6 Reasons Why You Should Create a Content Calendar

April 5, 2016

Almost nine in 10 (88 percent) B2B companies partake in content marketing. And 76 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content production this year compared with 2015.

So why is it that only 30 percent of marketers say their content marketing program is effective? Research from the Content Marketing Institute indicates that only 32 percent of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, and these marketers with a plan are 60 percent more likely to be effective with their content marketing than those without.

The bottom line is that it pays to have a plan. One key piece of a documented content marketing strategy is developing a content calendar. Read on to discover six reasons why your team should be creating a content calendar:

Plan out your content resources

Every content marketer has experienced that sinking feeling of a deadline approaching with no apparent content available to fill the gap. A content calendar will enable your internal team and potentially your external team of content producers – writers, designers, illustrators, photographers, videographers – be prepared to produce engaging content without fear of missing a deadline.

Generate creative and engaging content ideas

The simple act of creating a calendar can double as a brainstorming session. Having your team look forward to build a calendar can spur creative content ideas. In creating a calendar, marketers can align engaging content with holidays (even minor ones, such as April Fools Day), with upcoming industry events, and pending product launches.

Provide visibility for all departments

With a documented content calendar, departments throughout your company can view upcoming content and plan accordingly. Executives can see that the content is supporting the company’s overall strategy. Marketing team members can have a single-source window to understand their responsibilities. And the sales team can plan communications with prospects based on upcoming content.

Maintain no lapses in conversation with your audience

Creating a content calendar ensures that your message stays in front of your prospects, whether you’re trying reach them with a branding message or whether those prospects are further along in the funnel and you want to drive them to take a specific action, such as downloading a piece of your content or filling out a “contact us” form.

Use successful organic content to drive your budget for paid social advertising

Marketers can benefit by planning out their paid social media advertising based on the content that’s been successful on the organic platform. After creating videos, ebooks, whitepapers, or any other kind of content, marketers promote this content organically in a variety of social channels, such as their LinkedIn Company Page or on Twitter. And increasingly marketers are seeing the value of spending on social media advertising, such as LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, to promote their most successful organic content. By 2017, social media ad spending worldwide is forecast to reach $36 billion. 

Measure and optimize

Building a content calendar and planning your content marketing enables you to more easily create benchmarks to measure your content marketing effectiveness, compare performance over time, and optimize your program.

For more insight into the value of content calendar – plus a deep dive into aligning content with your marketing goals, creating content that speaks to your audience, and maximizing the performance of LinkedIn Sponsored Updates -- join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, April 7, at 11am PT/2pm ET, “Creating a Winning Content Strategy for Sponsored Updates.” Register for the webinar today!

And for a comprehensive look at how to build a complete content marketing program, download the new ebook, "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing" today!

Photo: Dafne Cholet