When creating a Content Calendar, I suggest by first starting with a macro view of the calendar. Planning for a month at a time is helpful in avoiding last minute scrambling for content. Beginning with the month of September for example, are there any holidays or celebrations you should be mindful of? Labor Day, which is always the first Monday of September, is a great marketing event to promote your products or services. Are there promotional items or sales that you can offer and incorporate them into the long weekend? A lot of great sites have a banner at the top of their site saying things like : LDW Sale – 40% off All Shirts (for example).
Then level down into dates or times that are specifically important to your business. Do you have certain dates that your product or service will be featured on a magazine, or listed on a site? Are there certain collaboration dates that launch on specific dates. Mark those down on your calendar as well.
Now that you’ve highlighted specific dates on the Calendar, then you can create color coded tags on your electronic calendar (Personally I use an Outlook Calendar and keep it separate from my Google Calendar just for the sake of clarity). You can use whichever calendar you’re most comfortable with – there are tons of online calendars you can choose from. See below an example of the tags that I’ve created for posting content.
Now that you’ve highlighted specific dates on the Calendar, you can create post ideas and color code them accordingly. On the highlighted dates of significance, you can schedule a blog post and related social media posts.
You can create separate content on each platform or repurpose the same content on multiple platforms. Now you can go into the other dates of the month and begin filling those out as well. A great source of reference for other content ideas is to create a separate Excel sheet of your niche and content pillars.
If you’ve read anything about marketing and social media, you’ll see these buzz words everywhere. Simply put, a niche answers the question – who does your company serve? Being as specific as possible will help you more than creating a general and vague target audience. Here are some ways to break down your niche by answering some of the questions below:
- What area does your target audience live in? (ie. Southern California, Culver City to the Westside)
- Demographics (Gender, Age, and Income levels)
- What are their priorities, aspirations, values?
You don’t have to necessarily tie down your niche to a specific city. Because of the internet, you could have a worldwide audience. Be specific when applicable.
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, ask yourself what are some of their pain points? How can you serve their needs? Seeing through their eyes is the most useful way to see how you can help them. Some of the best businesses were created by visionaries seeing a need in the market that wasn’t being filled and then creating a product or service to fulfill that specific need. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
As an example, if I were a personal trainer my niche could be targeting Pilates training for athletes recovering from ACL injuries. Once I have this specific group, I have a better idea of how I can specifically help this group of people.
From here you can then move on to content pillars. There are usually 4 categories to consider for social media – Education, Empowerment, Engagement and Entertainment. Are you actively pursuing these areas? I could create short skits to entertain my followers on how Pilates has dramatically helped an athlete to recover more quickly for example. I can show specific exercises on the reformer that they could try on their own. The possibilities are endless.
And if you’re lacking inspiration, follow your industry trends. You can create an alert on Google Alerts by going to www.google.com/alerts In this case, I would setup a Google Alert for ACL injuries for example. When setting up the Google alerts, I can go to the Show Options tab and choose the frequency of the alerts (as-it-happens, once a day, or once a week) and choose which email those alerts should be sent to. This way I can stay on top of trends and become the industry expert on that specific topic.
Some other sources of ideas include searching the Explore pages of Instagram and TikTok, creating a list of questions that your clients usually ask you, and even looking at your insights and analytics. Which posts outperformed the others and what was it about that specific post that generated higher engagement?
You can also repost articles and content on LinkedIn and decide how you’d like to post on your different social media platforms. Instagram and TikTok are heavily favoring video content as the strongest form of engagement while platforms like LinkedIn are targeting a more professional audience. Tweets are brief snapshots of quotes that allow 280 characters, perfect for gifs and memes.
Happy Content Planning!