The psychological draw of a visual content calendar
1. Calendars work as mental models, showing us something familiar to help us comprehend something hard.
We have a much easier time thinking about content when it’s pitched to us as a calendar. When we see our work laid out in a calendar, we find it to be much more manageable.
2. A simple, visual calendar greatly lowers its perceived difficulty.
An easy-looking calendar is more likely to gain a positive reaction. We take longer to come to a decision when we are faced with more options.
3 ways a calendar can improve your content creation
- 3.1. Take a bird’s-eye view of your content and fill in any gaps. A content calendar gives you new perspective both in the way you think about your content and in the way you see your content.
- 3.2. Plan and organize around key events, dates, and launches
- 3.3. Ensure plenty of prep time to get content ready to publish
Content you could consider adding:
- Regular blog posts
- Social media updates
- Recurring posts, series, or themes
- Case studies
- Company news and announcements
- Product launches
- Industry events
- Seasonal content
Many big brands use content calendars to plan out weeks, months, and a year in advance. Here are a few that make their calendars public online.
- Forbes – Forbes’ yearly editorial calendar includes the highlights of their 18 big recurring features and where these features land on the calendar. The list view shows when the copy and design are due when it is delivered to print subscribers, and when it launches online.
- Time – Time magazine also plans content a year out, providing deadlines for print, online, and advertising on some of its most popular (and important) features.
- Inc –Inc’s calendar highlights the most important moments on the magazine’s editorial and online schedule. Features like the “Inc. 500″ and a “How I Did It” series are known a full year ahead so that content can be created and advertising can be sold.
- Vogue – Vogue’s editorial calendar is very similar to the others: Brief descriptions of the content with relevant publishing and print dates.
- How to Create a Robust Editorial Calendar for Free Using Google Calendar (hubspot.com)
- Why You Need an Editorial Meeting for Your Content (socialmediatoday.com)
- 2014 Editorial Calendar Template Free Download (scrapsofmygeeklife.com)