We’re big fans of content calendars. And planning, in general. Give us a list, organizing tools and some creative freedom, and we’ll be your best friends.

Taking the time to plan your digital marketing schedule has a whole lotta of benefits (to your brand and overall stress level), and helps to avoid those dreaded “I don’t know what to post/email/send!” moments.

Here are five reasons why allocating time to develop a content calendar for your marketing program makes good, efficient sense.

1. It Works as a Collaboration & Brainstorming Tool

Gather your marketing team (or agency) to brainstorm content ideas, tweak you schedule, and check on what’s working and what’s not.

Make sure you’re not missing important dates or promotions by inviting in your event/product teams, too, if you have them.

Scheduling six to twelve months out with major themes is generally a good practice, and then planning which activities you’ll do each month (email, landing page, e-book, social media posts, etc.) will help keep you on track and make all departments/parties happy that you didn’t forget about them.

2. It Serves as a Guide for Collecting Assets

Even if you don’t schedule every Instagram photo in advance, a content calendar is a great tool for guiding the creative assets in your posts.

For example, if you’re an organic grocer and your monthly theme is local producers, then a photo shoot at your local farmers market might be in order to gather new material.

3. It Helps Make Sure You’re Posting Consistently

Remember, consistency and quality win over quantity.

Having your content calendar as your guide, you’re more likely to use your analytics and data to guide your posting decisions, such as posting when your target audience is typically online.

Figure out what you can manage, and do it well. Only have time for one marketing email a month? Make it killer. Have a team that can handle five Facebook posts each week? That’s great — just make sure they’re on-brand, on-target and on-time.

4. It Gives You Material to Present Your Coworkers (or Boss)

Are you encouraged or required to report your social media data to stakeholders?

Your content calendar is a great tool for working with invested parties and making sure your posting plan is on-track and in-line with your bigger, broader goals. And heck, they may have some good input to add, too.

5. You’ll Sleep Better Knowing You Didn’t Miss Anything

No one likes realizing they’ve missed out on shooting video of a special event because it wasn’t on their calendar.

Rest assured you’ve got the most important content for your digital marketing program planned ahead of time.

Need some layout inspiration for your calendar? Let’s talk!

Reaching your audience with a plan and a strategy will set you apart from your competitors, and help you to reach your marketing and business goals with greater ease.