Keeping a consistent and engaging content calendar is one of the cornerstones of online marketing. In fact, over 70% of marketers who maintain a steady content schedule earn more leads and conversions. However, regularly producing quality content can be challenging and many marketing professionals find themselves stuck every now and then — either they get in a rut of churning out repetitive content or they blank out completely when they need to develop new ideas.
The importance that content plays in your ability to build a strong brand that will thrive with awareness as well as driving quality leads and sales are all things that will help your business scale. For starters, let’s check out a few stats before we dive in:
- 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
- 82% of marketers report actively using content marketing in 2021, up 70% from last year.
- Marketers’ primary goals for running marketing campaigns are brand awareness, increasing sales, and increasing engagement.
- Video is the most commonly used form of content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics.
- Google’s search algorithms are trying to transcend text to images, voice/podcasts, and videos.
- The top technologies used by B2B organizations to supplement content marketing are analytics tools, social media publishing, and email marketing software.
- The top three organic content distribution channels for B2B marketers are social media channels, email, and website.
Here are some ideas on how to generate fresh and engaging content:
1. Audit your current content
Evaluate past content has performed and adjust future plans accordingly. Look at the entire buyer journey and how it has evolved over time and what you can do to align your content efforts with it as well.
The content your produce and publish should speak true to the problems your target personas are facing. You should also highlight specific solutions that you can provide to alleviate their pain points and have a strong CTA to get in touch.
When auditing your content assets, consider the following tips:
- Look at the performance of your entire content library.
- Pick out which assets can be repurposed and revived.
- Figure out which content types drive the most engagement (e.g. videos, infographics, blog posts, guides, etc.).
- Diagnose how your content actually does in SERPs and if they align with the lifecycle stages of your buyers.
- Categorize your content by theme and look for specific patterns or actions that have been taken by them.
- Understand which target personas consume the most content that actually leads to meaningful conversations.
- Calculate an ROI to all of your content efforts. Knowing how they impact the business is crucial for success.
2. Hop on new trends and keep testing
Once you implement a content audit, take things a step further by looking at trends, what competitors are doing, and how you can best position your content creation process to be mindful of these in an effort to drive positive results. More specifically, make sure that you take all of the content ideas you have and organize them in such a way that they are in line with your audit findings.
Doing so will allow you to then take everything and know which content pieces will work in driving expected results as well as which content pieces will serve for testing. For instance, TikTok still feels really new to a lot of both B2C and B2B brands. Creating valuable content for this platform can feel foreign. The only way to know if it’s going to work for your business is to test.
So make sure that as you build out your content calendar, you’re building out room to test and measure new territory. This not only puts you in a place where you get ahead of the curve over competitors as well as build out awareness.
3. Brainstorm and capture all ideas
It’s often incredibly helpful to have a brief brainstorming session to get your ideas on paper. By far, this is the most useful approach for those times when your brain is simply drawing blanks. Don’t worry about the quality of your ideas at this stage, just make sure that you write everything down.
If you don’t know where to start, consider your customers’ pain points, what they’re struggling with and how you can be of assistance to them. Then, think about your own marketing goals. What is your primary objective for your current campaign? Is it more engagement, brand awareness, improving brand loyalty? Follow these guidelines to come up with ideas.
Finally, take a look at your list. Pick out the best suggestions and focus on them for now. Then, identify the decent ideas that need a bit more work. Create a draft of these for future use, so that you have a good start next time you need to come up with something. Of course, you’re likely to end up with a lot of bad ideas but that’s perfectly okay – it’s enough to come up with just one good one to make this worthwhile.
4. Fully integrate your content efforts
Consider other ways you can incorporate your content efforts with initiatives that product and sales are pushing. This includes things like:
- Incorporate current events
- Create a tutorials and product walk throughs
- Share downloadable guides and checklists
- Answer some commonly asked questions
- Common objections sales receives
- What makes people buy and what deters them
Taking all these into account can help you also build out a content calendar that will alleviate friction. In other words, you then focus on developing ideas and executing a content strategy that is going generate business results.
Wrapping it up
As you build out your content calendar, make sure you set specific due dates, know who is accountable for what, and how often you will plan to publish new as well as repurposed content. From there, make sure you have a way of consistently measuring and collecting data that is going to help you pivot when needed. The goal of your content isn’t to just get website visitors but that you can actually drive revenue too.