Who Cares About Your Content Calendar?
Your entire organization contributes to marketing, and they should all have access to your content calendar
Would members in other departments of your organization reward you with various expressions of cluelessness if you asked them about your content calendar? Do they care, or even know about your content calendar?
What about Brad in IT? He sends out emails every other day about the dangers of public Wi-Fi. Or Geena in accounting, who is easily agitated because you don’t know Sarbox backwards and forwards the way she does. Are they aware that the company’s content calendar is just as crucial to successful operations as their respective departmental sacred cows?
It takes a village
Marketing is more than most non-marketing people realize (and maybe some actual marketing people, too). It is, according to the American Marketing Association, “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
That makes Brad from IT and Geena in accounting marketers, too. Not directly, but contributors to the process.
“Everything is marketing,” says best-selling author Fred Joyal. He believes this so strongly that it’s also the title of his most popular book. Wait a minute … the rest of the book’s title is The Ultimate Strategy for Dental Practice Growth. What’s the overarching connection here?
Joyal writes that every single thing and every single person attached to your organization, communicates a message. What they say or do can derail your marketing if it’s not in sync with the message you’re putting out. This danger doesn’t go away just because you aren’t a dentist.
Carrie Hensel, Co-Founder and CEO of Inner Circle Media, says that everyone impacts customer relationships. In an article she wrote for the Ann Arbor News, Hensel said that even includes what your parking lot looks like. Marketing, she concludes, “is in everyone’s job description, and it’s the sum of all parts.”
By virtue of the fact
If every employee is an important part of your marketing plan, does this mean you’ll need a much bigger venue for next year’s offsite retreat? That’s your decision, but what it should mean to you right now is that everybody must have a general idea of your overall marketing objectives. Knowing your current marketing activities allows them to put this into perspective.
Sharing your content calendar accomplishes this. Calendars are excellent organizational tools. They let you see what’s planned, and what’s occurred in the past. Brad from IT is a good guy, but he’s got to schedule maintenance. He likely wouldn’t plan an after-business-hours server upgrade that will coincide with a nighttime event you’ve got planned, as long as he can see it on the calendar.
A single source
One of the best reasons to get Brad from IT and Geena from accounting on board with your content calendar is because they will contribute to it – and probably sooner than later. The level of contribution and measurement will continue to increase as content marketing becomes more sophisticated.
Kim Moutsos, the Vice President of Editorial at the Content Marketing Institute, calls successful content calendars “a single source of truth.” As it becomes as Moutsos puts it, “enterprise-strength.” Brad’s IT knowhow or Geena’s familiarity with Excel pivot tables could come in handy. What will help them help you? Perspective.
One of our favorite stories about the evolution of a content calendar comes from Mailchimp, which explained that theirs at one time consisted of a guy named Austin and some sticky notes.
Mailchimp acknowledges that a robust content calendar allows for a holistic marketing view, as well as the ability to listen to your audience and iterate accordingly. This last point is important. Some people resist calendars because they are concerned about the rigidity it might establish. Planning ahead is crucial, but remember that a calendar also records the past.
Your content calendar will let you plan and take advantage of National Black Cat Day, and every other important date that’s relevant to your audience. Hootsuite explains that a content calendar encourages collaboration. Their example is about how a common, sharable calendar makes it easy for another member of the marketing team to jump in if someone gets sick, or crosses a black cat.
Wider access allows for broader assessment. Geena in accounting might have noticed an interesting revenue pattern. After cross-tabulating with the content calendar, you realize the spike coincides with your YouTube posts. And you thought all she cared about was Sarbox.
Let’s be honest here. When it comes to a content calendar, not everybody in the organization will agree with your assessment of importance. Who cares about your content calendar? Sharing is caring. Caring is an expression of interest. The number of non-marketing people who are interested in your content calendar might surprise you.
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