In part two of my content plan series, I dive into your target audience and live events. To catch a recap of part one, click here.
Targets – your sales team will undoubtedly have target markets, though it will depend hugely on the type of business you’re working in. However, getting an idea of the type of buyer will help you plan your marketing calendar, whether that is producing niche articles on the financial services or more generic stuff based on buyer-type rather than industry. This is the most targeted form of content marketing, but in time, it will help build your library of diverse and relevant content.
Events – I’m not just talking about events your company is attending here. Spend some time researching not only what your business is up to, but also what’s happening in the world. Try to piggyback on the success of wider topics of interest, be it the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, or even something obscure; to find a way of making content that’s related to what you do and the bigger event too.
Try and write down as many appropriate titles, ideas, or bullet points using these six categories as you possibly can; the more the better.
Putting it all together
Plot everything you can onto a calendar for the time period you’re scheduling for. This will be for events and occurrences out of your control, particular sales focuses at different times and so on.
It may depend on how big your marketing team is, but now is a good time to decide what format each piece will form. You may have a separate marketing programs calendar, which will feature press releases, reports, research, events, webinars, and so on, which will inform your content marketing plan, but if not, now is when you decide which piece becomes what.
Do some of the pieces you’ve written suit a video better? Can you take photos of some events? Would an infographic be a better way of presenting that post? Ask yourself what medium you will use to create content for each of the posts you’ve identified as most important.
Go through your master list with your team to identify the highest priority content, and stuff that’s most time-sensitive and slot it into the calendar as it fits with your resources.
Try to spread out similar content to minimise content fatigue both for you and your audience, and slowly work though the list you’ve made in order to check off the most important stuff in each category. Some of it will be more flexible with publication date than others, so leave those until afterwards.
Use software or even something like Google docs to organize it all, and flag these more flexible pieces as potentially movable, so that you can leave room for stuff that might not have any warning. News-based content will often be worth making, though you can’t predict what or when it will be, leaving a bit of room and flexibility in your schedule is a must.
Finally, if you are dependent upon external writers, note that you cannot control the copy or deadline as much as you may like. Perhaps schedule a particular week for their post, or guide them with a topic rather than a specific title. Try to think of external authors as supplementary to the backbone of the content, which ideally will be generated in-house.
There are plenty of other considerations, such as the best times and days to post, the best methods to promote content, how to present it and so on, but I’m already at 1,250 words for my two posts and if you’re this far, then you’re probably already mind-numbingly bored so I’ll shut up now.
If you have anything to add, query, or argue with, please do feel to get in touch with me on Twitter, and let’s handle this like men. Or the comments below, of course.