Creating Your Digital Marketing Content Plan For 2012
And just like that… January’s already over. Who has their email campaigns all ready for back to school sales this fall? How about holiday 2012? Have you laid out a Content Plan for 2012?
If you raised your hand, you’re dismissed (and I’m impressed). If you’re like the rest of us, you’re surprised to find yourself in February already and haven’t planned your 2012 Digital Marketing Content Calendar. But it’s important to plan out your content, even if you know it will change throughout the year. Have a direction so you hit important topics and dates and keep relevant, steady content in your readers’ inboxes.
Here are a few tips to get you started on your 2012 Content Plan:
- Start with a calendar. Easy first step, right? Whether it’s paper, Outlook, Google, or part of your marketing software, get an actual calendar out. We’re writing this down (it’s all editable, don’t worry).
- Plot big dates for your brand and industry. Add the dates of product releases, events you’ll be attending, sponsoring or presenting, and important dates that affect your buyers, like back-to-school, tax day, etc.
- Compliment your big dates with marketing. Plan your outbound messaging across all platforms from email to social media to web updates. This helps you be consistent on how many days before a promotion you create content, how often you promote via social, how many emails you send per “campaign,” and since you’re pre-planning, you can even draft these messages ahead of time. They’ll likely change as the year rolls in, but at least you’ll have an outline.
- Fill in the blanks. Your brand/industry won’t have an event, promotion or product launch every month. Find the wide open spaces are on your calendar and plan to create or curate relevant educational, informative or simply entertaining content for those times. It’s especially important in email marketing to send interesting relevant content every month of the year at a minimum to maintain a positive sender reputation.
- Give your content some space. Now that all your content is planned out, look for crowded dates. If you’ve scheduled a YouTube video, an email digest and more than 2-3 social media marketing topics in one day, take up your eraser and spread things out a bit. The biggest advantage of planning ahead is being able to adjust campaigns so they don’t overlap.
Social Component Reminder: You should be sharing nonmarketing posts or other people’s posts 8 times more often than your own marketing content. If you schedule 3 promotional tweets for one day, be ready to send over 15 tweets that day total!
You’re off to a good start! Nothing (except maybe next week) is carved in stone. Think of this as laying out ideas. If nothing better comes along, you’re not grasping for content 2 days before your next blog post or Facebook share. If big news hits your industry or your product launch moves up, move these dates around. Feel free to trade April’s article for May’s product launch. But get something in writing so you’re ready to take on 2012 in digital marketing.
Takeaway: Take a few hours to plot out your Content Calendar for 2012, including big dates and consistent, engaging content. Be flexible as the calendar rolls by to stay topical and relevant.