A common refrain I hear is “we know our content can be valuable but it’s so hard to come up with original pieces every month.” Let’s solve that with 4 key steps.
#1 Build a Content Roadmap
Note, this is not a calendar, which is a critical point. Your roadmap focuses on areas of the business that are a priority for you and your customers. We just finished this exercise with a client that has some services that are a high priority to the business and have a 4–5-month season. In the roadmap, we want to discuss this area twice during the year, once before the season and once around mid-season. Some of their other business areas are not as impactful, so we only want to focus once a year on those services. By looking at both customer problems and business area priorities and the potential of each, we can plan a roadmap of the content, and frequency, that drives meaningful business for you.
#2 Plan Your Content Calendar
With a roadmap in place, you can start by filling out your top priority content messages in your calendar. You build the calendar from top priority to bottom, not month to month. In this case, where there are high priority seasonal items, we need to make sure they fall in appropriate spots. Next, we can look at the appropriate cadence and frequency for our top business items and fill around them with lower priority items. The calendar is also a great way to remember certain timely messages that can help fill in the calendar – July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Holiday Season for instance. Here’s an example of what a calendar may look like once it’s complete.
#3 Look for “Shared” Content to Augment Original Content
This step determines the content you use and where you can use it. We often hear “we would like to promote this offering 3-4 times a year but only have 2 good articles or posts to share.” That’s a great place to start, but certainly not the end. If you are a services company that creates some thought leadership, you can look for non-competing articles to share and give your company’s 30-second opinion on. If you are a product company, you may have customers with before/after pictures or videos that showcase your products. Strong content does not have to be 100% original – there is value in sharing other educational content with your audience. This helps them realize that you are always reading and looking for insightful information and it makes you even more valuable.
#4 Consider how to repurpose successful content
Another challenge we see is when businesses put a lot of effort into a white paper, video, or article on a key product or service and then don’t have time or budget for anything else. This is where repurposing comes into play with your calendar. Shortening a 5-minute video into several 60-90 second videos can provide a new view and life to the topic. Similarly, taking one part of a case study and putting a focus on it can provide you with another means to focus on the topic or product. It’s hard and challenging to pull together these big items, so exploring how you can repurpose them to give them new life while not repeating the entire message. This is a great way to build out your calendar.
If you haven’t seen our February LinkedIn video series talking about these trends you can take a look here, and be sure that you are following Rand Inc on LinkedIn. In the meantime, if you want to talk further about developing a Content Roadmap, please reach out to us at www.randinc.cc or email email@example.com.