It is challenging to manage your marketing efforts without having a plan in writing. Hopefully, you read our recent blog post on creating a marketing strategy and you are ready to take the next step: building and maintaining a content calendar.
A content calendar is the result of taking your established tactics and mapping them to a month-by-month plan. It serves as your guide in terms of what you want to publish and when, and includes dates and deadlines for publishing blog posts, posting to social media, distributing news releases, sending an email, drafting bylines, etc.
When it comes to content marketing, the more advanced planning that can be done, the better. In general, you want to have a detailed calendar planned at least one month in advance. More broadly, you should have an idea of what the content will be each month, or at least the type of content, will be for up to a year. This may sound daunting, but you’ll notice that a marketing “rhythm” develops once you put your tactics into a calendar – three blog posts per month; one email per month; a social post per week, etc. This becomes the monthly “bones” that you just need to add specific muscle to.
Planning ahead also provides more time to write and review content as well as rearrange your calendar if something more timely or urgent pops up. We find that content planned in advance tends to be of higher quality than content that is pulled together in a rush. Additionally, by preparing your content marketing calendar in advance, you can avoid publishing on or around major holidays.
Finally, be sure to keep the calendar current by entering in the dates that tasks were completed or noting if they didn’t occur and why. And, by documenting what you’ve published, you can avoid repetition and ensure content diversity to keep your target audience more engaged. Keeping an up-to-date content calendar not only keeps all team members accountable but will also help when you perform performance reviews at the end of the year and use your accomplishments and metrics achieved to guide decisions about next year’s marketing objectives and plan.
This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jen Kardian