s what.

Adding Non-Content Events

Thanks to user feedback, we’ve learned how valuable our content calendar is for planning content initiatives, but communications and marketing teams also have other, non-content-centric things going on that need visibility. Common events in this camp are company and industry events (physical and virtual), holidays, important company meetings, etc. Here’s a quick video walkthrough to get these types of events built into your calendar.

So, with your events added, you’ll now have visual reminders of upcoming events and holidays to help you proactively plan your content and campaigns.

If you have questions about these or any other DivvyHQ features, feel free to contact us via the various support options provided here.

A Content Calendar Designed for Content Marketers

We designed the DivvyHQ content calendar specifically to overcome the issues with existing calendar and content planning systems.

Simple, yet powerful, the calendar allows content teams to organize their content and tasks in an intuitive way, with multiple views and filter options so that you only see what you want to focus on.

If you’re outgrowing your existing content calendar solution or you’re new to content marketing and want to maximize your efficiency from the start, get in touch to try DivvyHQ for free today!