How a content marketing calendar and ambitious copywriters can save you from endless ‘strategy sessions’
Businesses are catching on to the importance of having consistent, thought-provoking, and educational content to build their online presence and attract more customers.
But without an actionable content marketing strategy – one that maps themed content, targets specific audiences and showcases their services – businesses tend to get stuck in the ‘discovery phase’.
Stuck in endless meetings about... meetings.
Everyone knows what the business should be doing, but no one knows how to start doing it. All discussion, no decision. ‘Content strategy’ has not only become a marketing buzzword, it’s now synonymous with ‘bullsh*t’. You sit back in your chair, brain-fogged: Didn’t we talk about this already? Are we still planning that? Am I looping right now?
You might be. And you might relate to these suspicious and sarcastic characters:
You know that content is king. And you know that clever articles are cheaper than paid ads and get more leads. But how do you achieve results long-term without throwing dry topics around a meeting room every month?
Here’s what you need to do…
Map it: the content marketing calendar
This is the backbone of your content marketing strategy. It provides everyone in your team with a clear roadmap of what content is being created, who it’s targeting, and where it’s going.
Any business having a serious crack at content needs to have a content marketing calendar. (We can help you with this part, too).
This is your first line of defence against the meeting vortex, a visual and actionable plan that turns pointless ‘discovery’ sessions into discussions that make a difference. In short, you'll be glad for your content marketing calendar when you’re trying to think of something clever at 3pm on a Thursday.
First, you need your template
Don’t panic – you don’t have to be one of those people who enjoys making spreadsheets – just download and adapt one from an online source.
Ideally, you want a clear calendar structure (so you can see each week, month, quarter, etc.) with the ability to add columns or tabs for campaign themes, audiences, marketing channels, etc.
Here’s one we prepared earlier:
How to use the content marketing calendar:
1. Map out the year:
Rather than pulling a random topic out of thin air each month, and then scrambling to find the right resources (then, inevitably, missing the deadline … do you see why so many content sends are inconsistent?), a content marketing calendar allows you to clearly schedule 12-month’s-worth of content.
You can structure your calendar into months, weeks, and even days, so the articles you plan for the year are clearly visible. If there’s any gaps, you at least know well-in-advance when to have topics or resources pinned down by.
Having timely article content makes your digital presence authentic, and with a content marketing calendar you can plan topical articles or posts in advance that are relevant to seasons, holidays, or events like International Women’s Day or Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.
2. Organise content campaigns into themes:
You’ve got your monthly/weekly/daily schedule marking when content is being sent, now you can organise who it’s targeting (and this is where things get really clever).
This means organising your content thematically. You could have a theme per month, or per quarter, for example.
Each theme should strike a balance between your business’ expertise and your customer’s interests and needs.
For example, our article themes are: content writing, SEO, online sales & marketing, and web design.
We know a lot about content marketing, and our audiences want to know how to do it more effectively so they can be successful (without chasing their tail in ‘strategy’ meetings). Aha, that would make a great article.
By having an overarching theme for each month or quarter, the content being uploaded to your blog and social media channels can be angled towards the relevant topic and audience. This leads to:
- Stronger SEO – themed content that is pivoted to your audience’s questions, and then answers them, establishes your digital presence as trustworthy and authentic. This SEO strategy focuses on intent and topic clusters, rather than broken keyword terms, and is proven to be more effective. This video sums it up pretty well.
With thematic content that answers your audience’s questions and demonstrates your thought-leadership, your articles are pretty much guaranteed to generate leads and initiate real conversations with potential customers.
- Productive planning – having a clear theme in mind for each month or quarter allows for more strategic and efficient content planning within your team. No more ‘meeting-about-meeting’ bullsh*t.
With this organised and effective structure around your content marketing, you have the support of knowing what your content should be achieving, and who it’s targeting, so conversations are naturally more decisive and informed (and less mind-numbing!).
3. Share, delegate, and collaborate with your team:
With a content marketing calendar, teams from across your business can stay on-track and up-to-speed with your content gameplan.
It’s great for when teams need to collaborate on content, because they can clearly see what’s required of them and when it’s expected. In short: less waffly discussions, more effective decisions.
And you don’t have to use a flashy content planning platform to feel the benefits. Even if you're just using a spreadsheet on GoogleDocs, your content marketing calendar can be shared across the business, so team-members can contribute to campaign themes and topics.
Send it: unleash strategic content across your channels
Now you know that the content marketing calendar is a powerful tool, helping you and your team to organise the year and collaborate more effectively.
It’s tangible and actionable, structured into themes and article topics that are pivoted to attract your audience and initiate conversations. No more endless meetings, discussions and brainstorms with colleagues who, frankly, need to get on with their work.
But next you have to write it. And when long-form articles (like this one) are proven to perform better online than 500-word blogs, have you got the time to create a 1,000-2,000 word masterpiece in your hectic week?
It just so happens that a great way to save time on content meetings is to have a couple of savvy copywriters do the hard graft for you.
With BizStory as your content advocates, we can develop your content strategy, then action it.
We’ll craft articles that:
- Back-up your digital presence
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Educate and instil trust with your audience
- Drive sales
Come to us with whatever your content planning looks like, whether you have a fully-fledged content marketing calendar with all the bells and whistles or you’re still looping in the meeting vortex every Thursday.
We’ll take a deep-dive into your business goals, assess your audiences, and refine your points of difference. Our ambitious copywriters can craft a goldmine of article content for you to amplify your online presence with.