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Content marketing is booming. Fully 73% of businesses plan to increase the amount of original content they generate this year, according to research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Therefore, it's more important than ever for marketing teams to have tools and systems in place to help them remain organized: If you increase content production without a plan for managing the process, your lofty aspirations will quickly turn into pipedreams.

A good starting point is a marketing calendar that lays out a plan of attack for the coming months. In all likelihood, you (or others in your department) have already created a document that serves this purpose. However, can you confidently say it actually boosts your team's productivity and helps everyone hit deadlines?

If you answered that question with anything other than an emphatic "Yes," keep reading.

What Does an Effective Marketing Calendar Look Like?

Unfortunately, a cobbled-together spreadsheet doesn't qualify as a high-quality calendar. Someone still needs to play quarterback and manually update the document, inform team members via email about upcoming tasks, and hold them accountable to deadlines. Way too much oversight is needed, and way too much room for error, not to mention wrangling team members can feel a lot like herding cats.

In other words, if your marketing calendar resembles a traditional spreadsheet, be prepared for a content-related nightmare.

Your marketing calendar should take care of every pesky detail for you. It should automatically send tasks and reminders to responsible parties as deadlines approach, eliminating cumbersome email threads and excess back-and-forth. Ultimately, it should allow you and your colleagues to work faster and smarter.

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image of Garrett Moon

Garrett Moon is the CEO and a co-founder of marketing calendar provider CoSchedule.

LinkedIn: Garrett Moon

Twitter: @garrett_moon