How to Plan and Manage Your Content Strategy With HubSpot’s New Editorial Calendar Tool
Another helpful new resource HubSpot added to the mix is its new Content Calendar tool.
For years, HubSpot users have been asking for a calendar feature to help manage the various components of content that inbound marketers produce on a monthly, weekly and, sometimes, daily basis. Instead of using Excel spreadsheets, Google calendars or other more rudimentary tools, HubSpot now provides a content planning and management tool from directly within the content optimization system (COS).
Why A Content Calendar?
For content marketers and inbound marketers alike, content creation is the cornerstone of your work. From blogs to social media posts to email offers, there are often dozens of components to any inbound marketing campaign being created at the same time.
The shear volume of content to be managed each day can easily overwhelm any busy marketing professional. Sure, there are project management tools out there to help keep you on track, but many of those tools are not designed specifically for editorial planning.
The folks at HubSpot—a platform designed specifically for inbound and content-driven marketing—recognized the need for a visual tool to manage the unique needs of Internet marketing agents. Thus, the Calendar feature was born.
If you have multiple types of content to manage for your company, like blogs, social media posts, emails or nurturing campaigns, HubSpot’s Calendar feature helps you stay organized, by allowing you to:
- Input each type of content needed
- Assign it to a certain team member to complete by the deadline
- Attach the content to a certain campaign to track leads
- View content needs across the entire month to visualize what is planned in the coming days and weeks.
Accessing HubSpot’s Content Calendar
Accessing and utilizing HubSpot’s Content Calendar tool is easy. To use it at its most basic level requires little set up—just plug information into dates on a calendar. But to take full advantage of the calendar’s ability to connect to various campaigns, you will need to have the right campaigns pre-established within your HubSpot platform.
It’s time to plan the next 30 days of posts for the IMA blog. Normally, I track the upcoming topic, writer, deadline and keyword focus on a Google spreadsheet. But this felt like the perfect time to switch to HubSpot’s calendar to map out the next month’s worth of blog content.
To access the calendar, select “Calendar” under the “Content” dropdown menu on the Marketing platform tool bar. (Thumbs up to HubSpot for the obvious naming and placement conventions—I don’t like having to search!)
Since I am starting a fresh blog calendar, I wanted to be able to view only those blog posts I needed to schedule throughout the month of November. So I chose to filter the calendar by content type from the left-hand side, selecting only “Blog” and essentially turning off the visibility of all the other calendars.
Once I’ve completed the calendar, I’ll turn the others back on by checking those boxes as well, so that I can see how blog content fits in to our larger content strategy.
Creating a New Calendar Entry
To add a new entry to the calendar, select “Create Task” from the top right-hand side of the calendar, and select “Blog Post”. Again, HubSpot’s intuitive naming devices make it easy to teach yourself how to use the tool.
From the Blog Post pop-up box, give your project a title, assign an author and a deadline and attribute the project to a specific marketing campaign, if applicable.
Editing and Scheduling Content
From here, you have two options to get your post created. You can either compose your post directly from the COS or write your post outside of HubSpot and upload it into the blog post creator tool.
By clicking the blue Schedule button in the top right corner, you can either schedule a new post or schedule from a drafted post. Again, easy and intuitive!
Pros of the Content Calendar
With one month of entries populated, I already have a list of things I love about the HubSpot Calendar. In addition to the practical naming and intuitive features I’ve mentioned several times, here are a few of my other loves:
- Color coding by channel and campaign I’m a very visual person, so being able to glance at the calendar and know which entries are my responsibility makes things so easy!
- Assigning feature Instead of populating my Google calendar, then sending a separate email to my team with the details and deadlines of their upcoming assignments, I can just enter the information once into the calendar. This will (hopefully) save time and energy in the future, as I will not have to duplicate my own efforts. Note: Only approved HubSpot users can be selected from this feature, so you may still have to send a separate email if you assign content creation to a team member who does not have a HubSpot log in.
- Edit, Schedule and Post directly from the calendar My current blog-writing process is:
- Open a Word document
- Write blog post
- Edit blog post
- Save blog as plain text document to copy into HubSpot’s blog post creator
- Format blog post in HubSpot
- Schedule blog post in HubSpot window
- Wait for post to go live
The calendar tool gives you the ability to schedule and edit each content assignment directly from the HubSpot CMS. Instead of having to open multiple programs and multiple windows, you can create, edit, post and schedule a blog entry from the same window. Talk about a time saver!
Have you used the Calendar yet? What are some of your pros or pain points when using the tool? Share your thoughts in the comments below.