Creating a content calendar

Digital Marketing for your business

What is the purpose of a content calendar and how can it save you time and stress? In this module learn about five big questions you need to answer to create a content calendar.

Key learning outcomes:

  • Understand your client better
  • Understand the problem and answer your content is addressing
  • Developing and distributing content
  • Understanding which platforms suit your purpose

Video Presentation: Creating a content calendar

Creating a content calendar

Hi folks, Tracy Sheen, the digital guide here, how you doing? Hope you're having a fabulous day. We are chatting about content calendars today, but hang in there before we go down that rabbit hole. Let me tell you a little bit about why I'm presenting this topic.

So I started working with content. Sounds funny. Doesn't it. I started working with content when I was five, five. I first delivered on the stage of the opera house. Yes. When I was five years old. Hmm. I could kind of say that from there, my life's gone downhill. How many people that you know, could say that their life peaks at five, but anyway, uh, I've been a copywriter.

I have written articles. I've produced used content. I've done a lot of different stuff around. Content as a big bubble for the last 30 years. Content could be anything from audio. So I worked in radio for a while. I'm also known as one of Australia's podcast pioneers. So I'm a judge for the Australian podcast awards and also help people develop their own podcast.

I've been a writer for the last 15-20 years. I'm in the middle of offering my second book. This one's called the end of technophobia and I've written for some fairly major publications for small business owners. I do video content like this, and I have daily digital tips that go out. So content can be kind of anything really.

What is content?

It can be images. It can be video, it can be audio, it can be texts. It can be the infographics and the point of today's conversation, I'm getting the hang in content calendars. So one of the big things when I'm working with people is they kind of say to me, all right, so I've got to produce content. I get it. But how and where, and like, what do I do with it and how do I get it out there and how do I not end up spending hours and hours and hours and hours just creating content.

And I get it. We can all spend far too much time just creating content for our business if we're not careful. So let's get started. So there's a guy called Leo Burnett who had an advertising agency and he really had this great line. That's what helps people helps business. And that's the why I think of content. So for the next little while that we're chatting. I want you to start to think about content as a way for you to help your people, whether it's new clients coming in potential clients, maybe it's people that are just starting their research on your particular topic.

Five questions to think about when creating a content calendar

But if you think about the content that you're creating, as a way to help people. I will guarantee you, it will help your business. Now it's a bit like the Pantene ad. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. So we're going to chat about how we actually go about creating content calendars. Now there's five big questions. Got it. Five big questions that I need you to think about when you're going to create your content calendar.

1. Who is your client?

Now the first one. Who's your client. Now, this might sound kind of easy, but I'm talking about spending some time with some butchers paper, some pretty colored pens, maybe looking at your current client list and really thinking about who's your ideal client.

We're all working with people that are maybe. Let's be nice, paying the bills, but maybe they're not the people we really want to work with. So we've got to have a couple of different lists of clients. Who's our ideal client. Like if we had a bullseye in the middle of, and I really hoped Tim, doesn't super impose a bull's eye over me right now.

But, you know, cause he can. But if we're talking about bullseye's, who's that person who's yeah. That client right in the middle of the bullseye that you would like to be working with, it would be your absolute dream client. And I want you to get crystal. Clear on who that is. Are they male? Are they female?

Are they twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties. Have they got kids? Have they, um, got a career of a C-suite you know, like a CEO or a CFO or a CMO, or are they self employed? Did they live in the country that they live? Metro, what kind of car do they drive? What do they watch? What do they read?

What do they listen to now? Why is all of this important? Because if you know who your ideal client is, and you can get into their head, you can create the type of content that they will find engaging. So when you have a look through your content list and I would highly encourage you to do so, although not now, because you know, we're having a moment, but when you look through your client list, I want you to think about who are the ones that you're working with now that you really love working with and write some details about them.

So you can start to get clear on what it is that they have in common. Comes on a slide. Why are you doing that? Spend a bit of time and write down some details around the people that let's be frank you've probably taken on because you need the cash or. You need the cash. So think about what they have in common.

Are they, you know, do they suck the time out of you? Because they've always got just one more question or can I have five minutes of your time? Or, you know, what are the things about those people that make them. You know, lovely that they've helped your business out financially, but you would rather work with these people over here.

