If your content planning consists of scribbling blog post titles on post-it notes or you spend way more time than you should on social media searching for content ideas, it’s time for some tough love:
If you’ve thrown yourself into content marketing in the hope of building your brand and generating more sales and it’s just not working:
I’ve created an amazing desk planner - the 2019 Media Diary - that will take all the pain out of content planning. It’s an A4 desk diary designed specifically to help you create 52 weeks of content and save you a ton of time. With planners, templates and hundreds of awareness dates, you’ll never be stuck for content ideas again.
If you can devote just a few hours to planning out your 2019 content, I promise this will be the year that all your content marketing efforts will finally start working for you.
Let’s look at exactly why creating a content calendar is vital for your business.
1. You'll be more strategic with your content planning
I see so many business owners approach their content with bags of enthusiasm but very little strategy. And while enthusiasm is great, you’re not creating content because you love writing/vlogging/connecting on social media – you’re creating content because you want to drive your business forward.
And to do that, you need to focus on your content marketing goals. Are you trying to establish authority on a certain subject within your industry? Perhaps you have an underperforming product and you really need to boost sales. Or maybe you’ve got a new product/service and need content for your launch.
If you’re clear on your objectives you can ensure that the content you’re creating is engineered to accomplish these goals.
The 2019 Media Diary contains a proforma page that allows you to create a yearly overview of your content. If you’re in the Media Diary Owners’ Club – perfect if you need additional support and accountability - you’ll also get this page as a printable. When your content is mapped out like this it’s so much easier to spot any gaps.
For example, if you’re a coach or consultant and one of your 2019 goals is to launch a new coaching package, the yearly overview page will help you identify what kind of content you should be publishing and when.
2. You'll find it easier to spot content opportunities
How many times have you spotted a flurry of activity on social media around an awareness day that relates to your business... and kicked yourself for missing out on a great marketing opportunity?
Planning your content out well in advance allows you to take advantage of important dates and awareness days that relate to your business.
For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.
Even more than that, key dates, events and awareness days can actually provide the ideal timing to launch new products or services. Let’s say you're launching a new range of tennis wear, for example. The ideal time to do that would be during Wimbledon, right? It sounds obvious when you put it like that, but when you’re busy running your business, it’s easy to miss opportunities.
The 2019 Media Diary contains hundreds of these key dates and awareness days so you can plan for everything well in advance.
This is especially important if one of your aims for 2019 is to gain interest from the press. Most consumer magazines work 3-6 months in advance so if Children’s Book Day in April is the perfect opportunity for you to promote your bid to be the next J.K.Rowling, you need to pitch your idea no later than January.
If only tapping into our inner creativity was as easy as flicking a switch. Unfortunately, for most of us it takes a while to get into the creative zone – that sweet spot when ideas just flow to us with ease.
The great thing about creating an editorial calendar is that rather than working in fits and starts, you can dedicate a block of time which will help you get in the ‘zone’. Use the 2019 Media Diary’s key dates and awareness days as a jumping off point to spark content ideas and you’ll soon find that content inspiration just keeps coming.
4. You'll be more consistent with your content creation
How many times have you found yourself in the midst of a busy period and decided your content can wait? You’ll get round to it once you’ve cleared this latest round of client projects…
Only by the time you’ve finished those, you have a whole new set of distractions getting in the way of your content creation. Before you know it it’s been three weeks since your last post or your last social media update and your audience has drifted off to follow someone more reliable.
Often the most time-consuming aspect of getting your content out there is coming up with the initial idea. Yet again, it’s your editorial calendar to the rescue.
The 2019 Media Diary has pages for quarterly and weekly plans so when you’re in the middle of a busy spell, you know that you’ve already done the hardest part. You just have to look to your planner and you have your topics there ready for you to create or to outsource.
There are even sections to help you repurpose each piece of content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to save you even more time. When everything is laid out clearly in advance, getting your content out there consistently becomes so much easier.
When you approach your content in this way, with a clear strategy, you’ll not only find that creating it becomes much easier, you’ll find that the quality improves too, allowing you to provide your audience with even more value.
And that’s exactly what you need to do to build your brand and increase your sales.
5. You'll make more money
Publishing regular content on your area of expertise will help you build authority. This will help you build trust with prospective customers and clients - which means they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.
And, by the way, this applies whether you run a product or service-based business. If you sell products, creating content that shows how using your product (or others like it) can help your customer is a great way to build authority - and make sales. And it’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post.
If you need more inspiration, check out this Youtube video from Mama Life London founder Beth Campagna on what to wear with a sequin skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own - because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with a sequin skirt not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it.
Need inspiration for you content planning and creation? Get a copy of your 2019 Media Diary and for more support and accountability check out the Media Diary Owners’ Club. Find out more about the difference between the 2019 Media Diary and the Media Diary Owners’ Club.