As a content writer, I don’t know whether it has happened to you. There are times that you would like to write and you would not know what to write about. It is very possible you don’t just know what might be of importance to you. You just need to know what your audience might be interested in before you start writing at all. In this article, I want to talk about how to generate content topics that rank. Follow me as I will explore this in this article.
Brainstorming: First and foremost, you need to gather teams together to brainstorm a selection of topics which can be narrowed down at a later stage.
Social Listening: Furthermore, you have to listen to your audience to find out what content they like, dislike or need to solve a particular problem.
Community Engagement: Also, you need to reach out to your audience and find out what content they would like from you.
Tools like Pinterest, StumbleUpon and RSS feeds are fantastic resources to find content topic ideas. We will look at these tools a little later as they can also be used for content curation.
Bodyform, the women’s health brand, used social listening to help them create a piece of content that has reached over 6m people around the world.
How did they do it?
- They identified an opportunity through the comments of an individual on social media about what they considered misrepresentation in their ads
- They created a tongue-in-cheek video to respond to the user and showed utility in entertainment and brand personality
- It worked for them as they stayed true to their position of female empowerment and being brutally honest.
Content calendars are a central document for mapping out social media content across platforms, days, times and objectives for a given period.
Benefits of using a content calendar in your organization include:
The use of a content calendar in writing will allow you to plan ahead. It will help you to prevent a situation where you have to write on impulse. It will allow you to come up with an extensive article that converts leads to customers.
#2 Prevents writer’s block
Writer’s block is a situation whereas a writer, you want to write but you are not able to come up with reasonable content. When you plan ahead before you write your content, you will not run blank when writing. This will improve the quality of contents coming from your stable.
#4 Stay on track
Having a content strategy in play will also keep social content on track across multiple platforms and re-aligns aim/strategy. With it, you can actually choose a theme of discussion for a particular month and decide how those topics will be discussed across different social media platforms. This will allow you to remain focused all through.
in addition, a good content marketing strategy will allow you to remain focused. You would have drafted ahead some of the contents that will be posted across different social media platforms. It gives you the opportunity to remain focused on your contents. You can prioritise your actions and see how you can engage your audience in order to get better results.
#5 Keep team focused
Another major benefit of content calendars is that it will keep your team focused on the assignment. With this, it is very easy for the theme to determine what will be their focus for a particular period of time. They can now work on how these goals can be achieved. This will greatly achieve team members to achieve their stated goals.
Furthermore, having a content calendar will allow key dates for functional messaging and topical personality content. It will allow the organisation to align all their social media platforms so that there can be uniformity when it comes to what is being posted on all the social media platforms.
All good content calendars will include five key elements which cover the who, what, where, when and how of your content?
- Copy: the text or narrative that goes with your post (be mindful that some platforms like Twitter have character limits so you’ve to be more succinct) this also allows you to sense check grammar and typos
- Creative: the image, video, gif, poll or format that accompanies your copy
- Theme: who this content is for, what purpose, pain point or audience interest is this content serving. This reminds you to stay on track and be relevant!
- Date/Time: when the post is being published and how long it’s being promoted for. Be sure to include relevant time zones, daylight savings, bank holidays and any other vital notes in relation to time.
- Platform: how the content is being published and where e.g. via Facebook Scheduler on Friday at 8am.
#1 Plan for the month
in order to have a good content marketing strategy in place, you have to make sure that you plan for the entire month. This will give you another ample time for the implementation of all the plans that you have. It also ensures that you don’t spend the whole month planning without implementation.
#2 Create a simple spreadsheet
There is a need for you to create a simple spreadsheet that covers all your plans. This spreadsheet might also contain a copy of all the contents that you plan to post across all social media platforms. You just copy and paste from there to your media platforms.
#3 Add much details
in posting your contents, you need to ensure that you include as many details as possible. When you are detailed about your contents and its implementation, it will allow whoever that will implement those plans to have enough details that he needs in order to implement those plans effectively.
#4 Edit and amend
After you might have published your content calendar, you need to continue to review it so that it can be in tune with the reality on ground. At times , you may need to send it to your team and try and get their input. This will ensure that you carry everyone along as you move on with the plan.
Aligning your content calendar with business activities is key. Consistency and alignment across your social channels with any consumer-facing messaging will add continuity and a brand narrative for users that is easy to follow regardless of whichever touchpoint they come into contact with you.
Key considerations would be:
- Your business priorities and timelines including any new products or promotions
- Any PR, Above the Line advertising or Marketing activities
- Sponsorship of any description from your business
- In-store promotions
- Time of year you’re seeding your content to obtain relevancy. Consider the time of year your content is being seeded and the content needs of your audience at any particular times for a way of accessing their need state, e.g. at Christmas party invitations template, topics like gifting ideas and festive recipes are popular with B2C audiences online.
Content calendars can be weekly or monthly spreadsheets. The best practice is to embed any creative e.g. images or stills from videos into the spreadsheet. Timings paid support, target audience and target channel are all worth including.
Designing a calendar template:
- Plotting out how your content themes will spread across the month
- Seeking input from all stakeholders
- Creating the content: imagery, video, text
- Plotting paid support where necessary
Another helpful feature is to keep a rolling spreadsheet and create a new template for each week or month. This will help keep content in the same place for easy reference.
Before creating your content calendar, it’s important to identify stakeholders for input of ideas, thoughts and recommendations on content. This will lead to a more rounded calendar and prevent potential future issues by allowing for:
- Accurate reflection of the business: content marketing should be fully representative of the full business
- Assistance in content ideas: never under-estimate the valuable input of colleagues in other areas of the business
- Easier approval flows: for internal sign-off
Content calendars should allow the inclusion of:
- An in-house editorial team of stakeholders
üCustomer Service, PR/Comms, Advertising, IT, Legal & Compliance, Product Business, Marketing, Digital / Social Media, Mobile, Web team, Sales
- Client (if applicable)
- Creative Team
- Media / Investors (if applicable)
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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