If you’ve been creating content for a while for a particular brand (or your own), you might desperately need some content planning tips and tricks and run into a creative block. No, not our awesome podcast Creative Block, although you should totally check that out if you haven’t. A real creative block, where you are staring at a blank content calendar pulling out your hair and cursing the content gods that have abandoned you. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but tons of creatives have found themselves in such a position, and chances are if it has happened once, it will happen again.
Fortunately, there are a few content planning tips and tricks to help turn that blank page of torment into a goldmine of great ideas. Here are a few content planning tips and tricks to make your 2017 easier and more successful!
Make the Old New Again
One of the best tips we can give on content planning is to take old content and do something new with it. For example, we recently decided to create videos for old blog posts. Repurposing on old content has a number of benefits. For one thing, there is a chance that not all of your audience saw the content the first time. For another, adding something new to old content creates additional value.
Speaking about video…
Incorporate Video into Your Content!
Video didn’t just kill the radio star; it also killed the traditional content calendar. If your calendar is social post into blog post into social post repeated down the page, you need to break up the text with some video. Video is excellent content and is almost inexcusable to have missing from your regular marketing efforts. A good video should tell a story and be engaging. Furthermore, video content can inspire a whole slew of additional marketing efforts. Continue the story started in a video on a blog, in a Snapchat story, on Twitter, or wherever your audience is.
Hey! That’s another great segue!
Great Content Doesn’t Mean a Thing without Your Audience
This, to me, is still one of the cardinal rules of content marketing: are you putting content on the channels where your audience is? Social media is a lot like Game of Thrones, as networks that seemed untouchable rise and fall. While few networks completely die off—what is dead may never die, after all—there is much to be said about posting great content on a network that your audience has moved on from. Sometimes, considering what networks you are posting to can influence and shape your content calendar. For example, I would not try posting blog posts for some of our clients on LinkedIn because it doesn’t make sense for them.
No sweet transition this time, so here’s the next point!
Be Experimental, Be Genuine, But Be Purposeful
There is much to be said about being creative. We are and it’s great. However, we here at 2930 Creative always create content with a purpose and in line with our branding (or our clients’ branding). The advice of “be genuine” gets thrown around a lot by marketers, but a lot of brands conflate being genuine with being weird and quirky. And maybe that is you, in which case, that’s awesome! However, do not just post quirky videos of you pranking officemates if you want your brand image to be professional. Every piece of content should have a purpose. This last year, we started experimenting with Facebook Live, which you can catch on Wednesdays. We joke around and have fun on it, but at the same time, the content is really about tips for marketers, news around the marketing industry, and trends and development in our industry. We put a good veneer of humor on it, but like a good Shakespearean play, our Facebook Live operates on multiple levels: to both entertain and educate.
Have a High Level Strategy Conversation
If you stick with one account for too long, you might find yourself creating content just for content’s sake. That is not good. One of the best ways to feel refreshed on an account is to take a step back and look at the overall goals. What does the brand want to accomplish? How are you going about accomplishing those goals? What is working? What isn’t? Look at your analytics instead of just going off your gut feeling as well. You will be surprised at how much a top-level evaluation can help you refocus your content planning and inspire new ideas. For instance, at 2930 Creative we regularly make sure that the content we produce for our clients are in line with our clients’ goals. We even had a 2017 kickoff meeting for our own brand to evaluate what we were doing, what was working, and what we wanted to try to start the year. It’s always a good idea to look at the bigger picture if you are feeling lost in your content planning or even if things are going well!
Create a Series
Oftentimes, people think of content as one-off pieces. Content is not the singles chart on iTunes. Instead, it should be a quality classic rock album, with each “track” able to stand on its own but work coherently as a whole. Look at Led Zeppelin II if you need an example. When you’re writing a blog post, consider what other blog posts you can write that stem off of this idea. What ideas should you explore next? What questions are left unanswered? Can you take a tangent and expand it into its own blog post? (And when you do all that, you should be sure you’re linking and referring back to the blog posts or other relevant pieces of content).
We hope these tips helped you with your content planning. We understand that it can be difficult to put together a content calendar worthy of your brand, but a successful and coherent content calendar is a roadmap to your brand’s success. If you need help with your content, 2930 Creative can help! Give us a call or send us an email today and we will help you with your content planning for 2017 and beyond.