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3 tips for managing a marketing content calendar

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Marketing is a lot like juggling, there are many balls in the air at one time, and making sure one doesn’t drop is part of the daily challenge (and the fun!). Using a project management tool can make life a lot easier and less stressful. 

One tool that we think every marketer should use is a marketing content calendar. This visual representation of work allows you and your team to track content across promotional channels, as well as manage scheduling and publishing dates all in one place. However, marketing content calendars are only successful if they are used and managed effectively. With 2022 right around the corner, now is a good time to do a gut check on your content management system to make sure you are set up for success.

Whether you are a marketing content calendar veteran or using one for the first time, we’ve compiled our favorite tips and ideas to make managing your projects go just a little smoother.

Content Marketing Calendar success tips

 

Tip 1: Assign one point person to manage your content calendar. 

Plan out your content marketing calendarThis tip is pretty self-explanatory, but it is worth emphasizing. Keep in mind, just because you have a point person doesn’t mean they are in charge of managing every single project on the calendar. They are simply in charge of the calendar itself. 

Having one person manage your content marketing calendar will keep it organized and ensure projects are moving forward. With a holistic view, your point person will be able to minimize any overlap of campaigns, spot any issues that might occur before they happen, and better manage any adjustments to publish dates.

 

Tip 2: Use a tool that fits your team. 

The shift to remote work (thanks in part to the global pandemic) has increased the need for effective collaboration tools. According to the Content Marketing Institutes 2021 survey, 73% (up from 58% last year) of respondents indicated they used content creation, calendaring, collaboration, or workflow tools to manage their work!  

With so many different content marketing calendar tools out there, make sure to find one that will work best for you and your team. Do you need one with all the bells and whistles or would a simple spreadsheet work better? Before settling on a tool, have a conversation with some of the key players on the team, and most definitely your point person, to understand their needs and what will work best for everyone.

To help you get started, check out these free templates from our partner HubSpot:

Tip 3: Establish campaign priorities. 

Let’s be honest, projects don’t always go to plan. There are occasions where they go off schedule, whether it be a delay or the need to speed up the completion time. When these changes happen, there can be a bigger impact on your overall publishing schedule, creating a traffic jam or perfect storm of content all being promoted at the same time. 

Setting campaign priorities at the start of your planning and documenting them in your calendar will help you know which publish dates can shift and which cannot. During busier times, this will also help ease your team’s stress as they try to juggle projects and deadlines.

Establishing your calendar timeframe

Determining how far out to schedule your marketing content calendar depends entirely on your campaigns and your team. If you are just starting out, we recommend planning at least one quarter, or three months, in advance. This will allow you to incorporate some of the longer campaigns that will be running the entire time period. 

Remember to monitor progress and make adjustments as you go. As you get closer to the next quarter, start planning and updating your content calendar accordingly.

Once you get the hang of it, you can adjust your calendar timeframe to best suit your needs. For example, here at Content Matterz, we plan out our blog posting schedule for the entire year, but also have other marketing campaigns that we plan on a monthly and quarterly basis. 

Bonus: Incorporate brainstorming sessions when planning out your content calendar. Spend a predetermined amount of time with your team thinking of content ideas. Once you settle on the topics and format, do a little keyword research to ensure you are hitting on the phrases your prospects and customers are already searching for. This will go a long way towards creating strong SEO results for your campaigns.

Creating a marketing content calendar may feel a little overwhelming at the start, but it pays off in the long run with more organized and smoother running projects. If you are struggling to get started or need help maintaining your current content marketing calendar, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Here at Content Matterz, managing content calendars is one of our specialties.