I am back again on the content treadmill, it always happens are we move swiftly towards the end of another quarter…and another year! In particular, I am starting to think about what might work in 2020.
I am very lucky in that I am quite an ‘ideas person’. They might not always be good ideas!!! But I am never short of an opinion or suggestion – I don’t quite know where they all come from and sometimes it can be really hard to separate the good ideas from the bad ones, and put them in some kind of order to make them the most effective.
One suggestion for overcoming this is to group ideas in to topics or more broadly a ‘focus’. Think about it…if you choose a monthly focus then you only have to think of 12 topics to cover an entire year!!!
How to identify a monthly focus
Your content should work hard for your business. There is no point spending time on it otherwise. As discussed before, with all content, consider your ‘audience, purpose and value’ A monthly focus is fantastic for driving forward a purpose.
If you are really struggling for any ideas, then start with a trusty brainstorm. Think all about your business right now and also your goals and aspirations for next year. Consider everything and anything related to your business and get it down on paper.
With your brainstorm as a starting point, there are then three further things to think about as you start to assign a ‘focus’ to each month:
1) What’s happening in certain months or on specific dates? – is there a very relevant national/international day; a specific holiday or anniversary that is happening? This may dictate what you choose to focus on and when. Consider how you can tie this to your business. It is much better to prepare for these things, than try to jump on the ‘bandwagon’ when they come to your attention up.
2) Where are your trying to drive sales? – This is what marketing and content is ultimately all about – identifying ways to drive sales so where can your content help? Have you got certain products or services that you want to sell more of and do they have a natural ‘seasonal advantage’, therefore would they be good to focus on in a particular month?
3) What are your goals? Consider your content goals – if one of them is to increase your number of Facebook followers, for example, why not have a month of focussing on engagement. Focus on sharing your posts. Perhaps pay for a boosted post. In my experience this doesn’t necessarily lead to direct sales immediately, but it does lead to an increase in likes. Create posts asking for your followers to invite their friends. Be inventive!
With these things in mind, you should be able to start plotting a focus for each month of 2020 (see my free downloadable table below for a template).
Make sure it isn’t boring
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, so once you’ve chosen an area, topic and goal to focus on, consider different content styles you can put to good use. Remember if you decide to pick a certain product or service, this doesn’t mean that you only create content and posts about this product.
It’s about focussing on a topic and then creating exciting content around it. So, for example, you may decide to run a promotion on that product, so you’ll need relevant social media posts and perhaps an email to tell people about that. You may write a blog on that product in comparison with others or as part of a discussion or case study on how you use it, or perhaps share the special process you use to create it. Your goal is likely to be to increase the sales of that product during the month, so think of ways you can drive people to your website (or wherever they purchase) – remind people about your website and add links to relevant pages.
A focus doesn’t have to be product or service based either. It may be that you want to offer a little insight in to your business, reintroduce your team for example. This is absolutely fine. Think about fun and interesting ways to do this across all of your digital media platforms. You may want to use videos, photographs, diary entries, vlogs, blogs…the possibilities are numerous!
Why focus on one thing?
You may be wondering, “Why focus on one thing? Shouldn’t I ‘sprinkle’ all of this throughout the year”– the simple answer is, “Yes, absolutely…but you won’t!” … I am a realist and whilst I have good intentions to mix up what I offer…when I am sat on a Monday trying to help clients with a week of content having a ‘go to’ focus is so much easier!
It helps with forward planning – for example, if I know I am having a ‘Blog Starter’ focus in February then even now I can look out for interesting articles, quizzes, etc., to share. If I see something, I can save it and know I’ll have a little stash of back up content ready for February. It is much easier than sitting down to do some research at the beginning of February and pciking any old thing because I am rushed and know I need to get something…anything…out!
Giving you time to prepare your content will help you create better content.
The other reason a monthly focus can work really well is that is gives you another dimension to your analytics. If you decide to focus on a different service, product (or group of products) every other month, for example, you could compare how well each ‘campaign’ goes. See what works well.
You also don’t have to completely ignore your regular content. For example, you may often post about your opening times or contact information or I offer a ‘Word Wednesday’ or ‘Tuesday Tip’…however, even these can be made more exciting by using your monthly focus.
Free monthly content template
Download this really easy to use table to get your 2020 content planning off to a great start. Start plotting important dates and days, in the relevant month, and picking a focus. Consider how you can reflect this across all of your digital marketing. It really will help your content creation to be more focussed and less of a struggle throughout next year.
Any questions, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org