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Hey content marketers, digital marketing and social media managers! I have a few important questions for you. The answers to these questions will make or break your content marketing success online.
- Do you have a plan with goals and metrics for your content?
- Do you wake up in the morning and think “Hey, what should I post today?”
- Do you focus more on quantity of content or quality?
- Do you know what success looks like?
- How do you measure results of the content you publish online?
- What content does your audience really need and want from you?
- Are you confident your content is the highest quality it can be?
- Is your content making the impact you want it to make on your dream customers? On your business?
How did this list of questions make you feel? Did you read them and think… “Yes, I know the answer to that question! Nailed it!” Or were you thinking… “hmmm…. yikes I don't know.”
If you struggle with rock solid answers to these questions, it's okay. The purpose of this blog post and podcast today is to help you.
Reality Check: The Last Thing Your Audience Wants from You is MORE CONTENT
Here is the thing. When it comes to content marketing, less is truly more. Though you may hear some of the loud voices in our space screaming at you to be everywhere ALL THE TIME… trust me… do NOT listen to them.
You need to be where your audience is. And you need to be delivering your audience what they need and want from you. The last thing your audience and dream customers are thinking when they wake up in the morning is… “hey, I sure do hope to see MORE content from brands trying to sell to me today.”
In reality, they are looking for human connection. They want to solve the problems that keep them up at night. They want to know that you and your brand actually care about them as humans and as helping them in business (if that is what your business does.) They are wanting to be inspired, empowered and made to feel better than they did before they read your blog post, opened your email, listened to your podcast, watched your Instagram story or an entire video on Youtube.
The truth is if your content is not delivering value, your audience doesn't care about it. The days of throwing social content spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks are over and done.
It is critical every status update you post, every blog post you write, visual you create and video you publish is providing value to your audience. It needs to connect with them in a human way that makes them think… “hey, I want to know more about that person and/or company!” This will separate you from the status quo of spammy noise.
You Need a Content Calendar to Streamline Your Content for Big Results
One of the best ways to start planning your content and escape from the “post all the content spaghetti things all the time on all the social networks everywhere” is to develop a content calendar.
A content calendar helps you streamline your efforts and achieve a higher return on investment of every piece of content you create and publish.
And lucky for you…I have a proven 2020 Content Calendar Template you can download for free here. I have been publishing the calendar template for 10 years.
Join 30,000 of your peers and download it now. It is proven to work for entrepreneurs, startups to Fortune 10 brands. It is the exact same template we use with our clients ranging from small business, franchise, up to enterprise companies.
Still not sold on why you need to use a content calendar for your marketing?
Here are 15 ways a content calendar will help your business immediately:
1. Focus on the needs of your audience as a top priority. Audience first marketing is what will set you free from random acts of marketing and help you achieve your goals. Be the one who knows and serves your audience better than the competition… you WIN!
2. Prioritize your target buyers and audiences. Although your product or service can be sold to possibly many of different types of buyers, you must prioritize exactly what buyers if you want to succeed with content marketing today. A good content calendar forces those decisions.
3. Helps you get crystal clear on what your call to actions are. Buyers want to be told what to do. They are overwhelmed with media, pop-up advertisements, video advertisements, and advertising in every stream they consume daily. The better you can guide them toward a relationship with you the happier they will be.
4. Helps you be the sweet orange in a world of bitter apples. Just because everyone else is spamming mounds of content at their audience on a daily basis doesn't mean that you have to do the same. Rise above. Dare to be the one who provides the most value with a rock solid content calendar that delivers sweet savory helpful tips, and nuggets of goodness your audience wants to cherish.
5. Help you get the support you need internally for your content marketing and digital marketing programs. If you are facing challenges getting your budgets approved, a solid content calendar can help you streamline and facilitate the conversation with executives and stakeholders.
6. Help your brand be more human. When you connect with your audience in a human way they are more likely to remember you. It takes 6-7 brand touches before someone will remember a brand. Give them a reason.
7. Help you set goals and define what success looks like, before you start investing in content. Creating content is expensive. It takes time and resource. Too many brands waste valuable resources throwing social spaghetti on the wall. They give up before they get started because they didn't have the right goals to begin with.
8. Help you create a drumbeat approach to content development. Your content needs a consistent rhythm that sets expectations and lets your audience know you are there for them, for the short, medium and long term.
9. Help you streamline resources… starting now. Seriously the minute you start to actually use a good content calendar template, you will feel a sense of “ahhh… why didn't I do this 10 years ago!” You will wonder why you caused so much stress for yourself by avoiding something that wasn't really that hard to begin with. If you struggle with knowing when to do what, or what to assign to others on your team, a content calendar will help make sure everyone is working in sync.
10. Force you to think further than today or tomorrow. Creating a content calendar forces you to get out of your “ugh… what am I going to post today?” mindset and instead helps you think strategically yet tactically at the same time. You begin to work smarter, not just harder.
11. Help you integrate your content across multiple mediums. It becomes easier to prioritize channels you publish on as well as formats you use. When you combine this with an audience based approach to marketing… you have a magical combination for success.
12. Ideas will come easier. When you remove the fire drill mode of posting only for today or tomorrow, the creative ideas will start to flow. Even if you have struggled with coming up with ideas for content, focusing on your audience and your business goals is a serious game changer.
13. You can start leveraging evergreen marketing. This means you create once, use many. Instead of trying to create 100 pinnancle pieces of content every year, you instead create a few really good pieces of content that you can leverage as a baseline. The goal is to build on the solid pieces of content that work really well. This is where the true ROI really gets delivered… and your boss falls in love with your plan and you. :)
14. Help you create loyal brand evangelists. By truly inspiring, connecting and empowering your audience, you become their hero. When you help them solve real problems or feel inspired to conquer those biggest obstacles, they want to tell the world who helped them. Hopefully that is YOU and your brand!
15. You think bigger than just yourself or your audience. When you help your audience be part of something bigger than any of us can do on our own, we all grow! We all become better together. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. A content calendar helps you increase engagement, build community and establish trust.
Your next steps.
Download our content calendar template today. Trust me, you will be happy that you did! More than 30,000 of your peers have been using this template for more than 10 years.
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