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04 Mar 2011

Reach Out and Keep Touching Someone: The Content Calendar

Content Calendar

The old adage of “out of sight, out of mind” is still true today. To be successful online, businesses must continually put themselves out there in one form or another. Whether you are looking for new customers, customer loyalty, increased sales, brand awareness, or just more website traffic, “In your face” is the new way of thinking and it should be the only way to operate.

So how do you manage providing constant content to your customers and prospects? A content calendar, that’s how. Joe Pulizzi, of Junta 42 and the Content Marketing Institute, created the 1-7-30-4-2-1 plan. For businesses of any size this is a great way to stay on track when it comes to publishing content.Here’s how it works:

1 – Publish Daily

Yes daily, no groaning. Most savvy businesses with a presence online have a Twitter and Facebook account. Tweeting every once in a while just doesn’t fly, pun intended. Start your tweets with a question to encourage interaction. For those who “Like” your page on Facebook, provide them with updates that entertain or inform and leave them waiting for your next one. Remember, they can “Share” it. Many businesses have reaped the benefits when they use social media to the fullest. Spot Dessert Bar, who started a social media blitz that was built on engaging followers, not advertising, saw sales increases of 15 to 20 percent as a result.

7 – Publish Weekly

Your website has a blog, right? If not then, “off with your head!” Well, you should really think about starting one. A blog is an excellent platform for publishing new and helpful ideas on a steady basis. Your blog should include at least one new post per week. You can then feed it onto your Facebook business page and tweet the link out to it also. There you go, your social media is taken care of for one day a week. You’re welcome!

30 – Publish Monthly

On a bit larger scale, once a month you could provide a webinar, video or e-newsletter. Does your company have special insight or knowledge on certain topics? Then a webinar is perfect for sharing this and for positioning you as an authority. Videos can run the gamut on subject matter from a speech that someone in your organization made, to a spoof on the services or products that you offer. Monthly newsletters keep your audience informed of what’s happening with your company and your industry.

4 – Publish Quarterly

Here’s your chance to showcase a whitepaper, a downloadable free guide, an infographic or a Top 10 on your site. Remember the old research reports back in college? Bring your report writing skills back to life. Depending on your niche, a whitepaper can provide technical information to those who want it and can use it. A downloadable piece of content gets your information directly into someone’s hands where they can access it even when their computer isn’t on. Infographics and Top 10’s are the “It Content” right now; everyone loves visuals and lists.

2 – Publish Bi-Annually

You might not think of a contest as web content development, but depending on your target audience, they are wildly popular. What better way to get users involved and more traffic to your site than by asking for participation in return for a prize? Contests are perfect for garnering user-generated content.

1 – Publish Annually

Here’s where you can really shine. A case study can illustrate customer satisfaction. Plan this early so that you can be collecting data throughout the year. Determine your target audience and what their challenges are. Highlight how your products or services helped them solve their problems. Tying in timely industry events and news puts a nice finish on the piece.

Are you still thinking about what can be tweeted every day and what you can blog about every week? Well, your big projects need promoting, right? Got a webinar coming up; write a blog post about. Then tweet it out and post it on Facebook. A contest creates many opportunities for more content; announcing it, promoting it, declaring the winner and sharing the entries, if appropriate. Great content begets more great content. So create your calendar and get in their face.

2 Comments

  • Wedding Photographer New York Mar 05, 2011

    Thanks for your tips. It helped me a lot.

  • James - VPS Hosting Mar 09, 2011

    I enjoyed reading this article. Content generation is very important. You need to focus on developing excellent new content on a regular basis. Using a content calendar is a great way to stay on track.

    Many blogs fail simply because they don’t market enough and produce enough good content.