Here at SMT, we talk a lot about creating high-quality content, but once you’ve mastered the content game, that then leads to another business problem - how can your organization keep churning out relevant, timely content on a regular basis?
Enter content calendars, the digital marketing world’s favorite daytimer.
Because so many different companies use content calendars in different ways, we recently asked our #SMTLive audience to tell us a bit more about their organizational tactics, which could provide more insight into how to plan out your own approach.
Do I really need a content calendar?
According to our #SMTLive Twitter chat participants, having a content calendar seems pretty essential.
From time saving to analytics, content calendars have become a digital marketing must.
A1: Having a content calendar helps me keep my posts organized so that I can see all of the content and times at once and shift posts around if needed. It helps maintain consistency, and also saves time through batch scheduling! #smtlive #socialmedia— Elena Salazar (@elenacsalazar) January 22, 2019
The larger your team, the more useful a content calendar will prove in keeping everyone on track.
A1: How much time do we have...?? Tracking ideas; understanding who is responsible for what pieces of content; integrating with other campaigns/parts of campaigns; tracking your efforts (posting frequency, timing, etc.) #SMTLive— Christine Delaney (@cdelaney_1231) January 22, 2019
There are so many benefits. While it takes time to do, it saves you time in the long run. It allows you to make sure that what you're posting aligns w/ your overall marketing strategy & allows you to create a consistent voice across content that drives brand loyalty. #SMTLive— Ashley (@social_wit) January 22, 2019
What’s in your toolbox?
You shouldn’t feel intimidated about creating a content calendar if the task seems daunting. Turns out, there are many free platforms for content calendar creation that offer various levels of detail. You might already be familiar with some.
We use @SproutSocial to manage and schedule and @googledocs to plan content.— OCLS (@oclslibrary) January 22, 2019
@buffer great for managing and scheduling. You can't beat good old-fashioned brainstorming to plan good content ideas that meet your target audience needs and fit with you brand. #SMTLive— TechPixies (@TechPixies) January 22, 2019
Sprout Social, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Buffer, and Airtable were the Twitter chat favorites.
A2.2: Currently using @SproutSocial to schedule and publish content across platforms. #SMTLive— Christine Delaney (@cdelaney_1231) January 22, 2019
At large vs. in charge
Who manages your brand’s content calendar and who has access to it depends on the size of the business for our #SMTLive worker bees. While many people in the chat used social media managers or specialists to create their content calendars, other smaller teams say they handle it themselves.
A4: Everyone is involved to some degree, either creating content or providing content ideas. But the social media manager and account manager are most-heavily involved before sharing the calendar with clients. #SMTLive— Fresh Creative (@Fresh_Creative) January 22, 2019
As a lone wolf, I make my own calendar and manage it myself. However, I also have connections that help me build content and provide second opinions.— Joel Sigrist (@SigristMedia) January 22, 2019
However, having the cal accessible to the content team/marketing team seems to prove useful for continuity.
A4: As a digital marketing agency, we have social media managers that plan and create the social content calendars. The content calendars are then shared with the marketing team members. #SMTLive— IMI (@iMarketingInc) January 22, 2019
A4: I create the calendar myself (social assistant), then it gets pushed to my manager to approve before sending up higher for approval. The calendar is available to all of Content Marketing #SMTLive— Keith McCall (@KeithMcCall20) January 22, 2019
On staying flexible
Planning out every post sounds great for our Type A content creators, but what about the more creative types of digital marketers? Our #SMTLive chat participants gave us some tips about how staying flexible with your cal is totally doable (as well as necessary).
A5: We have a lot more content to go out in Q4, specifically December. We make sure to leave gaps in the calendar a few times a week so we can move around content if needed. Being flexible is key #SMTLive— Keith McCall (@KeithMcCall20) January 22, 2019
A5: As a social media manager, you learn to always expect the unexpected. Being vigilant in monitoring external conversations relating to your brand/industry, having clear internal communications, & the ability to move quickly with rescheduling content are key #SMTLive— Christine Delaney (@cdelaney_1231) January 22, 2019
Thank you for reading our rundown of our latest #SMTLive Twitter chat. Hopefully, you can go forth with a solid plan for your team’s content organization strategy in the future.
Our fabulous community comes together on Twitter every second and fourth Tuesday from 12pm to 1pm EST, so don’t forget to follow our #SMTLive hashtag to keep up with the latest.
And for more help on developing an effective content calendar, check out the articles below.
Why You Should Create a Calendar to Manage Your Social Media Posts [Infographic]
[This is an #SMTLive recap. Join our next conversation: RSVP here.]