So the first thing you need to do is get really, really crystal clear on who your clients are. Here's another really neat thing that happens when you do that. If you can talk to the bullseye. So let's say my ideal client is Tim. I'm just giving them so many plugs outlets. I media. Now, if I know Tim is my ideal client, I can have a photo of Tim, name or representation. Maybe I draw a little stick figure and call it Tim, and put a hat on it. I'm not an accurate representation, but if you have that photo up every time I go to write the content for Tim, I know I'm just having a conversation with Tim. Now. Here's the thing. If I'm writing that content for Tim, guess what's going to happen.

Anyone in the surrounds that wants a business like Tim's is going to radiate to that content because. Hi, she works with Tim. Tim's got the type of business that I want. I want to work with her because she's gotten Tim to where I want to be. So do you see the point he'll thing able to talk to the bullseye?

So very first thing you need to do. I like to do it with big sticky notes on my wall. Lots of different colored pens, and really kind of just get into the moment and think about, you know, what it is about that client. And what I really know about them. And really at that point, no topic is too trivial.

What kind of car do they drive? What do they watch? What do they read? Do they watch project? Are they an ABC person? Do they listen to podcasts? They watch videos. You know, what is it that they do get to know them? Get inside their heads.

2. What is your client's problem?

Number one, who's the client. Number two. What's the problem? So what's the problem? What's keeping Tim from aONE Media awake at night. Is it that he's just moved into a new building and there's some stuff going on? Is it that, you know, COVID is knocked out his base? Is it that he wants to diversify? is it that he's got a Margaret from HR breathing down his neck, that's a running gag. You're going to have to watch the other ones to understand what's going on there, but you need to know what's really driving Tim, looking around at what you're doing to be able to talk to his problem.

Now, one of the really neat things that you need to understand about creating content is you need to talk to the problem. In copywriting it's often called agitating. The problem you need to be able to identify with Tim that, Hey, I get it. You're awake at 3:00 AM. Worried about how to pay the bills, because you've just gone into this new building. I get it. I've been there. You need to be able to identify with them. So when they're reading it, they go, Oh my God, she gets it. I totally want to work with, uh, It happens. It's all subconscious, right? It's all this loud. We were stuff, but it works. So who's the client. What's the problem.

3. What do we do and how does it help our clients?

The third thing you need to think about is what's the answer? What do you do that is so different to everybody else? Now, there was a client that I was working with was trying to think when they were, but they ran a dairy farm in Tazzy. And they used to do this thing that every other dairy farm did, but nobody was talking about it. So we made a big deal about it. And guess what? They started to build a whole tribe of people wanting to know about this particular thing that goes on in the dairy farm.

Now I'm not saying your solution needs to be unique to the industry. Cause it might be something that every single person does, but if nobody else is talking about it, it convey your thing. So don't just go, Oh, it's my customer service. It's amazing. Well, I, you know, I grew up behind on the counter of a general store in Northern new South of Wales.

My father used to sing too. Yeah. I had that father like that, I can see you rolling your eyes seriously that. I know. Thank you. So everybody that came in my dad would start singing to them. So. That was kind of this weird little kind of half creepy hot, depending on the age group, half kind of cool thing that was going on around town that started to get spoken about.

So people would start to come to our general store just to say and get this. My Dad’s name is Sheen. Right? So for those of you old enough, Mr. Sheen, and he like is bold with the glasses. Yeah. And it was that age group. So everybody would come into the store just so mr. Sheen could sing to them. So is it that you do with them in your customer service or within your solution?

You know, if you're an accountant and you say I work with small businesses. That's great. Do you work with small businesses that specializes in trades. So I'm the small business account that only works with plumbing. Fantastic. We can work with that. Think about what that thing is that you want to be known for, that makes you special with your clients.

So number one, Who's your client, number two, what's their problem. Now they may have more one problem. So kind of, you know, work that through. Think about what they are. Number three, what's your solution. Do you notice when, not even at the content calendar bit yet, because you know, that comes once. You've got your content nailed and once, you know, who are you speaking to what their problems are, what your solution is or what your answer is, number four, then you can start to figure out, well, what's the content, what am I going to create?

Right. If you know who your client is and you know what their problems are, if you can list their top 10 problems, there's 10 pieces of content you can go and write right now. You're welcome. I could take my mic off now, and walk away. It's about writing to what your clients need, or maybe it's about creating audio to what your clients need.

Maybe it's about creating video to what your clients need. Maybe it's about creating infographics. My suggestion is it's about creating all of that stuff over a period of time. So. There's a thing that happens in business. You might have heard of it. It's called frequently asked questions. They're frequently asked questions for a reason because we ask them a lot, write them down.

There's the best place to start with your content and create your frequently asked questions in every single different way that you can think about. So whenever somebody rings and says, you know, what are your opening hours? You can get it. That's a great question. I written a blog on that and send it to them or, Hey, I've got an audio file.

