We’ve all had the feeling at work that we have so much to do that our lives are spiraling out of control. It’s not a great feeling, clearly. But when you wrap your arms around everything you have going on, it’s easier to manage your workload. That’s why we use and recommend content calendars. These calendars aren’t just for planning upcoming blog topics; rather, they allow you to map out every facet of your marketing plan. All your marketing pieces should work together to inform and draw in leads at all stages of the sales funnel, from the prospect to promoter stage, so let’s cover how you can bring it all together in three easy steps.
STEP ONE | INVENTORY YOUR MARKETING INITIATIVES
You may do more than you think, so keep a running list of items until you are confident that you got most of it. Even if you don’t already do these marketing tasks, you may consider adding them. Some things you may include are:
- Facebook posts and ads
- Twitter posts and ads
- LinkedIn posts and ads
- Blog posts
- Google Adwords campaigns
- Online and/or print newsletters: for employees, referrers, customers, etc.
- Email promos
- Case studies
- Gated or ungated content such as webinars, e-books, guides, infographics
- Event marketing materials
- Web updates that improve SEO
- Reputation management (testimonials and reviews)
NOTE: You should perform regular analytics reporting and benchmarking to measure your marketing success
STEP TWO | PLAN CONTENT IN A SPREADSHEET
We recommend creating your content calendar in Google Sheets so you can share the document with anyone on your team who has a role in executing your marketing campaigns. The following steps can help you build your calendar:
- Brainstorm and research topics for all your marketing initiatives
- Down the left side of your Sheet, list out every initiative in its own row, i.e. Facebook ads, employee newsletter, e-book, website update, etc.
- Across the top of your Sheet, create column labels for weeks (grouped into months) to create a timeline of tasks to complete for each of those initiatives.
- Fill in initiatives, including topics from your brainstorm and research, in each row. Also be sure to create rows for any miscellaneous marketing activities such as events you’ll attend. For each row, don’t forget to map out the tasks you need to complete in advance and afterwards. For example, in the sample content calendar, the employee newsletter requires two phases before launch and one after.
STEP THREE | DIVIDE AND CONQUER
- Assign tasks to team members directly from the Google Sheet so there is accountability, you’re all on the same page, and no items fall victim to communication failures.
- Commit to six months of your content calendar at a time and, when everyone has signed off on the calendar, print it out on banner paper, then hang it on the wall in your office or a common space for your team.
- Meet regularly with your team over the calendar to stay on top of the tasks everyone is assigned each week. This is a good time to bring up any questions or impediments to completing the task.
- Be flexible. It’s okay to deviate from the plan even though it’s printed. If another topic presents itself, take advantage of the timeliness and change your calendar.
Give it a try, or reach out to us if you don’t have the resources or desire to coordinate all your marketing initiatives. We have the fuel and can be an extension of your marketing department, and more.
MediaFuel is a full-service digital marketing agency located in Fishers, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. We specialize in motion graphics, branding strategy, social media, virtual reality and internet marketing/lead generation to bring our clients increased leads and brand awareness.
We’re small in size, but mighty in results. We’re locally owned, and we answer the phone when it rings. We treat our clients’ businesses as if they were our own, and we’re never too big for our britches. If you’re ready to explore a new partnership in your marketing efforts, give us a call or stop by. We’ll give you coffee, a seat at the table and a listening ear. And if we have candy, we’ll share that with you too.