Content strategy planner: How to create your content calendar

Content strategy planner: How to create your content calendar

Content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. All this talk about ‘content being king’ makes out that content is some mysterious entity that we don’t know about, the truth is it’s not. Content marketing is just about sharing interesting information.

It’s simple
There’s so much noise at the moment that it can be difficult to cut through but the keys to good content are simply:
1. Connecting with people
2. Sharing relevant and interesting information
3. Being consistent

 

How often?

Posting to social media should happen each day but blogging doesn’t have to be as frequent and for most business owners it’s an unrealistic goal because there are so many other jobs that need to be done. A weekly blogging goal is much easier to stick to and as well as this focusing on just one post a week is an easy way to maintain a consistent blogging schedule.

But what do I write about?

Your posts need to be interesting and something that people will want to read about and hopefully even share with their friends. There are three questions to ask yourself:
1. Who is my audience and what are they interested in?
2. Is this information relevant to my business and products or services?
3. What are people who want what I’ve got searching for on google?
All 3 of these things are important but the one I want you to really focus on is what are they searching for when they’re looking for you.
What are the keywords that they’re typing in? If you sell cakes they might search for ‘Birthday party ideas’ if you sell jewelry they might search for ‘accessories to wear with red dress’ think about what the search words would be for someone who was looking for you. Write down those 3 or 4 words or phrases. This is where you should start from when thinking about what to write.

Choosing a title

Ok so now you have a great starting point – a topic. From here you need to create a title that’s going to catch attention and attract the right people to come and see you. If you found that people were finding you by searching ‘Birthday party ideas’ this is easy you can create lots of great content with a birthday party ideas series. But if they were searching for ‘silver jewelry’ you’re going to need to be a bit more creative to stand out from the crowd. ‘Silver jewelry trends’ could be a good title or ‘How to wear silver jewelry’. Play around with a few ideas until you come up with something that feels right for your audience and that they will be interested to learn more about. You get bonus points for including the search keywords in your title too.

Outline the topic

Content doesn’t have to be long to be interesting. Keep it simple and use pictures to help get the message across if you can too. Use dot points to help you to get your ideas in order and a framework like 5 ways to _______ or 5 reasons why ____________ or 5 tips to ____________ can help get the words flowing faster too. There are also automated blog idea generators you can try too which can help provide inspiration for what to write about.

The purpose

Yes you want to drive traffic to your site but unless you’ve given them a really good reason to buy from you they’ll just turn up, read your post and leave. All that work for nothing! This was something I didn’t understand for a long time. They say ‘Build it and they will come’. Yes they will come, but then what? It’s not enough to just get more traffic, doubling your traffic still won’t increase your profits if you’re not giving them a reason to buy.

CALL TO ACTION

The next step is ensuring you have a compelling offer or call to action. Why do you want people to visit your site? It’s normally so that they’ll buy something. How can you entice them into buying from you? A common way is to offer a discount, but discounting prices is just one way to catch people’s attention. You could offer a package of different products together. You could feature a popular or new product.
Or maybe your objective is to get people to sign up for your newsletter or as leads so you can ring them, you could run a competition or prize giveaway or you could create a free download of some kind.
Your offer normally goes at the end of the post. Put a time limit on it and create a sense of urgency and encourage them to take action right now rather than later on when they might miss out and include a link through to the sales page.

Promote

The most important step of all is to tell people about your content! Share it to facebook, pinterest, twitter, instagram, linkedin and put it in your newsletter too. Use interesting images and include an excerpt of your text to get people interested rather than the whole post and entice them to go to your site to READ MORE >>.

Let’s get started!

So there you have it, its simple really and to make it even easier we’ve created a content strategy planner to help get you started. We find that by planning our ideas and really focusing on what we want to achieve with each post we can get great results, looking at each month helps us to stay focused without becoming overwhelmed by trying to plan the content for the whole year so this is a 4 week planner that you can download, print and fill in at the start of each month and display in your office to keep you focused on your content marketing goals.