03.28.20178 min read

Too Sexy for a Content Calendar? Think Again

When you hear the word sexy, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s Tom Cruise in Risky Business dancing in his tighty whities and a button-down shirt. Or perhaps is Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow in the Avengers. Or maybe you’re into a more classic beauty like Ingrid Bergman or the rugged James Dean. (Or maybe you go straight to Right Said Fred. It takes all kinds.)

Even if those don’t float your proverbial boat, more than likely you’ve conjured up some attractive, well-toned version of humanity. After all, doesn’t science tell us that perfection in things like symmetry are the paragon of beauty?

While physical allure is certainly a part of sexiness, it’s not enough. The shine fades fast when you’re dating someone hot but they end up being a real jerk, amiright? Or how about the idea of growing old with someone? What makes them attractive after their youthful beauty fades?

Ask any couple who has been together for a long time and you’ll find they define sexy as something quite different from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.

Besides the obvious answer of love, The Washington Post mentions these qualities as key to the 7 percent of all marriages that last over 50 years:

Equally important is choosing (and, of course, being) a solid life partner: Reliable, responsible and honest are a good start. It helps, too, to pick a mate who is resilient in the face of life’s curveballs, says Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist and AARP’s relationships expert. “Someone who will go, ‘Okay, this is the new normal; let’s figure it out.’ Or ‘This is exciting; let’s have an adventure.’ That flexibility, that lack of entitlement to a predictable future, is just a wonderful characteristic.”

The article goes on to list three things that define long-lasting relationships:

  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Keeping things interesting

So what does this have to do with content marketing?

In the marketing world, it can be easy to get enamored with the “sexy” parts of content marketing. You know, things like making the best-of lists. Because who doesn’t want to Watch the Stove?!

But when the budget’s spent and the hype fades, what does the poor content marketer have at the end of the day? That old, reliable content calendar.

Think about it. The content calendar has all the qualities that the experts say are most important for sustained love and commitment. In other words, it’s the content calendar—not the flashy marketing—that’s the sexiest. It’s your nucleus, if you will.

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What is a content calendar?

In a nutshell, a content calendar is a one-stop shop for all your content marketing projects. From blog posts to white papers to email blasts, a good content calendar gives you a both a high view of what’s happening in your marketing world and a close-up view of the details involved in each individual piece of content.

Details like: who’s creating the content, who’s editing it, who it’s intended for, when it’s going live, and what channels the content will be distributed in are all available for anyone to view in a content calendar.

There are many forms it can take, and it can live either in the cloud, on a wall, or as a file on a computer. But at the end of the day, it’s got to be up-to-date and accessible by your team. Ultimately, it is the organizing document for your whole content marketing program.

Here are three ways the content calendar is the sexiest part of your content marketing efforts.

A sexy content calendar creates commitment

You want to know what’s super sexy? Commitment.

When you know you can count on your significant other, you feel safe and all's right with the world. But when a partner doesn’t follow through on commitments, it can feel like the whole world is falling apart. And when that happens, looks are the last thing on your mind.

Likewise, you can make the coolest content in the world, but if you’re consistently missing deadlines, it will stop being sexy and quickly become a real pain in the butt.

A content calendar is the tool you need to make sure that deadlines are clearly communicated, to know what is coming up and when it’s due, and to make sure that all the T’s are crossed and all the I’s are dotted.

Additionally, a content calendar will ensure that you post content regularly and consistently. You can easily see where you have gaps in your publishing flow and fill those gaps in quick order. This is good both for you and your team, as well as for your customers and prospects.

Everyone wins, and that’s a head turner.

A sexy content calendar facilitates communication

Ever watch those couples that seem to never talk to each other? Maybe they just sit in a restaurant plucking at their smartphones. There’s no connection; no communication. How unattractive is that?

There’s no doubt about it—a partner that communicates well is a sexy one. And a content calendar is your communication facilitator. It’s a kind of contract of conduct between you and your team. Everyone knows what their commitments are, and there is no excuse for missing them.

Additionally, you and your team can meet frequently to evaluate the calendar. Are there special days or holidays coming up that you should be sure to observe in your content? Is anyone running behind on a deadline? Why and what should you do about it? What’s coming up and what gaps do we have? These questions and more are all answered by a well-kept content marketing calendar.

Finally, a content calendar allows you to see where opportunities overlap. Are you sending an email newsletter to your database on the same day that you’re launching a new ebook? Guess what you’ll be featuring. Do you have a blog post scheduled for the day you’re also releasing a new product feature? Maybe reschedule the existing one and just publish your new product announcement. No need to overflow your channels.

With a content calendar, everyone is in the know and transparency rules the day. Pretty hot, if you ask me.

A sexy content calendar keeps it interesting

One of my colleagues recently recovered from an illness. It was a trying time, and his wife was the caretaker for an extended period of time. After he was better, he had an opportunity to go on an international work trip. As a thank you to his wife, he surprised her by arranging to have relatives take care of the kids and take her on the trip with him. It was spontaneous, awesome, and a well-deserved time for them to reconnect. But even better, all the important details were also taken care of. They could just relax.

All this is to say that spontaneity and flexibility keep things exciting in a relationship and in life—especially when it’s done responsibly.

A content calendar helps keep things interesting too. In any given content program, there will be things that come up that are worth dropping everything for. It could be a special promotion, a change in the law, or even a story in the news cycle. A content calendar allows you the flexibility to be spontaneous while also making sure details don’t get lost in the cracks. It’s easy to move scheduled content to make room for spontaneous work. You can be spontaneous and still have the peace of mind that your staple stuff will still see the light of day. So sexy.

So, the content marketing calendar might not be the flashy, beautiful supermodel of the content world, but it is the kind of rock-steady, committed, and dependable partner you need to be successful, keeping things sexy for the long haul. Say yes to the content calendar today, and it will be a decision you’ll never regret.

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