Whether your goal is brand awareness, lead generation, sales, or another specific result, your mission is to build trust with your target audience. Present the same consistent quality with your marketing media as you do with your products and services, and you’ll show consumers that, whatever you put your hand to, you’re never a one-and- done type of business. If you’re serious about consistency, you need a production calendar.
Goals, resources, timeline, and adjustments
Production calendars aren’t about chaining you down—they’re about providing a bird’s eye view of your marketing efforts so you can take off and keep flying. A production calendar allows you to visually map out your goals and resources (or, in this case, your work capacity) as well as to think about how those elements relate to each other and affect your timeline. This insight equips you need to be both intentional and flexible in your production, which actually helps you post quality content much more consistently.
Take a look at this screenshot showing a few rows from our production calendar. People build production calendars to fit their varied needs, and ours proves that it doesn’t have to be complex.
To the left, we have the brand for which we’re writing. Then, we work backwards. When do we want to post? July 15. Okay, so we should have the final draft to our social media specialist (Erika) by the end of the day on July 14. In order to have a couple of hours to finalize the draft for Erika, we’ll need to have the draft approved by our creative director by about 6:00 p.m. on the 14th. In order to give our creative director a day and a half to approve our draft, we should send the draft to him by the end of the day on July 12.
Just get it on the calendar—even if it’s in pencil
With all this planning ahead, remember that target dates like these set everyone up for success, especially because success doesn’t necessarily mean the fulfillment of every deadline, every time. Rather, planning target dates allows for smooth, productive communication when adjustments are needed—and they’ll be needed often.
For example: Let’s pretend the employee who frequently writes your content is going on vacation. Instead of assuming that there won’t be any content posted for those three weeks, the production calendar empowers him to be proactive. Because he has a bird’s-eye view, he already understands he needs to work ahead, adjust dates, find substitute writers, communicate with the team, and take any other action necessary to ensure that content keeps flowing while he’s gone.
That’s the difference between your target audience experiencing three weeks of radio silence and three weeks of engaging, consistent content. And because we’re all about engaging, consistent content, we’re passionate about production calendars. For help with yours, contact us.
By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern