So, what is a content calendar, and how do you create one that’s effective for a service business?
A content calendar is a strategic schedule of the marketing content you plan to create and publish.
It will include a combination of content that provides value to your audience to build credibility and trust, and content that promotes your business and the services you sell.
Typically, a content calendar will include the following:
A content calendar can also be referred to as a marketing calendar or a social media content calendar.
However, it’s important to note that a content calendar is NOT a complete marketing plan.
Instead, it’s only a part of your marketing plan and contains just the schedule of activities you’ll be implementing.
Firstly, the content within your marketing calendar must be closely related to the services you want to sell.
This approach will ensure that you’re attracting qualified leads from people who are most likely to become clients.
Also, a content calendar needs to strategically align to the key marketing objectives for your service business.
For example, your content needs to match any promotions or campaigns you’re running to grow.
So, if you were running a promotion to promote your signature service package, then the content you publish at that time needs to align to a topic that would resonate with the type of clients who would buy the service.
To help you get started with creating your content calendar, I’ve outlined five simple content planning steps for you to follow in the blog post below:
I recommend choosing one primary type of core content to start with when it comes to content creation.
This content could be written, such as a blog. Or audio, such as a podcast. Or visual, such as a video series.
It’s much easier to create content when you play to your strengths, so choose a content format that you enjoy producing.
Also, consider what type of content your ideal clients may prefer or find easiest to consume.
For example, suppose you’re sharing something that is complex or technical.
It may be better to present it in a written or visual way instead of audio, where it could be challenging to understand.
Once you’ve chosen your core content, consider how this content could be re-purposed or re-produced in other formats.
As an example, could you re-use your core content (I.e. blog post) to publish social media posts about:
In addition to the content that provides value for your audience, also consider how you can include your promotional content.
The type of content that’s effective in promoting a service business includes:
RELATED: 15 Types of content marketing you can use to stand out online
Now that you’ve chosen what type of content you’re going to create, you’ll need to decide on the content pillars (topics) you’ll write or speak on.
To ensure that your content is structured and remains close to the niche that you specialise in, I recommend choosing 5 – 8 content pillars only.
To provide an example, if you were an Interior Designer, your content pillars might include things such as – Bathroom Design, Kitchen Design, Living Room Design, Colour Tips, Home Decorating, and Space Planning.
It may feel like your content will become repetitive and perhaps boring if you write or speak about the same things repeatedly.
However, this repetition is actually a good thing when it comes to marketing.
You’ll become more memorable by repeatedly talking or writing about the same topics, and you’ll be positioning yourself as an expert in your niche.
The Google search engine will also start to recognise that your website contains in-depth content on a particular niche area which will help your search engine ranking.
RELATED: How to write a content marketing plan for a service business
If you’ve decided to create a blog, your website is the best place to publish this content.
Because each time you add a blog to your site, you’re adding more SEO keywords and increasing the likelihood of your website being found by your ideal clients.Each time you add a blog to your site, you're adding more SEO keywords and increasing the likelihood of your website being found by your ideal clients. #seomarketing #blogging Click To Tweet
You may also want to consider some other blogging platforms from time to time to increase your reach.
These other platforms could include media publishing sites or referral partner sites where you could get featured as a guest author/blogger.
If you’ve produced a video series, you’ll likely want to publish this on your website and YouTube to maximise your reach.
And if you’ve produced a podcast, you’ll want your episode show notes also published on your website.
And on the Spotify and Apple platforms, as they already have an audience there searching for podcasts to listen to.
Once you’ve decided on your main content channel, consider what other marketing channels you have available to reach your audience.
These marketing channels could include your email list and the various social media platforms where you have a following.
To begin with, I recommend preparing your content schedule in a 90-day block, as this is a standard timeframe used by many marketers.
It provides you with a forward view of what’s coming up but is not too long that it doesn’t enable you some flexibility to adapt and adjust if you need to, based on the results you achieve.
There are various ways to map out your content calendar and several tools you can use to make the process easier.
You can start with something as simple as an excel spreadsheet or use an online productivity tool like Asana or Trello.
To keep things simple, in the steps below, I explain how to set up your content calendar in an excel spreadsheet:
I also have a few tips and points to note with this final step:
The last stage in creating your content calendar is to continuously look at your insights and data to inform you on what to publish.
If you notice a specific type of post that gets lots of engagement, try to create similar content.
Your content calendar will continuously evolve as your business grows and you capture more insights to inform your content strategy.
When you follow these steps, your content calendar will be created strategically and align more closely with your business goals.
A strategic content calendar will also help you improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and activities.
Well, that’s where I can help!
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