A content calendar is non-negotiable for any digital marketing manager. They may be simple in theory, but in practice they can be hard to create, and even harder to stick to. Today, we wanted to take some time to talk about some tips and tricks to ensure your content calendar is helping you manage your both your content and time as efficiently as possible.
Consolidate Your Content Into One Shared Calendar
A social media manager has one calendar, a copywriter is scheduling blogs on another, marketing managers keep track of events in yet another timeline, and so on. Not only is this messy, but it’s not conducive to effective communication within a team. Instead, try using a spreadsheet or calendar each team member has access to and can update as needed, this way, everyone is aware of what each other is working on without having to explain it. Change can be hard, but encouraging everyone to work on the sole calendar will not only help productivity, but it will also help with organization and teamwork.
Schedule Out Content in Advance
Additionally, using one shared calendars eliminates the risk of disseminating too much content at once and causing it to get lost in the shuffle. If you see that a blog post is going up on a Friday morning, you’d be better off scheduling an IG Live Q&A at a different time, this way the two pieces aren’t competing for traffic. This also helps with consistency and establishing a routine. People like to know what’s coming, so let them know when they can expect a new post, blog, video, etc. so they’re on the lookout for it.
Establish a Content Marketing Strategy
Contrary to what some may believe, a content calendar is not the same thing as a content marketing strategy. The calendar almost a visual representation that merely spells out your approach, the strategy itself is pinpointing how and to whom you want to market. Gather your marketing department and have a brainstorm session. Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they want to see? What platforms do they prefer? These are just a few of the questions an effective content marketing strategy will answer. This also helps to align the team and make sure everyone has the same goal and vision to put forward when generating new content. Perception is reality, and it’s essential to ensure your brand isn’t spouting out conflicting messages.
Keep the Calendar Updated
Too often, marketers build out their calendar and then grow complacent and forget to make sure their practices are still up-to-date and innovative. As we have said so many times, digital marketing is continually evolving, thus so should your strategy. Live video, blogging, video marketing, social media marketing, these are all factors that digital marketers barely had to think about even five years ago. And we can be sure that new tools and technologies are being developed this moment we aren’t even aware of yet, hence why we need to stay mindful of capitalizing on new trends and building them into your existing content marketing strategy.
You can spend hours brainstorming with your team and think you’ve come up with the most successful strategy of all time, but then come to find out it didn’t translate to your audience the way you expected. It happens; it’s the reason we see flops like the infamous Pepsi ad debacle. This is where flexibility comes in. Play damage control, talk about what went wrong and then make a new plan. In this same capacity, you should be amenable to adding in content when relevant. Keep an open dialogue and encourage team members to come forward when they have an idea they think will really resonate with the audience.