7 things you need to do BEFORE you start work on your content calendar for 2017

It’s time - the silly season is almost here, so now is the time to get that content calendar of yours sorted for 2017. Today’s blog is the first in a 3 part series on what you need to do to prepare your content marketing strategy for 2017

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Here is my list of 7 things you need review and prepare, prior to putting your content calendar in place

  1. Commit to creating a content calendar first and then tell your partner/work colleagues/children/Personal Trainer or dog. Whoever you tell things too when you want to be accountable - tell them. This needs to be voiced out loud
  2. Review last year’s content that you produced. Didn’t produce any? Well that will make this item really easy to do! Review your Google Analytics and review your most read blog posts over the year. Go into your social media channels and review your best posts, most liked, most commented. Before we dive into a new year, let’s just reflect on what worked this year. Write down all the good stuff that worked, as you will park that for use in 2017. This will take some time to do this properly - so allocate enough time so that you get good data as a result.
  3. Now, think about what activities you know you already have planned for 2017. Think about new product lines, new service offerings, trade shows, field days, conferences, seminars, seasonal activities, time sensitive events for your customers etc. Write down them all as this is going to help fill up your calendar without too much thinking on your part. Work with what you already know to leverage off that. Free up your brain by first focussing on the known, then you will have more energy to be creative in the gaps.
  4. Think about what your customers might want from you. If you are unsure, survey them. Either just send out an email campaign and ask the question or for more involved businesses, send them to a link to a Survey Monkey campaign you create. Drop in a little inducement for completing it (Maybe a raffle with a Christmas gift voucher involved would be good) Include these suggestions into your list of potential content if this is in alignment with your direction.
  5. Can you leverage content from your partners and wider network? Creating content can seem like a pain and the first thing that gets tossed when you are busy. But if you get plans in place and look to utilise the resources of others in your content marketing plans, it can make the entire process much more pleasurable for you
  6. Think about who you are going to allocate this work to & if you are going to do something new. Who on your team will be doing this and when? Will you have extra resources? Is it time to introduce a new channel? What about a new lead magnet and sales funnel? If you don’t have a lead magnet of some kind in your business and then the sales funnel that comes after this optin, then 2017 will be your virgin year!
  7. Review last’s years content calendar process and check to see if you stuck to your plans. If you did, congrats to you. Didn’t have one? Don’t feel too bad, most small business owners don’t, 2017 could be your year to change all of that.