Creating a Content Strategy can be a little intimidating. So, I built the Yearly Content Planner. This helps visual planners (like me and, hopefully, you) break the year into smaller, more accessible pieces.
Before you begin filling in the worksheet, grab a notebook. You’ll answer some questions and thought-starters to help you prime the pump for planning.
First, review your company’s trends and happenings for the last few years. (If you’re just starting out and don’t have a “few” under your belt, talk to other professionals and mentors to glean a little insight into the seasonal habits of customers and clients.) You’re basically scanning behaviors and interactions for consistencies.
What are the trends? For example, consumers may do their research in the winter, plan in the spring and buy in the summer.
Do your customers and clients seem saddled by the same problems around the same time of year?
Are there any themes for your business? Think about colors/styles for times of year or spending/saving strategies employed by your customers considering political climates.
Note the peaks and valleys in web traffic, engagement and sales.
Look at client communication, are people talking about certain topics at specific times of the year?
What else is notable about the monthly or seasonal tendencies of your company?
As you notice answers, patterns and additional questions emerging, make some notes. You don’t have to chase all the details and data now. Just write a list to refer to later.
Next, think about the future. Not only in terms of your business goals, but with your customers’ needs in mind.
What sales or promotions are planned?
What important holidays and observances should you mention?
What will your key customers be focused on this year?
Look at the observations and insights you wrote. Do topic groups emerge? (Hint: When you can build your content around topics, you’re setting yourself up for success.)
Dissect your lists for additional patterns or consumer habits that you’ll want on your planner. And, remember, these are broad strokes. Don’t get mired down with blog titles. This is the space to write things like, “brides visit venue most often” or “customer shifts from reds to whites.”
When you group and list your promotions, themes and trends in this way, you’ll have a visual outline for the topics you’ll need to address with various forms of content.
Once you complete the Yearly Content Planner . . . brainstorm! This is the fun part where you’ll dream up the stories you want to tell – and how you want to tell them.
Happy Thinking, Planning and Dreaming!