The debate over the need and effectiveness of content calendars has content marketers and social media professionals split.
When social media marketing was new, exciting, and full of question marks for brands it was commonplace for full and in depth content calendars to be created, vetted, edited, and put into action with little or no room for deviation. But as time has gone on and brands have learned the value of social media and increased their trust in marketing teams or agencies to create and post quality content that achieves the brand’s objectives, the trend has been to move away from such rigid content calendars.
Note: The fascination with Real Time Marketing has also pushed people away from pre-planned calendars. It’s impossible not to look at Super Bowl XLVII and what Oreo did during the Mercedes-Benz Superdome blackout as a turning point in social media marketing.
But (there’s always a but) what if there was still a way to use content calendars without robbing social media marketers of their ability to be creative, jump on real time opportunities, and create great content?
A content calendar gives content marketers an opportunity to organize, plan, and schedule social media posts on a daily basis. But, that doesn’t mean that we are limited to these posts or even dedicated to the posts on the schedule. Instead, we have given ourselves a safety net. Because of the content calendar we know that we have social media content available and ready every day. That immediately removes the pressure of needing to start each day pushing to create/find/organize and post fresh content to ensure that your brand has relevant posts live on your brand community’s screens.
Example: Blade creates content calendars for ourselves and our clients that include daily content that is relevant to the brand community and the brand’s goals. Those posts are scheduled and posted, and serve as the base of our content strategy. On top of that base we post content created for, and relevant to, the brand community and brand message.
This option stops forcing content creators to try to come up with a great idea for new content on a daily basis, and instead gives them the freedom and opportunity to look at what’s happening around them (pop culture, trending topics, etc.) and react with Real Time Marketing content, as well as links to blog posts, videos, and other web content that your brand community will connect with.
A content strategy that combines a content calendar and creative content produced in a more real time manner will give your brand a steady stream of posts for your social media networks that doesn’t feel forced, doesn’t run the risk of clashing with the current online climate, and allows your brand to flourish where other brands merely exist.