The new year is upon us and that means it’s time to focus on building an annual content calendar. We have two fantastic resources to help you get geared up for the year ahead. We tapped the team at our digital agency to collect their top content marketing tips and boiled them down to five simple takeaways. Plus, make the most of your team brainstorming using Fandom Marketing’s Brainstorm Like An Agency free PDF download.
Now that your wheels are turning with some possible content ideas, lets help you through the year with these five content planning tips below from the pros at Fandom Marketing.
Tip #1 Establish short and long term goals for the year ahead.
Setting clear goals can give you a better picture of where you want to be at the end of the year. What exactly do you want to accomplish for your brand? More likes and followers? Growth in traffic from shoppers? Capturing client leads? Establish a main goal and create a plan on how you will achieve it using content marketing tactics. A clear goal in mind will guide the way for content throughout the year. For example, if your goal is to gain 500 followers on Instagram, you should be focusing heavily on engaging with hashtags with visual content. If it’s to grow sales, you would want to focus on content that drives people to your website that is more product and solution focused. Instagram doesn’t link out from photo captions, so it’s not the best traffic driver.
Tip #2 Look at your previous year’s content for ideas and insights.
You should always take time to look back and analyze old content to see what worked vs. what didn’t. These insights play a crucial part into how you improve year over year. It will also provide direction on where you should be allocating your time and what you can leave behind in past years. Try something new. Have you ever tested livestreaming? Animated GIF’s? You won’t know if something works unless you give it a try! Have fun with it and treat content marketing as a testing environment.
Tip #3 Does your brand have a voice? Define one.
A brand voice is what can really make you stand out amongst the rest. A brand voice establishes how a company sounds or reads in tone and personality. Whether you choose to be bold, loud or motherly, a good way to figure out your brand voice is to go through a creative discovery exercise. A well done strategy feels authentic, while resonating with your core customer. If you have more than one segment, you’ll want to establish a unifying tone that makes each audience feel directly spoken to. Be sure to document it and remember to train your content team, copywriters, or social media team on it. Need help? Reach out to our knowledgeable creative team.
Tip #4 Stay on top of current events and regional trends.
Staying current with local and national trends can be a huge idea generator for content. It’s so easy to capture attention this way. Twitter and Instagram are great social network to instantly find what’s trending in pop culture. Our team likes to subscribe to publications through an RSS Reader like Feedly to get ideas on specific topics. Finally, research popular national holidays and events that tie into your products. For example, #MotivationMonday is an excellent weekly post for health and fitness brands. Do you have an eCommerce shop? Better pencil in Black Friday which seems to start earlier and end later every year. People will already be searching for hashtags which you can incorporate into social media posts to get discovered. Be careful that topics are relevant to your brand and do not bring unwanted controversy. Some large organizations will need to work with their PR team to get messaging approved with a sense of urgency because these conversations are happening in realtime.
Tip #5 Invest time in quality creative.
Good creative is key to a brand’s success. It makes a first impression. Puts your product top of mind. Captures attention. And, delights customers. No one is going to care about grainy, boring, or out-of-focus images. Stand out with a bright, clear and engaging image that is customized for the channel it will live in. Posting content is all about engaging your audience, so if you can create something that is eye catching and intriguing to accentuate your message, you can grab the reader’s attention. Our team sources images through photos curated from employees or customers, stock photography, and design or original graphics. Each image is sized for the web page or social network with close attention to style, buttons or no buttons, and purpose. For example, an image you grab from the website that has a “learn more” button in it will look silly in Facebook where buttons on photos are not clickable. A filtered Instagram photo may not be the best fit for Pinterest where tall, polished, photos tend to perform better.
By following these agency insider tips and leveraging our free Brainstorm Like An Agency guide you will be off to a solid annual content plan.