Creating quality content is one of the only tactics you can rely on for a successful search engine campaign and to create a name for your business online.
The Ignition Blog has been a little neglected of late as we have been extremely busy servicing new clients, so we decided to go back to basics and create a content calendar for our online marketing. Creating content can feel like a chore but having the guidance of a content calendar is one way to take the hassle and guess work out of your content creation. We create content calendars for our clients to keep track of any opportunities for adding new content to their websites and here’s how you can do it for your own site.
What content do you already produce?
Every business creates content but you might not be making the most of what you already have. Take an inventory of all the existing content your business creates. This could include:
- Online content – website copy, blog posts, social media posts, videos, photographs
- Offline content – brochures, magazines, press releases, advertorials, catalogues
Create a diary of when you produce this content, for example, it might be a quarterly magazine, monthly training videos, weekly social media competitions or content created around seasonal events such as fashion shows, school holidays or Christmas. By seeing what you produce monthly or annually, you can then add these dates to your calendar and also look for opportunities to bring some of your offline content online. For example, if you create press releases you could also post these online, if you have a video of a recent presentation you could also add this to your website or you could submit any recent presentations you’ve done to SlideShare. Add all of these opportunities to your content calendar so you know when you need to produce new content and when you can ‘recycle’ your existing content.
Fill in the gaps
Now you have an outline of your content calendar you can begin to fill in the gaps with any opportunities for creating content which you might have overlooked. This is usually a good opportunity for a brainstorming session, especially if you’ve produced very little content before or have only produced the same or similar content for your company in the past. Events, occasions and celebrations are great opportunities for content, especially if you work in ecommerce and the best part is there’s pretty much something going on which you could write about every month. In summer there are a number of varied events which might inspire a blog post, video or entire marketing campaign such as Trooping the Colour, Wimbledon, Nottinghill Carnival, Summer Solstice, school summer holidays, World Environment Day, Recycle Awareness Week, National Insect Week and lots more. Other yearly events which might spark inspiration include:
- Father’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- New Year’s Eve
- Summer holidays
- Winter holidays
- Valentine’s Day
- Bank Holidays
- Bonfire Night
- Grand National
- Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race
- FA Cup Final
- Six Nations Rugby
Films and music
- The Ashes
- New film and album releases
- Film festivals such as Cannes
- BAFTAs, Oscars and Grammys
- Music festivals such as Glastonbury, Leeds/Reading and T in the Park
While not all of the above will have an obvious connection to your business, there might be something in the list which would create a great piece of online content.
As well as external events, there will also be plenty of events happening in your company which may be worth writing about from events and exhibitions to industry awards and new product launches. You can also create news stories around job vacancies, new appointments, expansions and new clients. Although you won’t know when these will occur very far in advance, you can still make a note in your calendar as soon as you know the event is approaching.
What will your content look like?
The final part of your quest for the perfect content calendar is to decide what form the content should take and where you will publish it.
On your website
Including videos, new web pages, podcasts, webinars, blog updates.
On other people’s websites
Guest post opportunities, online PR, advertising campaigns, interviews.
To really maximize your content you can upload transcripts of webinars, interviews or presentations for example. You can add even more content by asking your web visitors to add their feedback and comments below what you’ve uploaded so your web page will be enhanced with user generated content.
Once you know what your content will be, you can add it into your content calendar and assign a date to it.
Who will write it?
So your content calendar is full of fantastic content just waiting to be created and uploaded, weeks go by, deadlines get missed and then you realise, no one’s actually written anything yet. Prioritising time to create content is not easy but the good thing about having a content calendar is that at least you know what people will need to create and when, and this is half the battle. You could assign one or a number of team members with the task, create the content yourself or ask an external company for help. If you are asking an external company to create content for you then you need to make sure they are proactive enough to become pretty much a member of your own team. They need to be on the pulse of what’s happening in your company and take ownership of the content calendar, adding their own suggestions as they create the content.
When you have the above in place you will be well on your way to having a website which will inform, entertain and excite your visitors and ensure the search engines take notice too.
If you would like us to review your current content strategy or your website SEO then please get in touch with a member of the Ignition team.