Holiday SEO Tips for the Busy Shopping Season
Get holiday search engine optimization (SEO) tips to make sure your brand is at the right place in search results at the right time during the holiday season.
Unless you’re a creative genius, creating content from scratch can be a daunting task. A 2017 report showed that 65% of marketers struggle with producing engaging content, with 60% finding it difficult to produce content consistently.
For the uninitiated, it’s a process that may involve desperately scouring trending memes and hashtags for a relevant topic. These marketers will quickly realize that fresh, shareable content capable of successfully bolstering a brand’s marketing efforts is rarely the product of last-minute inspiration.
Fear not, for a content calendar can come to the rescue. No longer will content creation be a brain-racking challenge. Instead, consider it an enjoyable, productive process. Here's everything you need to know (and keep reading for a free content calendar template to help you get started!).
Think of a content calendar as a visual schedule with all your upcoming content mapped out and organized. Marketers typically include handy information, such as status updates, important deadlines, and links to resources. (Don’t worry: we’ll go over these later.)
Conquer the intimidatingly blank screen with this step-by-step approach for building an effective content calendar:
Remember: a content calendar is merely a tool for implementing your content strategy. So, take a moment to review your overall marketing plan. What goals are you trying to achieve by creating content? Are you trying to generate leads? Improve brand awareness? Who is your target audience?
Then, decide what platforms you’re going to tackle. Instead of jumping on the latest social media bandwagon, ask yourself: Is my audience really on Instagram Reels? Can I successfully disseminate information on these platforms, especially if I’m limited to 15-second videos or 280-characters? Make sure you fully understand each platform, from demographics to strategies to best practices, before you make a decision.
If you have time, complete a content audit. Review old posts to see if you can spot any trends. Which ones went viral compared to those that received minimal engagement? Does your audience love behind-the-scenes sneak peeks? Are they uninterested in your #MondayMotivation inspirational quotes? These insights will help you figure out what is working and what needs improvement.
Even better, review your competitors’ content as well, with a critical eye toward those audience interactions.
For more on how to build your content strategy:
A content calendar can be as straightforward or complicated as you make it — from a simple spreadsheet to a colorful dashboard with dozens of tabs and links.
When choosing where your calendar will live, think about what features you want to prioritize. For solo marketers, it might be usability and simplicity. For those working in a large team, it might be collaboration and progress tracking because the last thing you need is to be bombarded by Slack messages about status updates. Your content calendar should be intuitive, easily accessible, and reliable so your whole team can access information, resources, and key dates.
Here are some of our recommended tools:
You’ve got your strategy and your calendar. What’s next? Before you start brainstorming next week’s posts, create your content buckets, which are umbrella themes that support your marketing strategy.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry: You can design content buckets based on the trifecta of marketing — education, entertainment, and inspiration. Educational posts could include how-to guides, case studies, or e-books. Entertaining content might be vlogs, employee interviews, or user-generated content. And finally, inspire your audience with thought leadership posts, community awareness, and even listicle round-ups.
For more ideas on different types of content:
It’s time to unleash your creative beast. For each of your content buckets, start brainstorming ideas for specific topics, as well as their formats. Are they blog posts, podcasts, images, or videos? Pro tip: You likely have more content than you think. Instead of struggling to come up with a hundred new ideas, repurpose that old e-book into infographics, quotes, explanatory videos, and beyond. A single piece of content can easily transform into a dozen other formats for different platforms.
Here comes the fun part: filling up that empty calendar with the majestic ideas you just developed.
But first, decide on your posting cadence. Though there are differing opinions about the right frequency for social media posting, everyone agrees that the best practice is to post as consistently as possible. You want your audiences to eagerly expect, say, your #ThursdayThoughts musings.
Here are some recommendations on what to add in each calendar item:
As you’re populating your calendar, be sure to space out topics so you’re alternating between content buckets. Don’t forget to add relevant holidays and seasonal events as well, so you can anticipate key dates, such as National Avocado Day, and generate content in advance.
If you’re dealing with complex pieces, we recommend taking the time to schedule the creation process into your content calendar. By adding deadlines for writers to hand off copy to designers, dates for internal reviews, and other workflows, your calendar will double as a convenient project plan. Consider it a win-in.
Last updated on August 16th, 2022.