Welcome back! If you missed the first post in this series, please check it out here.
Now, let’s jump right in and go through developing a content marketing strategy — starting with an Editorial Calendar.
The editorial calendar: start here.
I like to use a spreadsheet. On the first tab I show each month and list all holidays, major sporting or pop culture events, and all industry news (for example, if January is a big trade show month and there is likely to be breaking news, I need to factor that into my editorial calendar).
I often google “special days of the year” or “funny days” and see what cute things I can find that I can tie into my marketing to bring some levity to it. In the digital marketing industry, I want to look for days related to techie things and online things and marketing. But it’s always fun to acknowledge National Waffle Day or Cherry Pie Day. Open up and have some fun – let your readers get a little peak inside the company and the people there.
On National Hat Day one year, my entire staff posted pics of themselves wearing hats. It didn’t add any value to the overall content strategy, but it’s those extras that humanize your brand and cause people to pause and remember you.
Spas want to look for Best Friend days, Pamper Yourself Day, Quiet Days, Spa days and others related to self-care and wellness. You can quickly and easily whip up a little digital campaign tying your services to those special days. What about Grandparents’ Day and Administrative Professionals Day? Great ways to get exposure and bring in new spa guests.
Once you’ve mapped out the various holidays and cultural events, you can start layering in your content ideas – ideally building on topics over time.
If you are anything like me, you keep a running list of content ideas you want to write about. If you aren’t doing that, try it – it makes the process so much easier.
Set some Google alerts to track keywords and topics that are relevant, scope out your competitors (but don’t copy them!). Ask yourself:
- What questions do your prospects have at each stage of the buying cycle?
- What concerns and possible objections might they have?
- What proof can you offer to validate the results your product/service will offer?
Then pick a theme that relates to each of those and then start listing the topic ideas.
Here’s an example:
While I like to tell people to plot out 90 days’ worth, the truth is I usually do about 45 days’ worth. Things change so quickly, I don’t want to plan much beyond that.
I’m going to let you get to work on that now. Don’t forget to check out part 3 in the series to discover how to tie it together and get your task list!
Not sure you have the time or resources to pull off a successful content marketing strategy? Contact us today to discuss how we can help support your efforts or take it off your hands.