If you’re serious about content marketing, it’s important to make your content creation plans in advance. This needs to be based on the season as well as the products and services that you plan to promote, launch or market to your audience. Just as retail stores plan sales to coincide with the New Year so you should be planning in advance for each season too.
Survey Your Audience
You understand the importance of understanding your audience, however just because you have studied and worked out who your audience is once, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t survey them occasionally to ensure you’re still delivering the information that they need and want. You might like to consider a quarterly survey so that you can find out what’s on their mind, and get a deeper insight into their problems.
Research Your Industry Niche
If you want to stay ahead of the pack you need to keep up to date on your niche. Read industry news, study, read between the lines of regular news for clues to the state of your niche, follow niche influencers. Look ahead for killer technologies that might turn your niche on its head. By doing this you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon with your content creation efforts and your audience will look to you for information.
Check Out the Competition
It’s always beneficial to be aware of what your competition is doing, not to copy them but to stay one ahead of them, playing to your strengths and to their weaknesses. For example if you offer higher quality, test their merchandise to ensure that your quality is better.
Know What’s Coming
Not all businesses are seasonal, but all of your audience is. They think of things in terms of certain seasons depending on where they are in their life. For example, if they have school-age children they are thinking differently during back to school time than summertime. Plus, if you have a product or service launch or other event coming up, you should be planning it in the quarter before the event.
Know Your Realistic Schedule
If you have a regular job, children at home, or other responsibilities that will get into the way of your blogging duties, be honest about that as you create a schedule for yourself. If you have a lot to do, set a realistic blogging schedule around these other responsibilities so that you can stick to whatever schedule you set.
Once you have some of this other information set up, it’s important to take some time to brainstorm topics based on the information you’ve gathered, plus the events you know that are coming up. At this point nothing is wrong; just write everything down.
Organize Your Topics
Take the brainstormed topics and categorize them for your blog. Throw out anything that doesn’t fit or seem right. Then organize them and match them with the seasons, events and products that you want to promote.
Create a Publication Calendar
Add everything to your publication calendar. If you use WordPress, there are numerous plugins that you can use to help create editorial and publication calendars. Here you enter the information so that during the times you’ve set aside for writing and producing content, you can get right to work.
Set Aside the Time to Create
Now that you have everything ready for you, each time you have the time to create content, you can get the information from the publication calendar and get going easily and quickly. You can also look ahead easily so you can know whether some of the content needs to be outsourced or researched.
Planning in advance actually end up saving you time and helping ensure your success. Working off the cuff will rarely work when it comes to building a successful blog. What will work is planning, knowing your audience and knowing what is coming up, knowing what products you want to promote, and relating the seasons and current events to your blog posts.