Why Using a Content Calendar Can Help Marketers be Reactive

Who here loves to plan?! Okay so half of us are planners and the other half are procrastinators. Are any of you visual people? (I hope this is everyone since you are in marketing and much of your work has a visual tie.) To my procrastinators, do not fret! I am going to tell you where you can use that to your advantage below (if you can give in to a bit of planning).

So what’s the plan, Stan?

Yes, I too have wondered who this elusive Stan is, but that is besides the point. One of the best ways to stay ahead is to plan ahead. Now I know this is not some incredible revelation for any of us,
 but it is a friendly reminder. As marketers, we have a lot to juggle and sometimes we get too busy and forget we can make it easier on ourselves. At Smart College Marketing, we use a content calendar to stay organized. Seeing the week by week helps us get idea flowing on what to post between the main holidays. You can download ours for free here! Content calendars are a stress-free way to plan out what monthly content to post. If you don’t have time to make one, we have you covered each month!

So why bother with a Content Calendar?

Glad you asked! Content calendars have all major and some fun holidays on them. Today for instance is: National Tongue Twister Day. An idea for today: ask your followers to add their favorite tongue twister in a comment below your post. Another idea with some personal flare: write about a program you offer or an upcoming event in the form of a tongue twister! Be above the noise and stand out. Fun posts perform well if you want engagement. Take advantage of the ridiculousness!

Fill in the gaps with your content!

Don’t go overboard and only post about the funny holidays. There are two sides of college enrollment marketing. Showing your character and the equally or more important side is what programs you have to offer. You have a skeleton outline, so put some skin in the game. Get together with your admissions team and see what programs need more attention. A lot of times the marketing team is on an island trying to figure out what the college needs. We discuss the importance of the marketing and admissions teams collaborating in another post. If you need a reminder that teamwork makes the dream work, check it out. In order for your college to get the attention it needs, you have to know what is working and what isn’t. Take a step back and have a collaborative conversation and hash out what the needs are. Use your marketing funnel to help fill in the gaps. If you are using a six step funnel, continue to integrate your funnel content into your monthly plan.

As promised, this is for my procrastinators out there. Skip this if you can’t relate!

I know. Planning a month in advanced seems crazy. Especially when we feel we could do it under pressure right before content needs posting. But, here is the truth. If we are waiting until the last minute to get content out there, we do not have the space to be reactive. In marketing, being reactive is so important because things come up. We could find out day of about an event going on at your college and have to make content for it right then. This is being reactive. We need to be able to take care of unpredictable. We can’t do this is we are stuck creating content for something that could have been planned prior. If you are a serial procrastinator, you more than likely are great at thinking on your feet and getting the job done with a smarter not harder mentality. To capitalize on those natural strengths, we need to have some structure. Bite the bullet and plan out your month. You will impress your coworkers with your quick thinking when random events come up. I would also encourage you to be in charge of engagement. This means you respond to your audience or community in the moment. No prior prep needed beyond understanding your brand/college!

Recap:

  1. Content Calendars help you plan ahead and give you the space to be reactive.
  2. Marketing and Admissions teams collaborating will help you kill it with results!
  3. If you are a procrastinator by nature, tweak the way you approach the month to month. Use your natural skills!

Not much of a reader? Watch this instead!

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