Why you need a content calendar

shutterstock_190422653Content marketing has been consistently proving itself in recent years as an efficient marketing method and is one that is adopted by more and more businesses and marketing specialists as a huge part of their marketing efforts.

So while that all sounds good enough, how does one go about creating a successful content marketing strategy? Without delving too much into it, one of the essential parts of a content marketing strategy is the content marketing editorial calendar.

Most people are tempted to start creating and sharing content and simply provide new content when inspiration hits – it might be a news story that is relevant to your business or maybe you’ve had a great idea for a new video. However this type of approach can only get you so far – content marketing is definitely an area of marketing that requires a strict strategy. Here are some of the main reasons why you should create your own content calendar before starting to create content:

Consistency

If you want to get tangible results from your content marketing efforts, it is important to remember the significance of consistency. Publishing your content at completely irregular intervals is likely to put a damper on your success. With a strict content calendar in place, you will be able to stay on top of the exact dates when you are supposed to publish a new blog post, record a new podcast or create a new video, among others. Without a stricter schedule in place, it’s much more tempting to skip through creating new content when you believe you have more important things to do, for example. However with a content calendar in place (that you check regularly, of course!), you will always get enough notice to create any new content before it needs to be published.

Make sure to create a publishing schedule that you will realistically be able to keep up with and then you won’t be able to make any more excuses as to why you can’t write that new blog post this week!

Content Ideas

One of the best things about creating new content calendars is that your team gets to spend more time together and think of ideas. It’s not only a great bonding exercise for the whole team, but you’re also more likely to think of new, exciting ideas that you might not have otherwise considered.

Coming up with all these content ideas in one sitting with the team has another benefit – it allows you to save time. This way you won’t have to spend long hours browsing and trying to come up with an idea each time you want to publish something new.

Naturally, this begs the question, what do you do when you need to write about breaking news for example? The beauty of a calendar is that it’s not set in stone, and you can always make adjustments to get the best out of your content marketing efforts. Make sure however to alert the whole team to any changes you’ve made to the calendar.

Assign tasks

If several members of your team are part of your content creation process, than a content calendar can help save you from any mix-ups. When creating the calendar, make sure to assign each task to the desired team members and then share the content calendar with all the members of your team. This way everyone is clear on what they’re supposed to do, and when they’re supposed to get it ready by.

Diversity

When you create a content calendar, you can also take the opportunity to make sure there is diversity in your content publication. This way you’ll know that you haven’t created any new infographics in a long time, or that you really should throw in a photo or a video amidst all your blog posts. The more diverse you are with your content, the more you’ll be able to keep the audience interested in you and keep them coming back for more.

Content marketing editorial calendars are essential parts of any content marketing strategy. Do you use content calendars? How have they impacted your work and success?

Written by Ioana Rosca

Facebook ads

I’m testing out a new Facebook ad this weekend to try and pick up some more newsletter subscribers, what do you think?

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Social Media Circle

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I’m really excited about my new social media circle membership site that launches on Friday this week.  The idea is to work with as many entrepreneurs as possible who are feeling frustrated with their social media and to help them focus and get some great results in just a few minutes a day.

The format of the club is going to work like this :

When you join you will receive a user name and password to the website.  Once you logon you will have access to the 4 week social media mastermind class as well as any of the previous circle content.  Lesson plans will be sent out every other week and each month will have a theme.  So if you join in January 2015 you will have access to October, November and Decembers content.

As well as this I’ve promised that any other content I create will be free to the circle members.  So that includes new courses or products.

Its going to be pretty exciting.  The beta testers for the social media mastermind group got some great results and I know that anyone who joins will too.

See you there? 

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My to do list

todoMy work to do list for between now and 4th August looks like this:

– continue managing social media for current clients
– finish 1 big graphic design project and 1 website project
– tie up loose ends with 4 additional clients who expressed an interest to start in August
– get testimonials from the 15 people who are beta testing my social media course
– finalise name of course
– finalise pricing of course (it has more than doubled in size form original concept!)
– make any changes as suggested by the beta testing feedback
– send over to editor for checking
– set up sales page – on my site or another site in itself?
– record course videos (this one fills me with fear as I dislike my voice)
– set up affiiliate scheme
– promote through my lists, forums and facebook ads

On a personal front I have to do the following:

– move house.  Me and 4 children.  100 miles.
– unpack
– build furniture, decorate, make it into a home
– chase school places for the children
– say goodbye to the area we’ve lived in for the last 10 years.  Make peace with the history here and forgive.
– finish my personal website
– photoshoot for my personal website
– write my story

This is where I start to hope that there is at least 3 months between now and 4th August.  There is, right?

