Even if you’re not much of a planner, planning your content through a content calendar will help your business approach content marketing strategically. This is important because, to see the best return, content should be tied to a broader campaign that has been carefully thought through. You don’t want to sit there scratching your head each week trying to figure out what to publish.
Take ebooks. If you’ve invested time and money crafting an ebook on a particular topic, publishing social posts, emails, videos, and articles related to the ebook will help build interest with your audience and boost its impact. The ebook can be repurposed into smaller chunks and shared across multiple channels to help make sure that your audience gets your message. All of this should be laid out in a content calendar to make sure assets are ready in time.
However, your content calendar must stay flexible so you can adapt as things change. As you get going with a campaign you may find out that a particular channel is working much better than others. This could require an adjustment to where you invest your efforts. If LinkedIn turns out to be the place to be for a particular topic, with other channels falling flat, you may decide to shift budget away from underperforming channels to focus on delivering more high-quality content to the place where it works.
In addition to analysing how channels perform, you should also keep a close eye on how different types of content perform overall. Study analytics from your social accounts to see which types of posts are seeing the most traction. Use UTM codes in your URLs to get granular about what works and what doesn’t. This data can feed into your content calendar and help you adjust what you publish as your campaigns move.
Keep enough wiggle room in your content calendar to allow you to react to things outside of your control. You can’t forecast everything, and things may well come up that make you want to shift focus. Scandals, conflicts, miracles, or misunderstandings could appear at any moment and require you to rapidly adjust what you want to publish. This should be easy for small businesses and solopreneurs, but things can get more tricky for larger firms where various levels of sign off may be required. There is a risk of missing the boat.
I was planning to go for a walk on the beach today but decided not to because of the rain. Don’t force your business to walk in the rain, it will perform far better if you keep it dry.
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Failing to plan risks chaos. But an inflexible plan risks missing opportunities. Strike the right balance.