Time is a precious commodity that can’t be wasted or recaptured once it’s gone. When developing marketing ideas for small business, having a sound content development strategy that includes a content calendar can save time, money and resources. A content calendar also assists in shaping your concepts, topics and delivery for your marketing team.
Why Would a Small Business Need to Plan Content?
Planning your content helps you focus on what your customers want and need, nurtures your thoughts and helps your team stick to a schedule. When you know what you will be developing and when it will be used, you can cross-promote your content with relevant material and create additional resources around a theme. This process also assists in determining where items are overlapping, what topics need to be covered, and provides a window for proper research and development for effective pieces.
How to Develop a Content Calendar
There are many methods you can use for developing a content calendar, but keep the process simple. Here are a few suggestions:
- Plan Your Timeline and Review Process
You may want to plan your content by week, month, quarter or year depending on your needs and certain events within the industry. When planning your content, flexibility is key.
- Identify Your Audiences
Each piece of content you develop should be geared toward a specific audience. Every business has several different marketing personas. Knowing who the audience is and the purpose of your pieces helps them flow collaboratively within your theme.
- Identify Your Topics
Your topics and themes are the most crucial elements of the entire calendar. Knowing your topics will help you properly distribute content and pinpoint the strongest writers for each piece. Topics are developed for a number of reasons:
- Product Launches
- Company News
- Business Quarters
- Assess What You Already Have
You may already have content that can be repurposed or rewritten to suit your needs, which can save time. Taking information from a whitepaper to develop an infographic or blog post based on new metrics will cut the time needed to develop the piece in half. This will help you fill the gaps in your content calendar and help you add pieces to existing themes that have been successful with customer engagement.
- Use Tools to Make Things Easier
There are a number of tools on the market that can streamline the process, get your thoughts flowing and help you see the big picture. Even if you don’t use a program specifically designed for content creation, you can make your own. Make sure you have the date, topic, author, status, format, and where it will be published. Everyone on your team should have a copy of the schedule to ensure everyone is on the same page.
These tips will help you focus on what’s important and strengthen your strategy. The trick in content creation is to work smarter, not harder. The rest is up to you!
Allaire W is a professional writer with a love for the written word and a sweet tooth that turned a hobby into a business. You can find her “cooking” up assignments while covered in flour or cake batter.