I'm going to send it to you or, Hey, I've got a video. I'm going to send it to you. You can write, record or create the same piece of content at least five or six different ways. So you're not having to constantly create different sorts of stuff. So again, we're not even at the calendar stage yet. We're just starting to build up this massive of stuff. That's going to engage our clients. We don't know what to create. If we don't know who it is that we're trying to attract.

4. How are you going to create the content?

So, number one, we need to know who the client is. Number two, we need to know what their problem or problems are. Number three, we need to know what we do and how that helps them. And number four is we need to know what's the content.

So how are we going to create that stuff that answers the question? The fifth one is then what's the platforms. Now this is where we start to talk about the calendars, but not, yes. So just hanging so platforms, if we've got audio. If we've got video, if we got written content, we need to have a few different platforms.

Now, there was a really cool piece of research done by Google back in 2011, that's still relevant today. I urge you to Google it. See when I did there. it's called ZMOT zero moment of truth. Now what Google figured out is 7, 11, 4.

Four platforms, seven hours, eleven touch points. So you need to have enough content. Written blogs, social media, quotes, infographics, videos, or audio, whatever that is, you need to have enough content that people can come in from different avenues and find you and have their problems answered in a way that speaks to them before they will buy with you.

5. What platforms are you going to utilise?

So if you know who your client is, if you know what their problems are, if you know what your solution is, if you know how you're going to create that content. And if you know, then what platforms you're going to use now we can start to build a content calendar you with me. So if you're going to do video, you need a YouTube channel.

Google owns YouTube. They love video. If you're going to do audio, you need some kind of audio host. If you're going to do written content, you need to put that onto a blog on your website. You need to know your clients to know what social media platforms they're hanging out on. Please don't go and join tic talk if you're working with the grey nomads. Not gonna work, please don't go and join Linkedin if you're working with 13 to 16 year olds not going to work. You need to know where your people are here, hanging out, which is getting back to number one, know your client. You need to know where your people are hanging out in order to create the types of content and put it on the platforms that they're hanging out on.

Now, one of the big questions that I get asked around social media is can I share the same content just from my Facebook to my Instagram. Yes, you can. Don't do it. Why? Because if somebody's checking you out, chances, are they jumping from one platform to another they're kind of bunny hopping on the day.

So yes, you can use the same content. Just don't do it on the same day. So if I'm creating a little content calendar all I'm going to do, and this is trademark. No, seriously. Go and do it yourself. Get a piece of paper, draw some grids. Like you're going to play battleship. I really am very old aren’t I? So create some grids and write your different platforms down.

Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, whatever they are. Ah, and then think about the content that you're creating blog, infographic, video, whatever it is that you're comfortable with and just start to plug it in. So if we're talking about a frequently asked questions as an example, then we may have 10 frequently asked questions.

And if you've decided that, Hey, I can write a blog on that. Yep. I can definitely record a quick audio grab on that and grab your iPhone.

You know what I mean? So, or Android? But I live in Apple universe. So don't grab your Android cause I can't help you. So get your phone out. You're going to record it. You're going to record it and you're going to write about it then, you know, you've got now Facebook, you've got blog, you've got a YouTube channel and you've got some bit of audio.

So now all I'm doing on my little grid is going okay. So I'm going to release that frequently asked question number one on YouTube on Monday. And I'm going to share it as a blog on the first Wednesday of every month. And I'm going to share it to my Facebook page on Friday. Perfect. We've now got the start of a content calendar.

We want to plugin stuff that's going to happen day to day. So, Moreton Bay has a big tourism expo or something, or a big, small business expo, then we want to be making sure that we're talking about that in the lead up. So, Hey guys, we're going to be at the small business expo on insert date at insert place. We want to make sure in the lead up to that event, that we're talking about that, and we're putting it into our calendar. So we know how many times we're talking about it.

If you've created a blog or a video, here's a real handy trick. Don't just share it once and put it in the drawer. It's on the third share that you will get the most views. I don't know why it just is like, I can't even begin to tell you why, but in 30 years of doing this, I can tell you over and over and over again, it's on the third time I share that blog or that video or that audio podcast episode, that it will get the most shares, the most views, the most listens.

So if you release your blog on the first Wednesday of every month, maybe on the third Thursday of every month, you're going to share the blog from two months ago. I got, Hey guys, you might know, might not have seen this. Just want to make sure or that, you know, you've caught up with, you know, this thing that we're doing now, which is really cool.

