How to Plan a Year’s Worth of Content for Your Blog in a Day
Content is an essential part of an inbound marketing strategy which helps draw readers to your website. In order to be effective—to build a loyal customer base that drives sales—content must be relevant, helpful and consistent. Content that uses a regular voice, timing and distribution strategy can make inbound marketing work for your brand. This consistency lets you meet your customers’ needs at every stage of their buying journey, building a relationship through engaging, dependable information.
Consistency in timing—how often you post new content to your website—is especially important in building that loyal following of enthusiastic, qualified leads. Regular production of new, high-quality content is also one of the most challenging aspects of inbound marketing. But developing a consistent content schedule using the following tips can ensure that you’re prepared. Follow these steps to create a content plan for this year in just one day.
1. Start with Quarterly Themes
The four quarters of the year provide the perfect framework for building a more detailed content strategy, while also refreshing every three months. Choosing four main themes for the year will also focus your content efforts, providing the consistency in post topics that will build an audience.
The themes that you choose should reflect both your business goals and the needs of your potential customers that you’ve found through customer research. They should be broad enough that individual topics within them address the interests of customers at the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the purchase process.
2. Break it Down into a Monthly Calendar
From your quarterly themes, you can begin to plan out a more detailed content plan for each month. Start by deciding how frequently you will post new content, based on the capabilities of your team and the number of content topics. This could be one new post each day, one every other weekday or even a much more in-depth piece per week.
There are many tools you can use to build out your content calendar, starting with a basic calendar in Google Sheets. CoSchedule and HubSpot also offer free calendar templates for planning out your content campaigns. You can also use task management systems like Trello to organize the content process.
The key is to plan out a consistent schedule of content that covers all customer needs and uses a variety of content types, including long-form posts, infographics and even video. You’ll also want to incorporate holidays and other special events in your calendar when they align with your audience’s interest.
3. Plan to Promote Your Content
Another key aspect of a successful content strategy is effective promotion of that content—which again needs to be consistent in order to draw the audience of customers that you want. If you are just starting out or making new efforts to expand your audience, social media is the key to drawing new attention to your content.
Each social platform has different best practices in order to get the most out of your shares—Social Media Examiner breaks this down in more detail. In order to keep track of your promotion schedule for new content, these social media posts should be included in your content calendar. You’ll also want to consider setting a budget for social media in order to increase your reach.
4. Build Your Content Team
For smaller marketing teams—or even solo ones—the amount of planning and actual content writing needed to be consistent can be overwhelming. This is where freelance content writers can help, though you’ll want to ensure that the freelancers you hire have a thorough understanding of your industry and your audience. Services like Scripted make it easy to find qualified writers and to set up a consistent schedule of content creation.
Once you’ve established a consistent schedule of content, the next step is refining your strategy and your processes to be better and more efficient. Google Analytics is a wonderful, free tool that enables you to measure interaction with your content and promotion channels.
Get going on your new content plan today and start providing extra value for your audience.