Promoting your business, launching your next product or running a Christmas campaign… all of these are events which will be part of your content calendar and which will need to be promoted.
Every marketer and entrepreneur knows the feeling…
- What should you post today?
- Are you doing enough in terms of product campaigns?
- How can you capitalise on big seasonal events?
With a content calendar, you will make sure that:
- You don’t miss any key dates
- You anticipate the content production
- You don’t wake up in the morning stressing up about what to write today
- You keep your content informative and not too promotional
In this article, we’ll discuss various key aspects of a content calendar:
- The type of messaging that work
- The goals you can expect to achieve with good content
- Listing your key dates and campaigns
- Building a visual calendar to stay on track
Keep your content varied with the 4 types of marketing messages
Product marketing – Promoting your products and services
The first type of content that comes to mind is often this one: promoting your products and services.
Even if it’s very useful indeed, it’s rarely the one that builds a brand.
Writing about your product is necessary but not enough.
When featuring your product, make sure you focus on the outcome and the added value for the customer. And make sure that this type of content goes with the other ones below!
Promotional marketing – Sales and discounts
If price is your competitive advantage or you want to run an exclusive private sale, then promotional marketing can be useful. Christmas, Valentine’s day or an early bird launch are occasions for you to run discounts.
I find that promotional marketing is good when the customer needs another reason to buy; but often, the corporate and content marketing will be what builds your brand authority and creates a positive relationship with your prospects – which is what you want, ultimately.
Corporate / Brand Marketing
We all know this, people buy from brands with a strong identity, clear values which resonate with them, and brands with a purpose who take a stand on relevant societal issues.
So, if you haven’t done it already, share about all of this online, so your audience will know about it.
For example, if you are reducing your carbon footprint by choosing a green web solution, say it.
If you are mentoring younger students to help them with their career choice, say it.
If you are authentically supporting a social movement like BLM, Pride or Female Empowerment, show it.
Lastly, and this is the main part of what your content should be about, there is “content marketing”.
Content marketing is a core part of an inbound marketing strategy and is a central asset to attracting your audience, engaging with them and building a real relationship.
Content marketing, like all the other categories above, can be used on various formats. The most popular one is through blogging. Blogs are indeed a great way to provide value and insights on a topic (like this blog, right?)
But content marketing can also be used on social media, emailing, video, infographics, podcasts and much more.
The 6 roles of content marketing
As mentioned on the Meaning Brands website by Havas, content marketing can be broken down in 6 ‘roles’ or categories. Keep them in mind and use the one that is more relevant to you.
- Content marketing can ‘Help’ your audience
If your audience is wondering how to use your last piece of software? Creating a video tutorial or a free webinar to show them how it works and how it can help them would be very helpful to them.
Things to think of: what are the main questions or worries that they ask prior to the sale?
- Content marketing can ‘Inform’ your audience
Inform and educate can be two roles close to each other. For me, the type of content that informs your audience are your company news, any industry news (is there a new legislation or event that will be impacting your business and products?) and any other informative piece which can bring awareness on your business
- Content marketing can ‘Educate’ your audience
Educating your audience is one that I find quite interesting.
Let’s say you sell glass made water bottles because you want to fight plastic waste and contribute positively to the climate change crisis.
Well, you might want to educate your audience about these topics: how plastics threaten the environment; the positive impact of switching to a glass water bottle; how to choose between a glass and inox water bottle, etc.
You can educate your audience through articles, courses, webinars, podcasts and many more.
- Content marketing can ‘Reward’ your audience
This is great if you want to recognise your most loyal clients, give exclusive access to a membership community or reward those who have taken the ‘gold’ package.
- Content marketing can ‘Entertain’ your audience
Well, we all know the star of the internet… cat memes. But not only, there are many ways to entertain your audience. Using humour is one of them. Be creative!
- Content marketing can ‘Inspire’ your audience
“People often don’t remember what you said. They’ll remember how you made them feel”.Maya Angelou
Inspiring is a powerful way to build a relationship with your audience. So it’s time to open up and share some personal stories, your entrepreneur journey, life lessons and many more. You can also inspire through your vision and your impact, so don’t be shy and tell people abou it.
Listing key dates to include in your content calendar
Next, you’ll want to become practical and start listing your key dates, events and campaigns.
It’s time to take a piece of paper, a document or your airtable (view my content marketing template here) and to write down the dates for the following
- Product launches
Are you releasing any products and services this coming year?
- Content release
Are you going to publish large pieces of content like a video series, a whitepaper or launching your first podcast?
Here, feel free to list the industry and company events that you will attend or that you want to comment on: Annual Conferences, networking events, trade shows, etc.
- Anniversaries (business, etc.)
If you have launched xx years ago or that you want to remember the historic founder anniversaries, you can pencil it here.
- International and national Awareness days
Mental Awareness Day, Pride, Earth Day, Movember – the list of international and national days is endless…
- National events / seasons (xmas, summer, etc.)
Christmas, summer, valentine’s day, black friday, Wimbledon, the Olympics, the World cup, Notting Hill Festival… pick the ones that are relevant and might deserve some attention in your content calendar.
Choose your favourite format to build your content calendar
Well, this is almost the most important part (in my opinion). Because without a system that works, you might never use your content calendar and it might not be productive.
There are so many way to build a content calendar. Some options are below:
- Go traditional with an excel spreadsheet
- Keep it simple with Google Calendar
- Make it your own with the amazing Airtable
Read more about my Airtable template here and in the meantime, have fun with your content calendar.