Lost at Sea: 3 Reasons Why You Need a Content Marketing Calendar

August 1, 2017

By Jack Doyle, senior account executive at Inprela Communications

Ditty_about_summer/Shutterstock.com

 

It's 2017. Do you know where your content is?

For companies with numerous products, technologies, and services across various sectors, it can be hard to keep track of every last press release, blog post, brochure, or whitepaper. Throw in the gridlock that can stem from trying to orchestrate the multiple layers of developing, posting, and amplifying content through a number of channels, and it can feel like your marketing communications program is lost at sea.

An up-to-date content calendar can change that. To keep your marketing plan on course, here are three key reasons why your company should use a content calendar.

  1. Being strategic > staying tactical
    Social media, blogs, and company websites are just a few of the many channels brands can feed. Without detailing where, when, why, what, and how content is going to appear, brands can be get stuck in a reactive, tactical mode that doesn't focus on the larger picture.

    Here's an example. Say Earth Day is coming up, and you're an HVAC manufacturer that wants to promote your company's commitment to sustainability. A calendar could have all of your PR, social, and marketing ideas — and who owns them — in one place, allowing you to strategically deliver your content across multiple platforms for greater effect. That Earth Day Q&A you secured in a trade magazine? Excerpt posted on the company blog. Tweeted. Shared on LinkedIn.

    Those stuck at the tactical level are the ones posting "Happy #EarthDay!!!" accompanied by a lame stock photo. Don't be that brand. You're better than that.

  2. Maximize your content offering
    The Earth Day example offered a glimpse into how companies can maximize their content. That HVAC manufacturer didn't just secure the Q&A and call it a day. It promoted the post on its social channels and its blog, increasing its reach and boosting SEO. If this hypothetical company were really smart, it would share the Q&A multiple times on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels.


    Why?

    On fast-paced platforms like those, content easily gets lost in the shuffle. A content calendar can help brands keep track of these re-postings, making sure they keep a nice balance of infusing new content while maximizing their "day-old" content.

  3. Prevent mix-ups, missed opportunities and turf wars
    "Oh, you were working on this too?" This is basically everyone's worst nightmare.

    These sorts of mix-ups would be less frequent or non-existent with a calendar as its most basic and inherent value comes from its organizational structure. With the calendar, people will know who is working on what, and when it will be posted. Not only will it reduce the doubling up of work, but it will also help prevent errors in targeting frequency across content channels, over- or underserving certain audiences, and news announcement misfirings.

A content calendar won't solve all of your problems, but it can certainly help right a misguided content ship. Anchors, away!

 

Jack Doyle is a senior account executive at Inprela Communications, a B-to-B PR company specializing in healthcare and manufacturing. You can reach him at connect@inprela.com.

 


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


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