This is the 25th post of a 50 article series for beginners building marketing at B2B startups.
The Content Calendar is often the most-used document on the marketing team. It is the master schedule of all our content production and distribution. We use the Content Calendar to manage design, writing, and marketing automation campaigns distributing content, such as ebooks and webinars. As the team grows, it’s critical that we maintain an organized, up-to-date Content Calendar. Here is a breakdown of best practices to consider:
Use a shared Google Spreadsheet or Advanced Tool
There are plenty of handy software tools to help track content. As you grow, consider a tool like Crescendo that organizes content production in a more sophisticated way. For those just starting out, a simple shared Google Spreadsheet does the trick. At the beginning of each week, the first thing we do during our marketing meeting is review the Content Calendar. It guides our focus since it essentially outlines our inbound demand generation strategy. Here is a snapshot of my team’s Editorial Calendar:
Organize columns with design, writing and distribution
Within the editorial calendar, the team should be able to quickly understand the following:
- What assets are designers creating?
- What content pieces are writers creating?
- What blog articles are being posted?
- What email blasts are being sent out?
- What webinars are being presented?
- What social media posts are going live?
All of this information is vital to the day-to-day operations of an inbound marketing team, and needs to be organized effectively in the Content Calendar.
Break it down to daily details
If assembled correctly, the Content Calendar gives us a snapshot of daily tasks and deliverables. We not only use it to know when campaigns are being distributed in our marketing automation system, but we also use it to ensure we align timing and resources around busy content production. If we know that our designers have open time on Thursday, and it takes 2 days to complete the writing, we must make sure the next content piece gets started on Tuesday.
Link to content documents or design assets
If we decide to use a spreadsheet, consider pasting a link to the Google Document where each article is written into a cell in the Editorial Calendar. This enables that calendar to be the true master document, making it easy for the team to quickly dive into details. Using a more advanced tool will have this type of functionality built in.
Archive past weeks to remain focused
As our team grows, the Content Calendar starts to get long and cumbersome. There are at least 365 rows per year, with easily 10 columns. This is one of the reasons why advanced tools have been created… spreadsheets quickly get unwieldy. One trick to consider is archiving or hiding rows from past dates so anytime the team opens the Content Calendar, we are looking at what is most relevant for our campaigns this week.
Ultimately, the Content Calendar is an important organization tool that every B2B marketing team should have a solid strategy for.
This post is part of a 50 article series on startup marketing
Greg Skloot is a technology entrepreneur and marketer. He is currently VP Growth at Netpulse, the #1 provider of mobile apps for health clubs and a $40M VC backed software company in San Francisco. At Netpulse, he leads marketing, operations and strategic growth. Previously, Greg was CEO and Co-Founder of Attend.com, where he built the initial product, raised $3M and hired a team of 30. Contact Greg at skloot.org/contact.