Raise a hand if you feel personally victimized by the overwhelm of creating content for alllll the platforms your online business is on?
One week you’re on top of your game—posting to the ‘gram daily, sending two emails, publishing a blog, and sharing to your Stories—and the next week you’ve completely ghosted your audience.
You’ve heard it time and time again: Creating content is the key to building brand awareness, cultivating connections, generating leads, and, of course, increasing revenue.
It’s one of the ways I built a following and grew my business so quickly.
But how do you go from haphazardly communicating with your audience to consistently sharing content they love and expect?
It’s all about having a plan of action! And if you don’t have one or don’t know how to create one, you need to keep reading.
Today, I’m peeling back the curtain to let you in on my content planning process so you can save time and feel confident about what you’re sharing next week, next month, and even six months from now.
Develop Your Content Pillars
The easiest way to come up with on-brand content to share across your channels is to utilize content pillars or content “buckets.” And if you’re wondering what the heck content pillars are, let me explain: It’s a group of topics or themes that form the foundation of your content strategy. Everything in your business requires a good foundation, or else a single crack can hinder your progress and leave you off-track.
By creating content pillars, you can consistently create value-worthy content your audience will love to read. And more importantly, it’ll keep you aligned with your mission and goals. For example, I focus on four main pillars: marketing, sales, business tips, and passive income.
So the big question is, “How do you determine what your content pillars should be?” Here’s three tips:
Dive Into Your Current Data
There’s nothing worse than walking into a pitch-black room blindly searching for anything to guide you to the light, amiright? If you create a plan without first looking at what types of content are performing well (and which ones aren’t), you’ll have no sense of direction as to what you should focus on. The last thing you want to do is waste time posting to the ‘gram, writing blog posts, or sending emails that aren’t engaging with your ideal client and moving them deeper into your marketing funnel.
When you dive into your analytics, ask yourself questions like:
Do videos perform better over static photos? Do emails receive a better click-through-rate on Tuesday mornings as opposed to Friday afternoons? Does my audience engage more with long-form posts or short, snappy ones?
Once you have a better idea of what’s working, you can more confidently map out your calendar with content you *know* your ideal client will respond to.
Outline Key Dates
Whether you’re planning for the quarter or the entire year, outlining important dates—course launches, product releases, or holiday promotions—is a critical step to creating your content calendar. Not only should you note the date you’ll announce your offer, but also how many days (or months) before your digital cart opens so you can warm up your audience with messaging focused on that subject.
For example: Let’s say you’re a health and fitness coach launching a brand new course on counting macros in June. Depending on how much education your audience needs on it, you’ll want to jot down when you should start writing blogs, posting social media content, and sending emails around counting macros. This way, when you’re ready to launch your course, you’ll have a list of people virtually running to your doors.
Determine How Often You’ll Send Content
Determining how often you’ll send emails, post to the ‘gram, or publish a YouTube video comes down to two main factors: data and time. Since you already dug into your data, you should have a good idea of how often you *should* send out content based on open rates, engagement, viewers, etc… But to gain credibility and win the hearts of your ideal customers, you need to show up consistently.
If you can only commit to sending one email a week or publishing one blog a month, then make sure you do it without fail.
You can increase the amount of content you share on your channels over time, but you shouldn’t post five times to Instagram one week and then go radio silent the next. There are hundreds of thousands of pieces of content published each day, so if you don’t show up consistently, your audience will forget all about you. We don’t ever want that to happen!
Map Out Your Content Calendar
You developed your content pillars, dove headfirst into your analytics, outlined critical sales dates, and determined how often you’ll share content. Congrats, you’re almost done!
Now it’s time for my favorite (and the most important) part-—putting all those elements together in an easy-to-navigate document. I highly recommend using a free tool like Excel or Google Sheets and color-coding each platform you’re sharing content on. This way, you can immediately differentiate emails from blogs or Instagram posts from Youtube videos.
When you’re filling out your content calendar, focus on the big picture ideas or topics. You don’t need to have everything written out in detail yet. Though batching your content is a game-changer, but we can get into that another time.
Before you finalize your calendar, make sure every topic ties back to your goals and aligns with your business’ why. And don’t forget to add in personal content as well. After all, you want your ideal client to know, like, and trust you!
Bonus Tip: Every piece of content you share doesn’t need to be new and fresh. You can break down parts of your blog into multiple social media posts or link your latest podcast episode in an email.
Being prepared feels good, doesn’t it? We’ve allllll frantically wrote an email the morning of an important launch or posted to Instagram after days of being MIA.
While content planning can be time-consuming, I promise you’ll reap its benefits if you follow my steps above. Not only will it save you time and frustration, but when you share across your platforms consistently, you’ll have an easier time connecting with and growing your tribe.
And if you’re looking for another way to level-up your content this year, snag my FREE 24 Done-For-You Subject Lines guide. It’ll take all the guesswork out of grabbing the attention of your subscribers to skyrocket your open-rates and conversions!