While the days of a traditional wall calendar may be behind us, a content calendar should be a staple for every marketing team. A content calendar is necessary for ensuring all team members are current on any due dates or changes that may occur.
It’s essential for communication between project members, and it stops both small and serious mistakes from occurring. Even for solo projects, a content calendar helps individual content creators focus on the overall goal of the content plan rather than getting lost in the minutiae of the project.
Not only that, but you also have the satisfaction of knowing future content is planned and everything is on schedule.
What Is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a schedule, often maintained by a project manager, created to plan out all content. Using the calendar, team leaders can see the overall strategy and how it builds toward project goals.
This calendar can be created for personal records or shared with other members of the team. Any blogs, vlogs, social media and website content should be included in a content calendar.
A good content calendar should include the following elements:
- Name of future pieces of content and due dates.
- All promotional activity, advertising and sponsorships.
- Any special dates or holidays the content can be themed around.
- Team members assigned to work on the project.
- Status updates.
- Content updates.
Tools to Track and Manage Your Content Calendar
When creating a content calendar, choose a tool that works best for your business. Fortunately, there are many tools available for every budget that can make creating a content calendar a simple, seamless process. Some of the more popular tools include:
Trello can be accessed via a web browser or mobile app. This tool organizes projects, creates workflows, and tracks tasks. With it, marketers can add files, create checklists and set up automated reminders.
The user interface is visually appealing and unique. Think of a whiteboard, filled with lists of sticky notes. In Trello, the "whiteboards" are lists and the "sticky notes" are cards or individual tasks assigned.
Trello is mobile friendly and instantly notifies users of all task alerts and comments. However, to access the more advanced features, users must upgrade. Additionally, Trello isn’t great at managing larger projects. The more lists, cards and users involved, the more unorganized things can get.
HubSpot makes it easy for users to plan, create and launch marketing projects all from one place. With HubSpot projects, marketers can assign project owners, set due dates, review tasks, add attachments, and link to other HubSpot tools such as blog posts and web pages. In addition, you can turn any project into a template, which will save time and energy for future repeatable marketing work.
However, being able to do everything from one spot does come with a price, and HubSpot is expensive. HubSpot is designed as an all-in-one tool, and it’s difficult to use just one feature alone. Meaning, if you continue to use WordPress to manage your blog, utilizing HubSpot for its project management feature alone will likely increase your workload rather than decrease it.
Google Sheets is an easy-to-use free calendar tool accessible from a browser. All edits happen in real time and team members can easily leave comments. Google Sheets is a simpler alternative to Excel and won’t take much time to learn.
While there are benefits to using Google Sheets, there are drawbacks as well. There are no task management features; it has limited automation unless you're familiar with formulas; and it does not work well with other tools.
Let GO2 Manage Your Marketing
Ultimately, implementing a content calendar as part of your marketing plan will encourage team participation, ensure all project deadlines are met, help the company reach future goals and grow your business. It’s one of the most important tools in ongoing campaign marketing.
We know creating and managing a content calendar takes time and effort. GO2 Partners is a group of trusted marketing experts who understand your struggles and will help you build solutions to address them. We make it our goal to ensure companies have the plan and tools they need to successfully grow their business. Learn more about what we can do for you today!