Before we talk about how to plan 60 days of content, let’s talk first about what a content calendar is.
In the most basic of definitions, a content calendar is a resource that content creators use to plan and organize their content. Marketing teams use content marketing calendars to strategically plan and distribute their content throughout the year to reach and inform their target market(s).
First, let me say that people use the term content calendar, editorial calendar, and content marketing calendar interchangeably. You may see me do the same here.
You can follow a general calendar of life and create temporal content, which is content focused on a particular date or holiday. Look at the different holidays that people celebrate, like Christmas for instance, and plan your content as it relates to the holiday.
For example, if you are in the jewelry industry, in preparation for Christmas, you might start writing in November or October about gift-giving ideas for people. You’re preparing them for Christmas.
In health and wellness industry, you can pretty much talk about this type of content any time of the year. However, ahead of January and into the month, we know that people are setting New Year’s resolutions as it relates to exercise and health. You’ll probably be busy creating tons of content to motivate people at the end of December and throughout January. Other ideas include:
I like to go through my calendar and circle dates on the calendar that are popular holidays that people celebrate and see if I can think of some content that would be relevant to that particular day. I create the content BEFORE the actual date so that people can plan and it’s relevant.
You can also create content based off of quarterly goals. Perhaps you have a new product or service that you’ll be introducing during the quarter. Your content prior to the launch might focus around the features or benefits of the product or service.
You might create content based off of questions that you see people frequently asking as it pertains to your niche. Perhaps it is content that focuses on hang-ups or obstacles that your target customer faces. The content can be a one-off piece or a part of a series.
Having the content mapped out on a calendar makes it easy to visualize how you want to approach your content creation strategy.
How far in advance you plan your content depends on your organization style, your marketing strategy and business goals.
If you are super organized and creating content that relates to specific dates of the year, you might plan out content for the whole year. If you’re working to hit certain marketing goals, you might plan out your content for the quarter.
I have sixty days worth of content already done. Content marketing is a continuous machine. The same way a company never stops advertising or marketing its services, is the same way that content creation functions.
It is a cell in the overall marketing ecosystem. If you’re marketing correctly, you never really stop creating content.
Why does it never end? Because you create content to drive people to your brand, your website, your product or your service. You can cease creating content once you discontinue offering something for people to buy.
Educating your buyer and moving them along the KLT (know-like-trust) path is the reason why you want to establish a content marketing strategy.
Not necessarily. You want to supply people with fresh ideas but you should also learn how to repurpose your content.
The easiest way to do this is to go back to old content and re-work it.
I’ve gone back to pieces of content that I created earlier in the year about Periscope. I decided that I needed to rework some of the content because not only has the app changed but so has the world of live-streaming.
One of the biggest problems for some of us business owners is that we don’t know what we want to talk about, what we want to write about. It’s a new day and we sit at the computer hoping that inspiration is going to come to us.
What we need to do is take a step back away from the monitor to have a listen. Listen to our inner creative, listen to our market, and listen to our target customer.
As I mentioned earlier, source your content from what people are asking. These frequently asked questions can be titles for your content. When you create content that addresses your audience’s pain points or what they’ve been asking or want to hear you are truly feeding them.
You want to create customer-centric content.
Make sure that you are solving a problem. Identify people’s pain points and address them!
Where else can you find content?
If you’re an author you can reverse engineer the content that you’ve already created. Take a few chapters from your book an do a video or live-stream on them. Create a blog post and dig even deeper into an idea. Pull out shareable quotes and create graphics.
Remember, content doesn’t just mean the written word. Content can also be a live stream, a video, a picture, a webinar, a slideshow.
People like to consume content in different ways so you should diversify the way you present your content as well.
In this article Hubspot dives deeper into what types of content perform best on social media. Here are a few content formats that they’ve also reported as performing well:
TIP: Pay attention to the emails, blog posts, articles and newsletters that you read. How is content presented on these channels? Use them for not only information but also for content creation ideas.
This article by Copyblogger talks about how you continually feed the content creation machine. What I liked about this article is that they broke down creating your content in three different buckets: for beginners, intermediate, and advanced prospects.
It’s important to do this because prospects come to you at different phases of their journey. You want to create content for each one of those phases which meets them where they are at. Your goal is to get them to the end of that journey.
I won’t break down the article any further because well, it’s Copyblogger. They explain the methodology perfectly.
Once I read the Copyblogger article it was easy for me to create sixty days worth of content, especially once I decided to break it up into the three phases. Try it for yourself. Before you know it you may come up with thirty pieces of content.
As much as I love pen and paper for spurring ideas, they don’t necessarily help keep all of those content ideas organized. I use a tool called CoSchedule to not only help me plan my editorial calendar but to organize the tasks around creating the content as well as sharing it.
When you lay out all of your topics on a calendar you can group the content in order to ensure there’s a flow to achieving your marketing goal. Should these pieces of content be a part of a series? Should this video supersede this blog post? Should this slide share be published this month or the next?
The CoSchedule calendar will help you visualize the order of your content.
Remember, it’s one thing to create the content but you also have to make sure that people are seeing it. This tool, which you can use either as a WordPress plugin or as a standalone site, also allows you to disseminate your content across various distribution channels.
Content sharing woes answered. But I’ll go into greater depth on CoSchedule in another post.
In summary, planning out 60 days of content doesn’t have to be difficult.
Implement one or two of these tips and see what you come up with. What’s your favorite content creation strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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