2015 is almost coming to end and after taking our long-awaited and well-deserved breaks we are able to begin 2016 with a renewed sense of vigour and drive. So what better time to prepare your content marketing strategy for the year? If your goals are to build more customer relationships, encourage actions and build your brand identity this New Year, then having a content strategy is imperative.
Creating a content strategy means asking these questions at the start:
- What are your overall business goals for the coming year?
- What big initiatives do you have this year?
- What strategies worked/failed in the previous year?
- Do you have the right content team in place?
Create a calendar
Once you’ve identified your events and goals, create an editorial calendar that will help you plot your content creation efforts, leaving room for real-time content as well.
Having a calendar will ensure you don’t miss out on important key dates for your business. For example, if you are planning to open up another office or shop in a new location, make sure you talk about it at least a few weeks before so more clients/consumers know about it, if you’re holding an opening party, you’ll get more buzz, too.
Build a valuable pipeline
Once you’ve identified important dates and upcoming events in the year to be aware of, it’s then time to think of what relevant content would be useful and interesting to your clients/consumers at that time.
For example, you could start the New Year by answering questions your front line staff hear most often. Another example would be to let consumers know about promotions and events and how they will benefit.
But not all content has to be directly about your organisation. Include content topics about things that affect your target audience - e.g., if your main consumers are mothers, have informational pieces about time management as a mother, or other issues you believe your consumers face. By providing content that not only helps your consumers but can also help their families and friends, your information can spread like wildfire.
Schedule regular check-ins with your content team
61% of the most effective content marketing teams meet daily or weekly. Scheduling regular meetings is a simple but effective way to stay on top of your goals and make sure everyone is on the same page. You want to make sure all your marketing portrays the same overall feeling and message. This is especially helpful if you have different writers for different marketing delivery methods (i.e. direct mail, newsletter, email, social media, etc.) so you can deliver a unified message to every consumer.
Always be on the lookout for great Content
Had a great conversation with a customer? Saw something in the news related to your industry? Jot down a few notes on why these instances impacted you and bookmark any links you can find. Topics like these make the best content because they respond to an actual conversation that your audience might want to have.
Content can come in all shapes and sizes
Don’t be restricted to just one type of content. There are many content formats that are received well by your audience. Choose one that works best for each topic. Some of the most popular formats are How-to's, case studies, charts/graphs, eBooks, cartoons/illustrations, webinars, infographics, videos, podcasts, lists, interviews, Pinboards, etc.
We’d love to hear what you think. Do you have any content strategy ideas for 2016? Are there any that we didn’t mention? Share with us in a comment below.
* Content Marketing Image via Shutterstock