15 Jan How to plan a year’s worth of content!
Mapping out content for the whole year??
If you’re looking to incorporate more content marketing into your business this year, you’re probably already feeling the stress of it! Before you start chasing after those lofty content goals, it will help to take a breather and actually map out how you’re going to achieve them. Here’s the thing: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Setting a goal to create, say, a video a week isn’t enough. You have to commit to the actions that will make it reality. Planning your content calendar is a great way to do it!
But first…ask yourself this.
Start by giving yourself some direction by determining the following:
- What format will I be creating?
You need to decide what types of content you’ll be creating. Content comes in many forms: video, blogs, newsletters, podcasts, the list goes on! Decide on 1-2 different formats and stick with it. My favorite combo is Video/Blog. It’s a great way to double-dip your content and get maximum use out of each post. We’ll talk about how that works in a minute.
- Who am I creating this for?
It’s CRITICAL that you identify who your target audience is. We don’t want to scream to the masses – we want to speak directly to the people we want to work with as clients. This will give you a more focused voice, better topic ideas, and and greater clarity overall.
- How often will I post?
Now is when we look at your goals. If your goal is to post one video a week, or create two blogs a week, or even just starting with one newsletter a month, write that down. For us, we will be posting twice a week – one video/blog combo, and one long form blog. These will go out Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively.
- In what ways can I repurpose the content?
This is the biggie! Don’t ever create a piece of content and think you’re done after the first post. You’ll want to consider creative ways to share your message across different platforms. For example, my video/blog content goes here on my blog. The video gets popped onto our Youtube Channel. I post about the blog on Instagram the day I share it and link to it in the bio. Then, I’m sharing that content (or breaking it down into multiple posts, if I can) on Facebook. Finally, the message is incorporated into my newsletter that goes out every other week.
Take some time to visualize how each piece here falls into place for you. Write it all down, and then you’re ready for the next step!
How to come up with content ideas: Looking at your year as a whole
Not all content has to be FAQ’s and market updates! Real estate is a super seasonal industry, which really allows our planning some predictability. Take account traditional market shifts in each quarter, as well as lifestyle shifts. This will allow you to create a mix of helpful resources, market updates, as well as lifestyle content that your audience will relate to. For example, our audience is primarily first-time homebuyers, who will want to know all the happenings! We would typically share content about hot spots and what to do in the spring, staycation/getaway ideas for the summer, and a focus on holiday/seasonal activities in the fall and winter. If it helps, assign “themes” to each quarter.
Putting it all together!
Now you can start planning your content! We like to start with a Google Sheet (or Excel) and create one big master list of topics and ideas. You can even do this a step before, by doing a major “brain dump” and jotting down every topic idea you can think of! Once you have a big portion of topics listed out (say, ~60% of posts you’ll need), you can then start planning these into each quarter, month and week. We create the spreadsheet to cover the Title, Date posted, Notes/Research needed, and Stage (Needs Work, In Progress, Ready to Post, Posted).
How to stick to it
The key here is that you’re creating a system of consistency. You want to build a content calendar that you can actually stick to through the whole year! To make sure you don’t drop the ball on your posting schedule, I suggest the following:
#1: Don’t post on the fly. There is plenty of time for more casual posting (hello, Instagram Stories!). This type of content needs to be planned and curated. In some cases, this will be the first impression that a future client will have of you, so make sure you’re putting thought and effort into every piece of content! Again, the trick here is to create consistency. You need to be able to consistently create quality content, at a pace that you can sustain for the long run. This is what will create trust between you and your growing audience, and trust leads to clients!
#2: Batch your content! Choose one or two days a month to block out your calendar for filming, writing, editing, and curating all the posts for the following weeks or month. Giving yourself space and time to create great quality content will make the whole process a lot more managable and FUN! After you have created your videos, posts, etc. give yourself time to step away and come back with fresh eyes. Check for mistakes, make sure the content flows, and plan out exactly in what order you’ll distribute your masterpiece.
Follow these steps and you are on your way to crushing your content creation goals in 2019!
Dig free stuff? Check out our free Facebook community by clicking here, where we share the best “what’s-working-now” strategies on video and marketing in 2019.