I reckon it’s something else…. Sure, all of these are important but in my experience, none is the biggest barrier. While most businesses can come up with content when they first start their marketing, it’s after a few weeks of sustained engagement with customers and prospects that the cracks start to show…
I can't think what to say next. I don't know how to say it
…yet it is normally only after a period of regular communication that people start to notice it! Why do you think major brands will sponsor TV programmes for months – even years?
The importance of sustained marketing
Marketing is a key function in any business. Just like accounting, HR, production etc., marketing is something that should be an integral part of your business. OK, there will be times when your marketing is higher profile and others when your main focus is on different areas of the business but developing a base level of sustained marketing communication creates a strong platform on which specific campaigns can be built. The mere fact that individual campaigns are built on a platform of regular contact with your market can immediately give them more recognition and impact than if they were disconnected and ad-hoc.
The value of planning
Don’t get me wrong. Regularly creating new content can be challenging, and all too often it is easy to assume that your marketing efforts don’t produce worthwhile results (though real-world engagement rates can be surprising – check out this post) “Allowing things to drift” is, I believe, the number one reason why sustained marketing programmes don’t continue.
I know what it feels like to be faced with a blank screen when you have a newsletter due to be sent out today!
The best solution is to have a plan where you set out what you are going to say and, importantly, why you are going to say it. I know what it feels like to be faced with a blank screen when you have a newsletter due to be sent out today! Not only is this quite stressful, it also puts your focus on getting words written to fill the space rather than thinking about what the point is you are trying to make and how this will reinforce your brand message. Having a ‘Content Calendar’ gives you chance to take time over your articles. Sometimes it is better to write no more than a title and a few headings or bullet points then come back and fill in the gaps later. Planning ahead also makes it easier to get other people to have input in your content or to review and assess what has been written; not just does it read OK but do you make the point you intend?
Build a Content Calendar
Here are 5 simple steps to keeping your content flowing with a Content Calendar
- Draw up your Content Calendar –
- Plan over at least 6 months, preferably 12
- Break your calendar into monthly themes
- Themes should reinforce your proposition/brand
- Write article titles for each theme
- What point do you want to address under each title?
- How does point relate to your proposition/brand?
- Build content from each title
- Make sure you have a beginning, a middle and the end
- Focus on your reader
- Remember it is OK to start an article the come back to it
- Avoid waffle or unnecessary detail
- Review content in light of point and theme
- Does everything tie together?
- Is your key point well made and clear?
- Finish an article then review it after 1-2 days. Are you still happy with it?
Download a Template to get you started: We have prepared a template (in MS Excel format) to help get you started. Feel free to download it to use in your own business.
- Version 1 – Blank Template ready for you to fill in
- Version 2 – Partially Completed Template to give you some ideas
If you need any assistance, please get in touch From now on, you should have well written, relevant things to say ready to engage with your market Your marketing communication will be joined-up and sustainable! Enjoy!