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The Easy Way To Plan Your Content For The Year Ahead

It’s all about the planning or, as I like to call it, getting your lemons in a row. If you want content marketing to work better for your business, ideally you need to aside some time to think about what you have coming up this year, what you wish to achieve with content marketing, what your audience wants, the most effective ways to present your content, who is going to do what, and so on…

Here’s the problem. If you are a busy business owner or marketing manager then you probably spend a lot of time thinking “it would be great if I had time to sit down and plan online marketing for the business properly but it’s just not realistic because I don’t even know where to start.”

This is not unusual. I come across this situation all the time and being a business owner myself as well as having experience as a group marketing manager, I know how it feels. You don’t want to start from scratch. You want to know what you need to do, how to do it and when to do it.

Here’s what I suggest…

A content calendar is one of the most effective ways to get all of your ideas in one place as well as planning who, what, where why, when and how. You can use it to match up your content with other marketing and business activities, set deadlines and allocate roles and responsibilities.

They come in all shapes and sizes so a quick Google search for ‘content calendar templates’ will give you a variety of options. The one we use at Lemon Squeezy is an Excel document with a different tab for each month. Every tab has a row per week with columns for discussion themes, communication channels & tactics, intended audience, promoted service/product/message, call to action and additional notes.

The beauty of this is that you can tailor your content calendar to include the columns that you find useful and use it however you find easiest. Some clients prefer to plan several months in advance whilst others take it a month at a time. I have also found that using a blank calendar in a workshop style meeting can be an effective way to get some great ideas. Nothing is set in stone so if an idea develops you can simply update it.

I am giving away my template for free to business owners and marketing managers during January, so if you would like one please get in touch. If need me to explain how to use it I’ll be happy to do so and if you want to take it one step further I can also offer training for you and your employees.

Happy Planning!

 

Bethany Carter,  January 8, 2015

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