Fuel Your Content Marketing With A Content Calendar For 2013
Content marketing has become more important than ever before, especially after the recent changes and updates to Google. As an SEO company we are passionate about good quality content and as successful business owners you should be too. This is not just because good content can help your website to rank for keywords, but it is exceptional quality content that will earn your website a natural link profile and convert masses of online search users into paying customers.
Blogs, site content, social media interaction, competitions, FAQ content, video, info graphics – there are now literally countless ways for businesses to get exceptional, sharable content out there to your target market. All of which will help your business to build links and produce mass, convertible traffic.
However, too many businesses struggle to make the most of their content marketing. The reason why? They simply haven’t thought it through.
Good content is about knowing what you’re going to publish and when. It requires forward-planning and thorough delegation of the resources that are available to you.
Why Create A Calendar?
Once you begin to take your content marketing seriously, you will realise that in order to keep users engaged and coming back for more, your content needs to be relevant and up-to-date. By staying ‘on-trend’ with your content, readers are much more likely to share your content – building you links and a brand that people will come to rely on for the latest industry news.
Because of this, you’ll want to always remain one-step ahead of your content. With an editorial calendar, you can always be ready with the most relevant and entertaining content, ready to publish on-time and at the click of a ‘publish’ button. This won’t only help your staff to maintain peace of mind, but will help to ensure that all of your content is always the very best it can be and released at the most relevant time – keeping you one step ahead of your competitors. After all, you don’t want to suddenly think up a star wars piece titled ‘May The 4th Be With You’ on the evening of May 3rd. You want to think up, plan and execute a compelling piece of content long before the time is right to publish.
Putting Together a Content Calendar for Your Business
Putting together an editorial calendar for your business is a pretty simple process. It’s all about knowing your niche, your target market and your industry. As the business owner, you’re no doubt an expert in all three of these things, however, it’s important that you still really put in some time researching what kind of content your users and business will benefit from most.
You may solely be in charge of all content creation; however, if you work as part of a team, delegating on your calendar which content is to be completed by which team member will be best.
Overall, you may want to break up your calendar into the following areas:
- Seasons. Are the yearly seasons relevant to your product and/or service? For example, your business may specialise in swimwear, something that will prove much more popular in the summer months. This will help you to brainstorm ideas, ahead of your busiest seasons.
- Holidays. What generic holidays or industry-specific holidays could you base your content on (e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Ramadan, Friday 13th etc.)? Looking ahead to big holidays throughout the year, means you won’t miss out on a big opportunity to start conversations or communicate with your audience.
- Events. What events are expected in your industry or near you during the upcoming year? If you want to prove yourself to be the leading experts and go-to business in your industry, you have to stay on top of all upcoming news and events.
- Product Launches. Will you be launching any products or services during the year? If so, you’ll want to use content to create a buzz around your business. Another good idea is to plan for any of your competitors’ product launches – this way you can schedule in content that’ll distract from your competitors and keep users focused on your business.
When planning your yearly calendar, you may also want to use the following as good content inspiration:
- Product upgrades/relaunches
- Anniversary of your business
- Announcing new job openings
- Industry awards/conferences/exhibitions/news
- Widely recognised events (e.g. Ascot)
- PR Events (e.g. ‘National Give Someone A Hug Day’)
- Historical events – anniversaries or celebrated moments in history.
- One-off events – the turn of a century, a Royal wedding or natural phenomenon.
- Shop openings/book launches/new releases
Once you’ve inked into your calendar the big yearly events that will be fuelling your business content, your next step is to begin forward planning for the upcoming 2-3 months. This will help you to stay ahead and produce compelling, relevant, timely content that will keep users engaged and in-touch with your business.
When drawing up a content calendar to serve your business, you may want to include the following columns:
- Title or description of content.
- What type of content? Blog post/article/video etc.
- Status. Is the content in progress, on hold, published?
- Team Member. Who is responsible for the writing/editing of this content?
- Distribution Channels. Will it be shared through social networking, a blog or streamed live?
- Promotion. How will this content be brought to the attention of your target audience?
- Metrics. How are you planning to measure the success of your content? Through your traffic, conversion rate or number shares?
So, now that you are brimming with ideas for content, it’s time to begin brainstorming! But remember; whilst you should be aiming to have at least 2-3 months of content pre-scheduled, there will still always be unplanned events or news stories in your industry that you’ll want to make room for in your schedule.
Content is king in today’s marketing world. So make yours a priority, starting with a content calendar to help your business grow.
For more information or help with your business’s content strategy, why not contact SEO Essex today?