How to Develop a Content Marketing Calendar
Writing content is only one piece to the puzzle. Yes, it’s an important piece, but if you don’t focus on the before and after, you’ll end up creating content the virtually goes nowhere. The most effective way to ensure that your content will have a steady tone, quality, relevant material and reach a large audience is by creating a content marketing calendar. The only thing that is required for this to work is a bit of time, which will be well worth it in the end. Let’s get started on how to create a simple yet efficient content marketing calendar for your business.
Look at Your Sales Cycle
Understand the phases of your company’s sales cycle. Where do customers find you? Is it through PPC ads, an ad placed in the local newspaper or social media? What is the typical path that a customer follows? For instance, if you provide landscaping services to residential customers, the customer may start by browsing your site, filling out an online form and requesting an estimate.
Think about where content can be used to address common questions as customers move through the sales funnel. Maybe customers want to know the benefits to hiring a landscaper, or what it’s like to work with one. Perhaps they want to know the difference between a snow removal contract and per push contract.
Create a list of topics that you want to cover. Your content should fill in the gaps that customers experience when shopping around or working with a landscaper. You can also cover fun, relevant topics like the Top 10 Flowers to Plant or the Benefits of Organic Produce. Coming up with topics shouldn’t get harder. As you run low on ideas, talk to your customers. What questions do they have? What topics would they like to learn more about? As you focus on your niche, you’ll see that there is plenty to cover.
Schedule Out Content
Once you have your topics generated, it’s time to plug them into your calendar. How many blogs do you want per week? One to two is a good start. Remember that you have other forms of content as well, such as email newsletters, photos, videos, infographics, press releases and case studies. Don’t overwhelm your audience, but do provide a steady and consistent flow of content.
Share Your Content
When you create content, you want it to reach the largest audience possible. Make time to share your content on social media, syndication sites and in your company newsletter. Sharing your content is just as important as creating it, so don’t be shy. Check out sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg.com.
Refine Your Calendar
Refine your calendar as needed. If you see that something isn’t working, change it. Constant monitoring will tell you which content marketing efforts are working best, and which pieces of content your audience is reading. This allows you to modify your strategy and budget as needed.
Need help getting a content marketing calendar in place? Contact the pros at WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737.