For most of us, “content creator” isn’t in our job title. Even if we’re in a marketing role, we own many responsibilities, with creating content or managing a content calendar being just a couple. For business owners, writing blog posts, e-newsletters or social media updates are on a long list of tasks.
I’m a marketer with full knowledge of the benefits of creating content and it took me 3 weeks to write this post. Three weeks!
Knowing it’s not easy, here are tips for creating content and a content calendar you can stick to.
1. Set Your Content Objectives
There are many objectives for creating content. To name a few: converting traffic to your web site, driving sales, establishing credibility and supporting your brand image. All great objectives, but having too many content objectives – or no objective at all – can lead to being scattered or overwhelmed and then you end up accomplishing nothing.
When you’re thinking about content, whether it’s a blog post, Tweet, Linkedin update, whitepaper or newsletter, make sure you tie it to an objective. This will help shape the message and inform where and when you distribute it.
2. Narrow Your Content Distribution Channels
The number of social networks businesses use to distribute content is constantly growing. When Snapchat came on the scene I never thought a business like NPR would be using it, but there they are. With all the content distribution channels, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’re spending all day posting. Know that it’s OK to exclude some social media channels when distributing your content, especially if certain channels don’t make sense based on your objectives and target audience.
For example, if you’re releasing a white paper with an objective to establish credibility in your B2B industry…you can probably skip Snapchat.
3. Keep a Brainstorming List
Content genius strikes at weird times. And never when you’re sitting at your laptop writing a blog post. Keep your phone or a notepad handy so you can jot down an idea when it comes to you. Crystal keeps paper close at hand because she gets ideas in the middle of the night. I keep a running list in Asana because I lose notes in the depths of my work bags. Do whatever works for you. Just write down your idea and then find a place for it in your content schedule
4. Put Dates On The Calendar
If you’re going to be serious about creating regular content for your brand, you need to put dates against content and plan ahead. Knowing that days get busy and weeks fly by it’s really easy to go 2, 3, 4 weeks without creating any content. Use any calendar you like (we use Google Calendar and Asana to manage our content) and note dates that are key for your business. Those dates may include holidays, tradeshows or annual sales. Start with key dates, determine your objectives for those dates, note the topic and then identify the channels you want to leverage for distribution. Then, fill in the blanks. Many people ask how often they need to distribute content and there really isn’t a magic formula. Be vigilant to ensure you’re not missing customer comments or questions on social media or your web site, but after that, make an effort to be consistent. For some businesses posting multiple times per week makes sense, while for others, multiple times per month is a better fit.
With a little planning and some commitment you can create a content calendar you can stick to that’s good for your brand.