Business & Real Estate

Developing a robust content marketing calendar

These days, everyone needs a content marketing calendar, regardless of what you sell or the size of your business.

We need content to drive our marketing messages and customer engagement through various channels: from blogs and emails to social media and podcasts.

If you are a small-business owner, you are probably the content owner. Or, you may have a small team that can help you with creating, posting, monitoring and analyzing your content distribution results.
How do you ensure everyone gets onto the same page? Creating a content marketing calendar could be the answer. How do you then create a robust content marketing calendar?

Developing a roadmap

Following are some pro-tips to consider, based on my own experience.

• Identify themes for the year across your business. These are topics or news that you are passionate about following, and that you want to share with your audience consistently because they speak to your brand and what you care about. They can be organic and may not need to be planned, because they are fresh content that you want to share, repost or have deeper conversations about.

• Align your content with product launches, major sales and marketing events. These are priorities for your business, and they can benefit from planning. Use a monthly calendar to plan out how you want to launch these activities, because you want to give enough time to stage and distribute them in various social media and digital marketing channels in a coordinated effort. For example, one of my initiatives this year is to talk about “Becoming an Entrepreneur.” I will be creating a series of blogs and social media posts in a story-telling fashion that will lead to several workshops I will be launching in the spring.

• Assign content developers and owners. Typically, in a small-team environment, you may be the content owner and developer. It could work to your benefit because you own the brand and would want to own that voice and represent the real person that you are. Given enough planning and execution time, this task is not as daunting as it sounds.

• Plan content details a month or two in advance. With planning, you have a bit more time to create or find images for your blogs and social media posts, or do a video production. For example, I use Ubersuggest to find keywords to be included in my blog posts. Google Keyword Planner is another great tool on keyword search. I love using Unsplash.com to find ready-images I can use for my blogs and social media posts, which are free as long as you give credit to the photographers. Canva.com is another option that enables you to use your own images to create great social media and digital content.

• Be intentional and consistent with your posting. Don’t post and run. If your intention is to engage in that channel – for example, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest – don’t just post your content and run. Make sure you spend time engaging consistently with other people’s posts besides your own, and give your deepest thoughts to what they say. You will be surprised how much the engagement strengthens the relationships within your community before you can start doing social selling.

• Repurpose content to extend reach. You don’t have to create different images/content for different media. For example, your Instagram post can be shared in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest with a slight modification to the copy, tone and images. Because each medium has its own personality and demographics, you want to maximize your reach and exposure, tuned to the channel’s user makeup and its strength.

• Monitor and review your channel and Google analytics.Check in with analytics offered by each social media channel, and also review your Google analytics to monitor overall traffic from your digital media assets. See where your efforts are giving you the most gains. Monitor indicators that make sense based on objectives of your websites – for example, e-commerce versus non-e-commerce). Then modify your content based on data and your business and marketing goals.

By following these tips, you can develop your own content marketing roadmap with consistency, investing time and energy in the right places. And that’s an important step in making your marketing sustainable in this digital age.

Jenny Huang is the founder and CEO of Jenny Huang Marketing LLC, which is based in Mountain View. For more information, email [email protected].

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