Annual Content Calendars: How to Build a Content Calendar that Converts

by | Blog

Building annual content calendars is no small feat. A marketing calendar is the foundational piece of your content marketing strategy. This is where you can plan all your content to support your goals and strategic initiatives. Creating social posts, emails, landing pages and ad content to support your strategic initiatives throughout the year is something that typically takes hours of manual planning, research and late nights of writing by hand.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

AI Copywriting platforms have completely changed the way that agencies and marketers generate content. What used to take days and weeks can be done in a matter of hours with tools like Copysmith. Let’s dive in and learn more about content calendars, and how AI copywriting platforms can help your team scale.

Ideation & Discovery:

Knowing where to start with your annual marketing plan can feel daunting. With so many channels, partners and potential areas of focus for your team, how do you make the right choice?

Focus on your customers, your ideal target markets, and align your marketing and budget where they spend their time. You need to put yourself in their shoes; think about your customers age, gender, passions, and family life.

Channels:

The internet is a vast place, full of news and thought leadership, but where do your users go to find the latest information? If you’re working with large enterprise teams, your best bet may be to focus on Linkedin, or niche Slack and Discord groups to get the word out about your product.

If you’re focusing on direct-to-consumer, platforms like Instagram and TikTok are a great way to promote your goods and services without coming off too sales-y.

For SaaS businesses, review sites like Capterra and G2 provide great brand awareness and credibility in the form of user reviews.

If you’re completely lost on where to start, then consult your customers! Send a survey to your existing brand champions to understand how they first heard about your product, why they converted as a customer and where they spend their time online. Reverse engineering your strategy based on your existing ideal customers is a great way to improve upon what is already working in your marketing.

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly used free and paid channels for digital marketing:

  • Email
  • Organic Social Media
  • Word of Mouth/Referral
  • Affiliate Programs
  • SEO Marketing
  • Digital Advertising (Google, FB & IG, Linkedin, etc.)
  • Review Aggregation Sites (Google, Yelp, Capterra, G2)
  • Partnerships
  • Community Building

SEO & Keywords

Once you’ve nailed down your channels of focus, you can bring your attention to other things like organic traffic and SEO optimization. Why should we care about organic traffic you ask? When someone visits your site from a search engine’s organic results, that person has a specific intent. When you can answer them with a solution to their problem, they are far more likely to make a purchase or convert.

If you have an in-house SEO expert, great! They likely already have an idea of how to prioritize specific terms that drive growth for your business. If not, no worries – you still have great tools like Frase, Ahrefs and SEMrush at your disposal to make the best of your strategy.

Search for keywords by intent; some users search terms are more focused on gathering information or research, like “non-allergenic fabrics” vs. more action or buying driven terms, like “the best non-allergenic pajama pants.” When you’re focusing on buying intent phrases, your users are more likely to be ready to make a purchase when they land on your website, especially if your content is focused on the problem and its solution.

Content Creation:

Once you’ve established your channels and SEO strategy, now you can get in to the nitty gritty of planning your overarching content topics and sub-topics to support your strategy through out the year.

Your foundational content strategy should incorporate the basics, like:

-Organic Social Posts
-Email Campaigns
-Newsletters
-Blogs and Articles
-Targeted Paid Ad Campaigns

From there, you can expand in to more niche and specialty areas like:

-Podcasts
-Press & Media Publications
-Sponsored Content
-Lead Magnets & Gated Content Campaigns

When it comes to content, the world is your oyster! You have a ton of elements at your disposal, but make sure that you’re keeping an eye on what content pieces are driving the most traffic, conversions and purchases, and lean further in to those tactics as you expand your strategy.

Performance:

Last but certainly not least is performance tracking. Monitoring the impact of your content is pivotal to understanding how it’s driving your marketing forward, if it’s bringing in the right type of leads and how you can pivot or optimize to change strategy in flight to get the most impact.

This is vital to any modern marketer and managing your data in a centralized place is the best way to make the most of it.

Analytical tools like Google Analytics, Moz, HubSpot and others will help you keep an eye on what’s driving performance in your marketing; and even more importantly which aren’t performing to give you better insight on your focus for content topics and themes.

Finally, if you’re not running A/B testing, it may be your new best friend. Running optimized versions of email subject lines, or Google ad headlines is a quick way to show which graphics or messaging better resonates with your target audience. Almost all paid ad tools provide you with built-in A/B testing capabilities, and Copysmith is a great place to start generating variations of your existing copy with our Content Rewriter, Content Enhancer and Free-Form Smart Editor templates.

In conclusion, marketers need to stay ahead of annual planning and strategy. And creating content at scale to support that strategy is more pivotal than ever.

If your team is struggling to keep up with competitors or generate enough content to stay on top of search engines, sign up for your free 7-day trial today and start writing for free!