Must-Have, Small Business Content Marketing Resolution for 2014

. . . in 3 steps.

Since the psychologists insist that any New Year’s resolution must be achievable, defined and limited, I have a good one for you:  The Content Calendar.  Don’t vow to blog every day or do a video of your service calls. Just start with the calendar. 1. Get a Content Marketing Calendar, otherwise known as a Planner

small business content calendar
Yep. As simple as this inexpensive planner.
For $10, I got a nice 2014 planner from Walmart not only for my clients, but for myself. As much as I burn up the computer keyboard, pen to paper works better for me in key situations. Pen to paper slows me down, making me more creative and reflective about what my audience would find the most meaningful and useful . . . two polestars of quality content. IMG_20140121_163429_848 Feel free to create your calendar on an Excel spreadsheet, a WordPress Plug in, a Google Calendar or any number of other calendar “apps.” I’m sticking with my paper and pencil for now.  (OK! Yes I am OVER 40, so I have a predilection for my childhood communication methods!) Step 2:  Fill the Content Marketing Calendar Up This is where many small business owners get stuck. Get out of your own idea quicksand by theming each day of the week. Here’s how I did it for my small business content marketing business.  Feel free to rip these right off and modify them for your industry.
  • Motivational Monday:  Good Quotes & Stats about Small Business Success and Content Marketing  (FB, G+, TW, IN)
  • Takeaway Tuesday:  Best Take-Away from a small business content marketing article  (FB, G+, TW, IN)
  • Wednesday: What’s Working in Small Business Internet Marketing Now. In other words, short case studies about what’s really working behind the scenes at Informed Web Content [BLOG post announced on FB, G+, TW, IN
  • Hot, Fresh Quality Content News Thursday:  Where I relate what’s going on in the Industry and my take on it. [BLOG post announced on FB, G+, IN, TW)
  • Great Content Marketing Example Friday:  Where I share examples of small businesses sharing their content through multiple channels well.  See my post on The Content Combo Meal: Site Sales Pages + Blog Posts + Email + Social  (FB, G+, IN, TW)

From the List above, you’ll see that I have 2 blog posts coming out weekly, but you can probably get away with 1. What could you have for each day?

Monday:  _________________________________

Tuesday:  _________________________________

Wednesday:  _________________________________

Thursday: _________________________________

Friday: _________________________________

Still stuck? Envision your ideal client’s biggest issues in the space the two of you share. Steal my “themes.”

  • Monday:  motivation
  • Tuesday:  good resources
  • Wednesday: inside info from your business they can learn from
  • Thursday: your take on industry news so they don’t make common mistakes
  • Friday:  good examples of products/services like yours in action so they can flesh out their own goals

Whether you are a carpet cleaner, an attorney, an ecommerce site selling specialized t-shirts or an organic farm, you can provide your clients with helpful, interesting or entertaining motivation in 2 – 3 hours per week with this “brand journalism” or content marketing plan.  Remember to get your ideal keywords in blog post titles, headlines and text (yes, still, but I stick to 1.5% and use lots of synonyms.) Get guidance on using keywords at my “Where to Put Keywords in Pages and Posts.”   Now you have your 5 themes or “buckets.” Write those at the top of each day on your calendar’s first week of January. Since it has already passed, you have lots of room! Step 3: Write in the Calendar:

  • Your business’ anniversary
  • When your new products or services come out
  • When your marketing campaigns roll out

Circle all holidays and first day of seasons. Now consider what your clients need in your industry based on events and time of the year. For instance, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m going to focus on how small businesses can create offers for Valentine’s Day, despite their industry. My nutritional therapy client needs to hustle out a healthy, roasted-vegetable-laden dinner for two.  My in home senior care business should write a blog post about getting grandpa or grandma to share their most romantic evening. My canine massage therapy client (yes, I have one) should write about the best local trails for romantic walks where dogs are allowed. Put on the forefront what’s going on in your CLIENTS’ lives.  Solve THEIR pain points, month by month, season by season. Provide the insider information to MEET their NEEDS in the space you share. For the winter of 2014: Accountants can focus on doc organization for tax filing and write posts like:

  • Tax Prep Count Down:  Docs to Find and Organize in February.
  • Reminder List of Investment and Bank Statements You’ll Submit in April
  • 2014 Quarterly Business Statement Changes You Need for March Filing

Veterinarians:

  • Common Pet Injuries We See After Super Bowl Parties;
  • Does Your Dog Really Need Booties When Walking in Snow?
  • Exercising Your Dog During San Diego’s Rainy Season.

Psychologists:

  • “When You’re Single on Valentine’s Day in San Diego,”
  • “Avoid the Blahs: 6 Ways to Put Pizazz in Your Winter.”
  • “January: Embracing the Blessing of De-Compression.”

All of these have been written and re-written, yes, BUT NOT BY YOU. Your clients trust YOU and they want YOUR take on all of these topics! Get the dates down first and THEN start brainstorming relevant, optimized posts one month at a time, always thinking “what do they NEED from me during this time?” A little help here?  Give Yourself Permission to Be Overwhelmed at First Informed Web Content can get your results-oriented content marketing strategy on track with a content calendar we create together. We’re happy to write your first blog and social posts so you can learn by example and take it all over eventually yourself or not.  Check out our  quick-starting Social Media Springboard. Connect with us via Facebook Google Plus and Twitter. Our Free Tools page has all kinds of resources for you that get your business’ social media presence up and running. Despite what other social media gurus say, it’s still early in the game for many.  Download our FREE Business Blog Start Up Kit above. Give us a call at 858-248-0667 or contact us today!

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