Content marketing success is possible, but it takes planning and organization.
It all begins with a simple calendar.
Step 1: Set up your calendar.
You can create a calendar online (blank calendar templates are available through word processing software programs) or pick up a desk or pocket calendar from the office store.
On each day of the month, create a note for the blog/social channels you plan to post to (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and leave space for your content ideas.
Step 2: Mark special dates.
Most retail/service businesses and restaurants already have special promotions and events that happen every month. Mark these dates on your calendar before anything else. These could include menu promotions, happy hours, family specials, discount days, holiday events, e-newsletter mailings, etc.
After writing these down, you'll notice that the calendar is already starting to fill up. This will be the base of your content. You can schedule regularly occurring promotions and posts in advance using the bulk schedule function inside social media scheduling software, which, can save you a lot of time.
Step 3: Create Repeatable Post Types.
Once you have your regular monthly promotions scheduled (step 2), decide what other types of content you’d like to create. Examples can include the following types of posts: Funny photo/gif; video interview/tour; list of tips; contests/giveaways; trivia question; Q&A with owner/staff; news story; etc.
Once you have your list of categories, color code them and start placing them in your calendar. You might want to be completely random with them, or you might decide to schedule a trivia question every Monday and a video every Friday. The goal is to have categories that you enjoy and can easily schedule in advance.
Step 4: Schedule dates in the future.
When planning out your calendar, schedule reminders about gift cards for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Schedule posts for the start of summer that invite guests in to enjoy summer specials. For the start of winter, post about winter promotions you already know will occur.
The above topics are evergreen and can be scheduled at any time. By using a content calendar and scheduling software, customers will always know what’s happening in your business.
Step 5: Leave some room for fun.
Don’t make the mistake of filling your social media calendar with shop talk and promotions. You want to interact with guests in a way that doesn’t come across as advertorial. Visit your social channels every day, if possible, and interact with the people who take the time to react to your posts.
BONUS TIP: Spread the love! When you create a great piece of content, such as a video or a one-on-one interview with a staff member, a calendar will help you remember to share that content on ALL of your social media channels, not just one. And, don’t be afraid to re-post a great bit of content two weeks or a month later; some visitors to your page may miss it the first time around.
Need help creating a content calendar for your business? Reach me via the form below.