If you work on a team, you know the difficulties of planning and organization.
They say teamwork makes the dream work but when your team is out of sync it’s a living nightmare.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
Could you imagine how much faster the American Revolution would have happened if the founding fathers used a real-time digital calendar to organize their plans?
Those guys could’ve organized a Boston Tea Party, drafted a Declaration of Independence, and crossed the Delaware in a single week.
Things would be certainly different…. But I digress.
SEMrush built the Marketing Calendar tool to help marketers solve their planning and collaboration problems and get more work done faster.
In this article I’ll show you how to use this content marketing calendar tool to plan and manage your campaigns easily and efficiently and save yourself some time.
Planning Your Campaigns and Activities
Have you ever missed a deadline or had a project fail because you and your teammates were not on the same page?
Since adding campaigns and activities to the content calendar can be done in a single click, all of your deadlines, project briefs, content, and even to-do lists of tasks for the year can be mapped out in your Calendar in only a matter of minutes.
To create your first campaign, just set the name, color, and time period.
Now you’ll see your campaign’s time frame indicated on the content marketing calendar with its dedicated color. Click on that color bar to edit the details of your campaign.
This will pull up the campaign editor window, where you can write a description, attach files, edit the date range, and plan your activities.
You can edit your description, add files, activities, and comments to your campaign.
Teammates can add their new activities and tasks (or edit any existing items on the calendar) whenever they want.
Sharing is automatic and real-time responsive, so your team will always be as up to date as you are.
After setting up your campaign with a description and time period, you can move on to creating and managing your campaign activities.
Activities are the building blocks of your campaigns. You can use them to plan weekly deadlines and goals, and share files and to-do lists with your team.
In addition to using the campaign window, it's one of the best content workflow tools as activities can also be added with a simple click of the “New activity” button. Set the campaign that your activity fits under and modify it with a due date and time.
Creating new activities is quick and easy.
To manage the activity and collaborate on details with your team members, click the “Open in Editor” button.
Activities can also be edited with descriptions, comments, attachments, and tasks.
This makes it easy for any of your teammates to collaborate and edit your campaign plan from their account. When an activity is in progress, requires approval or complete, it can be noted with the status icons directly below the activity name.
Set the status of your activity to keep teammates updated.
Remember, as you make updates to the activities and tasks in your content marketing calendar, any changes will be displayed to your teammates in real time.
Tags and Filters
In addition to labelling an activity with its status, you can also add custom tags. After tagging activities, you can filter your calendar with the filter button at the top to the right of the screen.
Adding documents from Google Drive
Another great function of the calendar is that it lets you attach Google Drive documents directly to an activity. So you can add your project briefs, writers can add their written drafts, your research team can include spreadsheets with data, etc.
Any of the team members that are shared on the content calendar will be able to access the documents you’ve uploaded to an activity, as long as you share the document with them through Google Drive.
Integrating from Google Calendar
If you already manage your plans in a Google calendar, you can import that calendar’s data as to sync with SEMrush’s tool.
Export your Google calendar as an .ICS file and upload it to SEMrush.
To make planning throughout the year easier, you can copy an activity, edit the details, and paste it to later date. This is a great way to plan ahead if you figure out a good system that works with your team. Just copy the format of you campaign activities that were successful and plan another campaign in the future!
It also makes it easy to set up recurring activities like retrospectives and checkpoints.
Copying activities is quick and easy.
When you copy an activity, you can control the pieces that you do or do not want copied - any tags, description, tasks, and attachments.
You can also easily change the due date of an activity and change the campaign that the activity falls under, or invite new team members to join your calendar.
Assigning tasks to team members
Do your teammates need constant reminders about their tasks?
Once you have tasks written into your plan, you just have to assign the task to a team member and they will receive a notification in their email inbox. In the email they’ll get a link to review the activity so they can get right to collaborating. Easy, right?
Team members can review the tasks that have been assigned to them with the tab labelled “My tasks.” Tasks will show up in a list labelled by their due dates, corresponding campaign, and activity that they contribute to.
Your list of tasks will always be available to view.
The Marketing Calendar tool is clear and easy to use, and can be seamlessly shared with all of your team members that also have SEMrush accounts.
If you manage a team that runs digital campaigns - whether content marketing, SEO, PPC, advertising, using this calendar will save you time and mental stress.
Benjamin Franklin would be proud.
Try it out and let us know what you think! If you have any feedback, write a comment on this post or send us feedback at [email protected].