So you have repeat offenders then in terms of your content that you can share, and depending on your frequently asked questions, you may need to update them every six or 12 months if you've released a new product or a new service that creates a whole raft of new content as well.

Well, so your content calendar does not have to be. Anything more daunting, then an Excel spreadsheet or a word document, or a piece of paper with some grids, your plot forms that you plan on using, YouTube, websites, social media, you know, whatever they are, the types of content that you plan on using. So let's say our five frequently asked questions, right? Write them down and then plug them in. That's it that's a content calendar. Do you know how many people spend tens of thousands of dollars going to a university to figure that like out, just do that. It's really, really quite simple and don't get caught up in, Oh, I have to really so much content per week rubbish.

Here's the thing, your social media, any platform you use for your social media? If you are not paying to play, as in, you're not running Facebook ads, or you're not doing a LinkedIn advertising or whatever, the chances of your content being seen organically is less than 3% on Facebook. So if you have a hundred people that follow your Facebook page, Less than three people, unless they're engaged are going to see that post.

So don't be afraid to ratio your content, then seeing it. They're not getting bored with it. Just don't share it on the same day across the different platforms. It gives you a bunch of extra stuff to work with. So really simple grid. Allows you to then start mapping out and figuring out what days are giving you the best responses. So if you can't commit to posting everyday on Facebook that's okay. Cut yourself some Slack. If the only thing you were doing in businesses, creating content, then you probably wouldn't be doing the business that you're doing. So you need to cut yourself some slack, give yourself maybe an hour at the start of the week to forward plan, everything that you're going to do for that coming week. I'll have a look at the local calendar. See what's coming up, have a look at the national calendar is a really handy one to stay plugged into. It gives you all of the national events that are happening for that week or that month for the coming month.

So it allows you to talk about stuff that's not directly related to your business. But allows people, a sneak peek behind the curtain to get to know your personality a little bit more, give you an example. So my dad, Remember Mr. Sheen, the guy that you succinct to, everybody that came into the general store, right?

So he's had two strokes. So every time the national stroke rate comes up. Yeah. I talk a little bit about stroke awareness and what it means now, does that have anything to do with the digital marketing agency or the work that I do? Absolutely not. What it does do is let you know that I am affiliated with and have family members that have suffered from strokes. And I think it's a nice thing to talk about. So don't be frightened to let people know what you connect with outside of work. You can use that national calendar as a nice way to plug some gaps in your content calendar after you've marked out your big kind of, you know, marbles that you want to do so to speak.

So after you've put in, all right, I've got my blog, I've got my video, I've got my, whatever I'm going to do. You can start peppering throughout the week or throughout the month. Some other stuff that's happening on the local or the national calendar.

Creating a content calendar - wrap up

So that's it. Let's recap. Number one, who's the client, get to know your ideal clients, speak to the bullseye. Imagine I'm having a conversation with Tim from aONE media. I'm just going to chat to him like I would at any time. And that's the way my content is going to come across.

Number two, what's the problems what's keeping them awake at 3:00 AM. What do they want? To get solved in their business, that makes them the hero of the story.

Number three, what's the solution that you offer that will solve Tim's problems. Another tip on that when it comes to creating the solution, you're not the hero. You're the guide. Why do you think I call myself the digital guide. It's not about me being the hero. It's about helping Tim solve his problem, so he can go on to bigger and better things. Make the client the hero of your content and your story. So one who's the client too. What's the problem? Three. What's the solution. For what's the content. So once you know who they are, what their problems are and what your solution is, you'll know what sort of content they like and you'll know what sort of content you like creating, and you can go forth and create that style of content.

Then number five, what's the platforms, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn blog, whatever it is, and plug that into just a grid sheet and fill in the blanks with a bit of personality.

So my challenge to you is this, spend some time and work out who is your bullseye? Who's your ideal client. Go through those five steps, work out who your client is.

What they let's stop the top three problems. And if you don't, I don't know what they are. You need to find out because your marketing is going to be kind of bouncing off all over the place and not hitting the mark if you don't actually know what the problem is. So what that out, spend the time getting those first few things, right?

The client, the problem, the solution, and then you can start to work out what type of content are you enjoying, creating and create a grid and plug your content calendar in. Just on a piece of paper or in a word document. It's as simple as that have fun with it. Inject a little personality, don't be frightened to let people behind the curtain.

People buy from people have fun. I've been Tracy Sheen, the digital guide you've been you. Thank you so much for watching. I'd love to see the content calendars bye for now.

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