A brand new challenge

shutterstock_148706063I do love a challenge and this is one like no other.  One of my existing media agency clients has given me a new customer account to manage today.  This one has 0 social media presence.  No twitter, no facebook, no google plus and a brand new website with no blog.

One of the reasons that I love what i do is that it is totally transparent. There is no hiding – the customer can see exactly what I’ve done for them, each and every day.  I enjoy working like this – it focuses me and means that I achieve great results for my customers.

This one though, is going to be a challenge.  A brand new challenge.  I’ll let you know in a month how I’ve done for them, and some of the techniques I’ve used.

Social Media survey for business owners

Can you help me out with a little market research and spend 2 minutes on this short survey?

Then if you want to follow up please join my newsletter list by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

 

New clients

How exciting to be able to announce that we have taken on 2 more clients for our Social Media management packages.  We’ll be starting off managing their twitter accounts for them, with a view to generating lots of traffic to their websites and engaging with their ideal customers.  Their twitter followers currently stand at 80 and 117 respectively with minimal engagement.  Lets see where we can get them to in a month shall we?

 

What business networking events can teach you about social media

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How many of you small business owners out there attend business networking meeting?  From BNI to informal gatherings in pubs and cafes, there are many business networking events out there from early mornings, to late evenings and everything in between.  At these meetings you will get to watch all kinds of business owners and see how they interact with other people.  These are the  main types that I can think of, but I’m sure there are more :

1 – the nervous hard core seller.

You can spot this kind of networker by the way they walk up to everyone and with false confidence say “Hi, my name is Tim and I do IT Support.  I can fix your laptop for you.  Let me give you my card.  Do you have a laptop, does it run well?  I have reasonable rates, I’m an IT Support specialist”  Thanks Tim.  But really, who wants to network with someone who just keeps telling you what they do.

2 – The never asks you about yourself….

This kind of person is a drain, less nervous and obvious than Ben – they still just want to talk about themselves.  They will go into great detail about what they do, how amazing they are and how they could help you without ever wondering to ask what you do, or even your name.  Thanks but no thanks, Im here to grow my customer base and my contacts.

3 – The confused but over friendly type

This kind of business owner puzzles me.  They don’t actually seem to know why they are there, usually a very friendly chatty person, they will steer all conversations back to you, or generic “what are you up to at the weekend” type chats.  With no apparent service to offer r product to sell perhaps they thought they were popping into a coffee morning?  Not necessarily a bad person to meet while out networking, but a confusing one, and potentially a bit of a waste of time unless you have nothing better to do yourself.

4 – The clique

I’m usually fairly tolerant but ugh – these people drive me mad.  The amount of times I have walked into a networking event, grabbed a cup of tea and tried to join in with conversations only to be met with silence, ignored or just talked over is unbelievable.  Some people seem to think that networking is just about meeting up with their friends and ignoring any newcomers.  They couldn’t be any more wrong if they tried!

5 – The IDEAL networker

The perfect networker does exist, I promise. It sometimes feels as though you will never meet them but have faith, you will.  This person will introduce themselves with a smile and make you feel at home.  They will ask about what you do and actually seem interested.  They will tell you about themselves and their business but will turn the conversation back to you. They will seem to want to help you, they may ask to meet you for a more detailed conversation about how you could help each other.

See the difference?  This is the kind of person you want to meet (and be) at a networking event and its also the kind of person you need to be on social media.

Imagine you have a twitter account.  You don’t make an effort to follow anyone, and as a result nobody really follows you.  You post every day, but your tweets consist of

“We offer amazing shoes, click here to buy”

“Follow us for shoe bargains”

“Buy our shoes”

Not very interesting, are you?  (despite the fact that you sell AMAZING shoes)

So you need to chat to people.  Stop being Tim, remember him?  Don’t be the one who walks up to people and shouts at them about your own business.  Chat to people, find out what they do.  But only as long as it helps you.  Don’t now spend all your days following people and chatting to them about what they ate for breakfast or where they are going on holiday, UNLESS it is relevant to your business.

If you sell shoes then find other people who tweet about shoes.  Reply to their posts.  Tell them “ooohhh, those shoes are amazing” and wait for them to reply.  People love to chat, why else would they be on social media?  When they come back to say thank you or whatever else they say you can tell them “I’m a huge shoe addict, which is why I decided to set up my own online shoe store”

If you can imagine that you are at a networking event whenever you are on twitter then you might find it easier to work out how to act.  The main rules of social media are simple – be sociable AND relevant.  After all, that’s what its all about.

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