If you’re like many Australian businesses you’ve arrived back at work in 2015 to find yourself strategically planning your year and how your marketing and sales will best serve your business goals. Given that you’re not alone, MeMedia thought that this blog and the attached 2015 Content Marketing Calendar might help you hit the ground running. If this is your first time creating a content marketing strategy then we’ve also included some things you might like to consider when developing your plans for world domination.
Developing your Content Marketing Calendar
Whether it be procrastination or being a perfectionist you’re not alone when you find yourself searching for the perfect marketing calendar layout. Each business is unique and each need to make sure the calendar format we choose works for our individual needs.
MeMedia’s content marketers like to make sure our calendar layouts fit our clients, however our preference is the year to a view calendar, which of course means you’re able to see each month of the year in a 12 column layout.
First, Define your Business Goals
So while it is easy to dive in and begin creating your marketing calendar, first it is important to recognise what your business goals are. These may include;
- Stay in touch with existing clients
- Ensure existing clients are kept abreast of your product and/or services
- Engage with X number of new clients
- Produce X number of proposals or quotes
- Convert X number of proposals or quotes
- Produce $X in sales per month
Stay in touch via Email Marketing
Staying in touch with your existing clients should the easiest action your business can undertake if you have a well-structured database of contacts and good email marketing software. It’s especially important to ensure that communication is personalised and relevant, so please ensure you’re database has first name, last name, company, country and possibly even industry type.
The easiest way to stay in touch is through Electronic Direct Mail (EDMs) AKA Email Marketing. The frequency of your communication is always dependent on your product and/or service however you should be in touch with clients, a minimum of every 3 months.
The other obvious alternatives to EDMs are Social Media Marketing, SMS, Direct Mail, customer service calls and of course face-to-face.
Stay in touch via Social Media
Your clients live in a busy world and with their phone constantly ringing and their inbox full of important and unimportant emails it’s entirely possible that your EDMs will be ignored, unsubscribed to or marked as SPAM, in your clients effort to simplify their work day or life, or because you contacted them at the wrong time and/or with a topic that didn’t interest them.
Social Media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are generally used by your clients as ways to keep abreast of what’s going on in everybody else’s world.
The most common time for social media consumption is after hours or when your clients are looking to wind down or have spare time to focus on themselves, rather than focusing on their job or their chores. Reaching your clients when they are in this state of mind helps ensure that your message(s) are going to be shown the most attention possible and given the greatest opportunity for conversion. This is why planning and scheduling posts in advance in key to a successful social media strategy.
Communication frequency is always dependent on the business. However, it’s imperative to remember that the number one reason clients go elsewhere is due to indifference. Either you (seemingly) no longer care about doing business with them, or the client believes that you do not offer the product or service they are looking for. Hence why it is important to inform your customers about products and/or services which they may not have known about before or find ways to put a fresh new spin on your existing products and/or services.
The maximum time frame you want to wait before getting back in touch with your existing customers is 3 months. And unless you have stock, sales or services that are constantly new or updating every week then any product or service related communication should be kept to once a month.
When is The Best Time of Month to Communicate?
Understanding your client psychographics and developing client personas is key to identifying the best communication timing.
For example MeMedia find that professional services based business should make sure they’re taking note of weekends, public holidays, school holidays etc. And that email communication should steer clear of these periods. However social media communication may best be increased during these periods.
If you’re a retailer then informing people of your up and coming sales in the lead up to a weekend or holiday and continued through the break is obviously going to make the most sense. However if you’ve discovered that your ideal client works in hospitality, then communicating on a Monday or Tuesday might be best.
Develop your key persona(s) and you will come to know the niche times of day and week to contact your clients.
Many of you reading this might be asking, “Why do I need to create content?” If this is you then it may be best that you watch this 36-minute presentation on Search Engine Optimisation. However if you don’t have a spare 36 minutes here is the brief version:
- Creating new content regularly shows that you care. You care about what you do and you care that your existing and potential customers may have questions, which you are willing to answer via new content creation
- Humans will only come back to your website if their is something new to learn / win / purchase
- If you produce great content, it will be shared both socially and via email
- Google notices human activity, including social shares and will reward your site rankings for this activity (see presentation for clarity on “earning links”)
What types of Content Should I Create?
There are many types of content you can create and we’ve ranked a few of them below in order of their effectiveness, with number 1 being the best.
- Live or Online Events
- White papers, ebooks or free tools
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of each of the above content types is obviously determined by the content itself. Generally speaking, while producing a video might be better than writing a blog, the video could still be a huge flop if the final product has poor execution.
How frequently should I create content?
MeMedia recommend creating at least 1 new piece of great content per month. And when we say great, we mean it.
Your content should be worth sharing. You want your potential or existing client to consume the content and simply say to themselves, “I’ve got to tell my friends or colleagues about this.”
There is plenty of poorly produced content floating around the internet so if you want to get the most out of your content, put your best effort in.
What does this all look like on an Australian 2015 Yearly Calendar?
MeMedia have put together a couple of examples to get you started on the attached Australian 2015 Year to a view content marketing calendars. Please feel free to download them and match them to your own needs and capabilities.
If we’ve missed something or you have suggestions for our next blog please supply your comments in the fields provided below.
Of course our two example 2015 calendars will not fit everybody’s needs. If you need a custom marketing strategy and calendar for your business please contact us.
Other helpful resources:
Produce a quick calendar with your own public holidays etc included here:
If you’re after a large printed wall planner try here: