Are you one of those people that needs to write everything down or you forget it?
Do you have a flood of sticky notes all over your house, office, kids and pets?
If so, you’re probably going to want to disregard this week’s entry because this is all about why I don’t use content calendars. For anything. Ever.
That goes for Social Media, Blog posts, SEO on-page updates. The whole shebang.
This is strictly a personal choice and I’m not knocking people that use them but a lot of people I’ve talked to have been actually surprised and stunned when they ask me which one I use and I reply ‘I don’t.’ so I decided to go ahead and cover this topic and also to give you something to think about when deciding whether or not a content calendar is right for your business.
Hold up. What is a Content Calendar?
A Content Calendar is literally what it sounds like. It’s an actual blank calendar template that people can fill out to help them plan things like blog posts, social media campaigns, e-blasts and more in advance. It lets you know what platforms to focus on, what topics you’re going to cover and a lot more. They can be a great asset for any digital marketing team, SEO (for on-page content updates/blog purposes), Social Media Marketers and, of course, Content Writers.
You can find these templates everywhere on the web and some are better than others – even though they’re all basically just calendars at the end of the day. The most popular one I’m aware of is the one put out by Hubspot. If you’re going to use a content calendar, go with that one.
They Sound Useful. Why are You Telling Me Not to Use One?
Ease back a little, chief. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use one. I’m saying that I personally don’t use one and you might not need one either. Like everything else I say on Smokehouse SEO, you need to look at your own business needs and make your own decision.
Why Don’t You Use a Content Calendar?
Ok, so I’m going to go step by step as to why I personally don’t use content calendars:
- I work on a relatively small team in my office and I’m the only person working on Smokehouse. In the office, I’m the Digital Marketing specialist while others are mostly traditional marketers. This basically means that if something is going on the site or on social, 9 times out of 10, I already know about it.
- Not much I talk about on Smokehouse SEO is ‘evergreen’ content (with the exception of some strategies and advice) and I need to stay up to the minute all the time. I can’t really plan my content in advance and stick to it like some places can. If I did, I’d still probably be talking about the mobile interstitial penalty on here or something and wouldn’t be posting about the Fred Update for another two weeks and wouldn’t be getting to whatever it is Google does to break the internet next until the end of the year.
- I don’t have a consistency problem with Smokehouse SEO. If it’s Wednesday and it’s not a holiday, I’m not on vacation or sick or something, there’s an update on the site.
- I like to stay fluid and adaptable to change. I personally don’t like to schedule posts way out in advance. That’s just me though.
Who Should Probably Use a Content Calendar?
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about who probably does need a content calendar or some method of planning and sending out content for their business.
Hint: It’s basically the opposite of what I listed above.
- If you work on a medium to large digital marketing team. How do you know if your team is big enough to need one? Easy. If you’ve ever had a post on the site, social media platforms or blog and wondered who put it there, when and why didn’t you hear about it, you need one. Also, better team communication, you need that.
- If you have a consistency issue with your blog or social media work. If you’re one of those companies that will post in November and then go completely silent until January because you have literally no idea what to write about so it ends up being just basically a random dynamic ad or a picture of your logo and the words ‘Visit now!’, you need a content calendar. Also, you need to use more tools to help you know what your audience is talking about.
- If you have a lot of quality evergreen content that you like to repost but you seem to have a problem with overdoing it, a content calendar will help you know how much is too much and how to schedule it so you have a good mix of your evergreen stuff and your new stuff so no one goes, ‘Oh……it’s this. Again.’
- If you like to use a platform like Hootsuite or Hubspot to schedule your Social Media Posts in advance or during non-work hours. This will help you keep track of what is getting sent when and by whom – and also who to yell at if no one sent anything.
The Bottom Line
This week’s post was pretty quick and simple and you might even wonder why I bothered to write it at all. Well, it’s because I’m seeing a lot of people and companies out there that will make it sound like if you don’t use a content calendar for your digital marketing, you’re going to end up destroying your whole business and that’s just not true.
Just like anything else, a content calendar is a tool, no more and no less. Personally, if you don’t have a post consistency problem or need a way for a large team to figure out who’s writing what and when, I would really rather see people spend the time doing research on what people are talking about rather than when they are going to blast out a bunch of stuff no one is going to read.
It’s always quality over quantity so make sure that is always your first priority when creating content, whether or not you choose to use a calendar.