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Scheduled content is strong content

Keep your social media and website fuelled with a content schedule



by
Software development, strategy & technology
 

A consistent, high quality social media offering is key to building an audience and engaging with your ideal clients. Many businesses make the mistake of only communicating when they feel they have something to say – for example, a sale or a new product line. Or if they want to respond to regional or national events. But if you don’t maintain a constant flow of content, you won’t have an audience when you really need one.

This means that you need to keep communicating even when you don’t have something really important to say. You may think this will dilute your message – but actually, if your content is good quality and genuinely useful, it will increase your authority in your sector, so people will be more likely to listen when you speak up on important issues.

It's also easier to generate content on a given topic than it is to pull a blog post out of thin air, so you’ll be more likely to actually get that content done. And it makes it easier should you want to outsource or pass the task to a colleague, too.

By planning ahead, you can keep the content flowing, help your clients and colleagues and establish your expertise.

Tools for creating a schedule

Many social networks offer their own content scheduler and there are tools that will help you post across multiple channels like ContentCal. Some offer analytics. Others will make your life easier if you are working as part of a team.

Or you can, of course, go low-tech. Use a spreadsheet to plan ahead and track your progress, or adapt your diary or calendar to the task.

What content can I write ahead of time?

The sight of a blank content planner can be intimidating. But ideas have a habit of seeding other ideas. Once you put a few items in, you’ll find they point you towards other content.

Your first step should be to pick out the big events in your industry’s calendar. We’re talking trade shows, busy periods and high seasons. So someone offering financial services might anticipate a busy period around the end of the financial year. Or a holiday letting agency will expect a lot of activity in the summer months.

When are your clients getting ready?

As well as planning posts to coincide with these events, think about when your readers will be preparing for them. Is it weeks ahead, or months ahead? Think about what you’d like your ideal client to do and use that to generate a call-to-action. If you’d like to see bookings made in February for the summer holidays, plan a post about your offering during that month.

When you’re writing content for a website, it’s helpful if your plan has space for search engine optimisation notes and any hashtags you’ll use. You should also make a note of the call-to-action. You might even be able to write the headline or title and do the picture research at this stage. And if you’re sharing the content on other platforms, write a sentence introducing it.

Use the news

The industry news that you read as part of your continuing professional development is a rich source of content. If you spot a story about an issue that comes up every year, put a note in your content plan for next year. For more ideas about using the news, see our tips for creating authoritative news content.

An agile content plan

An agile social media offering allows you to respond quickly to events as they develop. Our content strategists tell us that writing posts about a month in advance works well – much more than that and they lose a bit of freshness. But if you stick too rigidly to your plan you will miss opportunities to demonstrate insight into your sector. So as you write, remember current events. You can depart from the plan to respond to a developing situation. Or swap planned posts for a more relevant idea that you’ve got on the slate for next month. And don’t forget to check your archives for older but relevant posts.

Content strategy advice

As you can see, content strategy isn’t rocket science! But if you prefer to outsource so you can focus on your core activities, as part of its Kent-based website building Eonic has a stable of content professionals who can give you support at any stage of the process or take the entire job off your hands. Get in touch and tell us what you need.