The biggest mistake you can make on your blog (or your podcast or YouTube channel) is to turn it into a hard sales machine. Blogs should have content that give readers a reason to come back so it builds credibility and trust. This is why planning a strategic editorial calendar for the year is critical to success in 2021.
Plan Your Campaigns Before You Plan Your Editorial Calendar
For your blog to bring you sales results, it has to get people excited about your type of service and the results you can deliver. To do that, you need to figure out exactly what you’re selling.
Let’s say you’re an insurance broker. Look at the year ahead and think through what kind of policies you can focus on selling every quarter. For example, you might want to feature title and home insurance at the middle of summer which is the peak home-buyer season.
As summer winds down to fall, you may want to focus on selling life or disability insurance, playing off the start of a new school year and the parent’s desire to always have the ability to care for their children.
Simply advertising on Facebook no longer works. Prospects don’t have a chance to get to know you this way, so they don’t have a reason to trust you.
Develop the kind of content that will help you earn the customer’s trust and drive sales.
Develop an Editorial Calendar that Supports Your Campaign Goals
Once you have planned out your goals for the year, you can start planning content that prepares prospects to purchase. Be sure your content appeals to multiple audiences. Your content should be valuable not only for your existing audience but new audiences as well. Therefore, consider how you can appeal to any new target markets in the coming year.
Focus on Collaboration
Even if you’re already practicing content marketing, referral acquisition, and customer retention, there’s a good chance marketing your business like a celebrity will bring better results than staying in your own corner of the Internet.
The first thing you need to do is to build collaboration and show up in front of other people’s audiences. Therefore, collaborate with existing business partners or successful local businesses. Collaborating with partners is especially effective when there’s a strong tie between the brands.
The business or professional you’re partnering with should determine the content and tone of the messaging.
For example, you could develop blog posts for:
- financial professionals about money-saving tips in your industry
- parenting blogs about planning for your children’s future
- health blogs about how to prepare your family or home in the event of a work-inhibiting disability (and how to avoid work injuries).
Get consumers inspired about caring for their home or family without directly pitching your policies or services.
If you plan ahead, you can make sure your content appears on multiple platforms at the same time. At the bottom of your guest posts, you can usually include a link to your website. Indeed, driving readers to your website is the way they can find the info they need to get the coverage or service they need. It takes approximately eight touchpoints to convert most prospects. The more content consumers see about your topic around the same time, the more you create a buzz that will pique their curiosity.
The more you plan ahead, the more you can do that for every quarter.
Add Value for Your Existing Audience
Although some of your focus will be on growing your audience, you still need to take care of your own website and CardTapp solution as well.
The process is pretty similar to the one you use for new audiences – plan your campaigns, then develop content around them, but there’s a twist. Building interest with leads and referrals from your existing audience generally requires an incentive.
So, to get started, create free guides, reports, ebooks, or courses to give readers a reason to subscribe to your blog. Depending on what you’re selling, you might want to create a new incentive for each campaign. Alternatively, you could create one resource that will be relevant to prospects no matter which campaign they’re interested in.
Next, remember that once you’re successfully developing your own audience, you’ll get readers who expect more high quality content from you. Again, plan your content according to your campaigns.
In the weeks leading up to a campaign, concentrate your posts around the new campaign’s topics. Sprinkle some case studies in your blog posts to help readers connect with you emotionally through your customers’ stories. Do that at the right time, and you won’t only increase your leads. You’ll start getting more referrals of other interested prospects along the way and, eventually, increase sales, too!