Step-by-Step Planning for Well-Timed Content Marketing Campaigns

Timing a content marketing campaign to a special day often is a good idea. You catch the peak of the interest in a topic and amplify your content assets in a more effective way.

But how do you organize and scale the process? How do you plan seasonal and well-timed content to make the most of each trend?

Here are the five tricks I use.

 

1. Build a basic campaign schedule

Content marketing campaigns can be timed to:

  • Big global or country-specific holidays (e.g., Christmas, Halloween, Boxing Day) Here’s a good list of those.
  • Smaller (professional, funny, etc.) awareness days and weeks (Wave does a good job of monitoring those.)
  • Local holidays (e.g., town festivals and celebration days)
  • Company milestones (e.g., anniversaries, birthdays, awards)

Put together a list of holidays and awareness days to target in your content marketing in the upcoming year. You can use Google Sheets to create a simple calendar. At this point, you just need to create a rough list.

For bigger holidays and awareness days or weeks, you can use Google Trends to help you plan things ahead of time. Identify dates when you should start preparing for the trend by posting on social media and putting together your content assets:

Use @GoogleTrends to identify bigger holidays or awareness days relevant to your industry, says @SEOSmarty. CLICK TO TWEET

2. Identify the most relevant angles

Once you have a list of events, you need to find angles that build the bridge between the trend and your brand’s value proposition:

To find this intersection, use good old keyword research. Serpstat has one of the largest keyword research databases as well as powerful filters to slice and dice your keyword data to identify seasonal and timely content assets.

Find where a holiday topic and brand product overlap, that’s the #content sweet spot, says @SEOSmarty. CLICK TO TWEET

To identify your content marketing angles:

  • Run your core term in Serpstat and click through to “organic keywords” report.
  • Click “filter,” select “keywords” from the drop-down menu. Keep “includes” in the next drop-down and type the holiday or event name in the next field.
  • Click “apply filter.”

TIP: If you are preparing your content for an awareness day or week, research its theme instead of the holiday name.

The results represent content ideas that cover both your topic idea and the event in question:

Run through these steps for several core keywords to collect more data and identify more content opportunities.

3. Analyze search context to optimize your asset

Now that you’ve identified the topic for your upcoming content campaign, you can build it with more angles and ideas.

TextOptimizer is a helpful content optimization tool that lets you better understand and optimize your content to match Google and your site users’ expectations.

.@TextOptimizer lets you align your #content to match Google and your site users’ expectations. @SEOSmarty CLICK TO TWEET

To build your content asset:

  • Click through to Text Optimizer’s “optimize” tab.
  • Select “Google” in the next step and then “new text (start a new text)” option.

TextOptimizer runs your query in Google, extracts search snippets from the results, and uses semantic analysis to come up with the list of related terms and concepts to help you build more in-depth and better optimized copy:

You can dig deeper by clicking each term to see more related and relevant concepts:

Click the heart icon to add any of the terms to your bucket list. Select 25 to 30 concepts you plan to include in your content.

When selecting the terms, keep in mind your content asset direction and terms to reuse as hashtags on social media. (Make sure to share with your social media team.)

4. Identify and reuse your best CTAs

You may use many types of calls to action on your site – buy now, subscribe, follow, download, etc. The beauty of seasonal and well-timed content is that it can generate both sales and brand awareness.

To better identify your most effective CTAs, use Finteza, which offers traffic quality and conversion optimization analysis.

Use #Finteza to better identify your most effective CTAs, says @seosmarty. #tools CLICK TO TWEET

TIP: Install Finteza as early as you can to collect more data in time for your content planning.

Finteza also offers a handy WordPress plug-in that makes event tracking easier. It adds an icon to the blog post editor allowing you to incorporate any link on your Finteza list of events:

5. Streamline and organize your social media campaign

Supporting your seasonal content with a well-targeted social media campaign is always a good idea.

ContentCal is a great way to make the most of your campaigns. Using the spreadsheet created in Step 1 and all the ideas accumulated in the previous steps, put together everything through ContentCal’s “campaigns” feature. It is a perfect tool for higher-level planning. Add your campaigns and make sure to specify the start and end dates. (Note: The social start date may be earlier than your planned content publication date because you want to prepare your audience for the upcoming asset.)

Put together a detailed campaign brief. I include my keywords, ideas for social media graphs, hashtags, and additional angles to think about.

Once your campaign is created, your team sees a campaign ribbon within the calendar view. This helps keep everyone on the same page.

Clicking the ribbon takes you to the campaign brief. Now, everyone can quickly familiarize themselves with the campaign focus, goals, and angles, and suggest social media updates to go live on these days. This collaborative tool keeps all the collective efforts streamlined.

Get planning for special days

There’s no right or wrong way to plan a time-sensitive content marketing campaign. The key is to never stop playing and experimenting. Learn to use the tools for each big campaign, mix and match data, and try new things.

Which tools are you using to create successful content marketing campaigns? Please share in the comments.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Learn more about how technology can elevate your content marketing program at ContentTECH this April in San Diego. Register today using code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz . Ann is the regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Small Biz Trends, and other huge publications. Ann blogs about search and social media industry trends and content marketing tools. Please follow Ann on Twitter @seosmarty.

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