Struggling with a Content Marketing Plan? Take the Communications Rebel ApproachDec 15 2013 · Communicate
It’s time of year when businesses are putting together their content marketing strategy for the coming year. Ideally, you want to have a plan – or at least a roadmap – in place for all your glorious content that you want to share with your audience in 2014 – juicy blog posts, addictive videos, inspiring social posts, and jaw-dropping photos.
But here’s the thing: Most entrepreneurs and business owners that I work with find it hard to imagine the “needs” of their audience ahead of time. And another question that I often hear from clients is: How could I possibly know where I’ll be next September and what kind of content I have to share?
And because all of this content planning and looking ahead seems like the most daunting task since the time we had to write that essay in 8th grade about the role that blood plays in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we decide to put it off. Until we remember in June 2014 that we wanted to plan our content better, but then, we feel, it’s too late in the year to start.
So eventually, we continue to post things on the fly – like we’ve always done. The only problem is that if you do the same things always, you’ll get the same results always.
So, my advice would be: take the “daunting” out of your content planning, and rethink your approach to coming up with a killer content strategy for 2014.
Tips for a Killer Content Strategy
Here are my tips, infused with a drop of rebel spirit, to get your content plan together before the fireworks go off on New Year’s Eve:
Tip #1: Think about topics that highlight your WHY
You might not know exactly what news you have to share at any given time in 2014, but you DO know why you’re in business. Try and plan content around your mission and your purpose – it could be inspiring quotes that are in alignment with your “why” or a new theme for every month that’s focusing on a particular aspect of your offerings or your vision.
You can use a big wall calendar to write down your monthly themes and potential pieces of content that go along with it – blog posts, images, quotes, etc.
If you’re more of a digital planner, WordPress’s Editorial Calendar Plugin is a great option for WordPress users. Note: This tool is designed specifically for blog posts, but can be a good start to your full-fledged content calendar. You can also find a selection of editorial calendar templates in Google Docs.
Tip #2: Goal Setting for Better Content Strategy
What communications efforts are you prioritizing for 2014? Is it blogging? Or podcasting? Is it a more strategic and active approach on social media?
And what are your goals regarding growing your audience? More readers on your blog? More Likes on Facebook? More email subscribers?
Set one to three specific goals (no more ‘cause that’s overwhelming), and figure out how to best achieve those goals. Is it by writing more blog posts? Or by working on improving your email campaigns? Is it by offering Twitter chats, hosting Google Hangouts, or organizing meetups in your city?
Remember: While it’s great to reach a goal, it’s also quite satisfying to know that you’re pursuing an objective. It keeps you on track. And over time, you’ll cross the finish line.
Extra read: If you want to dive more into really simple goal setting, read this awesome blog post by Leo Babauta, founder of ZenHabits.
Tip #3: Repurpose Your Content
For every piece of content that you come up with, think about four different ways to present it. For example, you have a genius idea for a blog post. How can you turn the blog post into a visual slide show, or an Instagram photo, or a 30-second video, or an email, or an infographic?
Tip#4: Stay Focused
Ask yourself these three questions when you put down a topic on your content calendar:
Is it specific? (In other words: Does it serve your goals?)
Is it original? (In other words: Are you creating something from scratch?)
Is it useful? (In other words: Does it solve a problem, answer a question, provide inspiration or is in any other way useful for your audience?)
Rebel on -
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