Yesterday, I pulled together some data points into a spreadsheet for a last minute project. An hour ago, I tracked a fall training program in a spreadsheet. So, I am a big supporter and user of shared spreadsheets and documents for purposes that are:
Campaign planning, though, is not any of those things. So, why do marketers often resort to spreadsheets and docs when planning their digital content? Maybe they don’t know alternative technologies exist. Maybe they don’t have budget for those technology alternatives. Or maybe, and too frequently, they have purchased technology to help them plan and publish content...but it’s so hard to use and/or limited in scope that they just go back to spreadsheets.
What makes digital planning difficult? In a word: content. The biggest limitation in technologies tends to be around content type. You have one tool for planning established social media content, another for “newer” social media content (e.g. Snapchat), one for blogs, one for onsite events, one for emails, another for ads, and the list goes on. The appeal of spreadsheets, other than the obvious accessibility and financial factors, is that there is no limitation in content type. You can plan all content in one place. Just create a new column and you’re up and running.
But, let’s be real. More columns doesn’t solve the real problem. There are serious benefits to technology that solve the problem through capabilities like an omni-channel calendar, role-based permissioning, and more to help you overcome the perils of spreadsheets.
These are my top 10 reasons why spreadsheets just don’t cut it for content planning:
Here’s a visual to sum it up. A spreadsheet for content planning across channels and campaigns:
vs. Lithium technology for content planning across channels and campaigns that also solves the top 10 perils above:
Which would you trust and want to use each day?
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