Have You Created Your Content Calendar? Here Are 4 Tips To Help!

It’s the end of the year and the home stretch is in reach. Don’t forget to complete your content calendar for 2014. Content calendars can help you plan out a clear plan of attack for the New Year. Planning ahead will help you pre-empt writers block and allows you to construct a strategic digital marketing roadmap. It’s important to note that every content calendar is different, because every company is different. Make a separate Outlook or Google calendar or event an Excel spreadsheet.

It’s also important to remember that your content calendar is not static and none of your information is ‘set in stone’. Feel free to add new campaigns, move them around or delete them. Here are 4 more tips to help you get started.

1. Plan for holidays
Start by including major holidays on the calendar. Google when these are and plan around them throughout the year (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.). Also include all of the lesser known holidays too, even if you don’t market specifically for them.

2. Add events
While you may not know all of next year’s events, this is a great second place to start. Add events such as conferences, company events, client appreciation events, etc. These events will influence the content in your emails campaigns. Also include internal events and time off schedules, as this can affect content marketing production.

3. Include email marketing campaigns
Hubspot as stated that email marketing has the best ROI in the industry. Add each type of campaign you are planning to create throughout the year. Examples can include daily/weekly/monthly newsletters, welcome series, re-engagement campaigns, special offers, sales, new products, events, etc. I also recommend color coding each type.  for a wide picture of when it occurs over time. This is also a good time to brainstorm and make note of new campaigns and ideas. If you have a blog, you should also considering brainstorming and noting topics/ideas for your blog as well.

4. Add the extras
Find the right balance, but feel free to include additional marketing campaigns (on and offline), social media promotions and contests. Adding these will help enhance the content you have in your email marketing and as a result it should help increase your customer engagement.

Good luck with your calendar and if I missed any tips or ideas please feel free to sharing them in my comments! 

Content Marketing 101

In business, especially professional services, relationships and referrals are the key to business development. While personal referrals will also continue to play a major role in business development, according to HubSpot, 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. It took a few years for content marketing to catch on in the realm of professional services, but today a good content marketing strategy involves producing and distributing material that is valuable and interesting to your target audiences. Hopefully you are part of the 23% of marketers that HubSpot stated are investing in blogging and social media in 2013—a 9% increase from 2012.

Benefits of Content Marketing

  1. Affordable. 
  2. Improves your search results and indexing. 
  3. Fosters prospect nurturing.
  4. Drives content efficiency. 

The Content Marketing Model

  1. Create content that is important to your target audiences (e.g. blog posts, articles, whitepapers, webinars, videos, books, etc.).
  2. Promote content through social media, presentations, email marketing, etc.
  3. Convert readers by providing free access to your content, but request at least their email address.
  4. Engage through phone consultations, meetings, assessments, and demonstrations. Be consistent with your ability to demonstrate your (or your company’s) knowledge and expertise.

The Must-Haves in Content Marketing

  1. Plan ahead – have a content manager and a calendar.
  2. Tailor your content marketing strategy to focus on your buyer personas and target market. If it doesn’t interest your clients or prospects then you have missed the point.
  3. Explore a variety of mediums (e.g. text, images, video, infographics, etc.)
  4. Be transparent. Channel your enthusiasm and showcase your company’s culture!