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A beginner’s guide to planning 12 months of content

Are you ready to get started with planning 12 months of content? You can set yourself up for content planning success and eliminate the stress of scrambling for last minute content by following five simple steps.

Content planning is a marketing strategy anyone can create and follow. And the good news is, content builds engagement, creates brand alignment and ultimately drives sales.

So now imagine content creation was easy. Imagine you had 12 months of content planning locked in. Imagine content creation was no longer stressful but instead achievable and rush free.

Whilst sales are the end result of carefully thought through content, the great thing about content is you often won’t feel like you’re selling. Instead, you’ll quickly realise that creating relatable content that people enjoy means they naturally want to come along for the journey.

So how do you content plan?

We’re going to kickstart your content planning by sharing our five beginner steps to planning 12 months of content.

Five beginner steps to planning 12 months of content:
  1. Get a calendar – It may sound obvious but having a year calendar spread out in front of you helps from a visual perspective. You can use a printed one or buy a Perpetual Year Wall Planner (that way you can reuse it next year or make changes).
  2. Think about the most important dates for your business – Every business has important dates that either mean something to you (the business owner) or the story line of the business. Think business birthdays and anniversaries of special milestones ie ‘one year ago we moved into this office space’. Enter these important dates into the calendar, along with any personal dates you wish to share with your audience such as your own anniversaries and birthdays. From here you can look up any international celebrations or awareness days that align with your business and enter them into the calendar too. Do the same for any national, local celebrations and awareness dates.
  3. What sales are you planning? – Pause and think about the year ahead to consider the sales you are planning. Are you running a Black Friday sale, Christmas promotions, End of year discounts or End of Financial Year clearances? Enter these into your calendar.
  4. Consider topics you want to educate your audience about – What messages would you like to convey to your audience? What is your specialty or line of expertise and what do you know that your audience doesn’t? How can you provide insights that teach and invest in your followers? You can also educate them on the team and behind the scenes by introducing yourself and your employees (it helps to do this regularly for any new followers).
  5. Email sign ups and lead magnets. Make a list of the ways you can encourage followers to sign up to your email list (how can you incentivise them)? Also consider how you can add value through free lead magnets and downloads. Add your planned release dates for new promotions or lead magnets into the calendar (Tip: spread them out over the year.)

Once you’ve worked through the five beginner content planning steps you’ll begin to see there are many opportunities to create content.

And because all your dates have been added into a calendar you will now know when the next content date is coming. This allows you to allocate time in advance to create the content and release it on schedule.

Some final pieces of advice

Once you have a 12 month content plan, break it down into months and weeks to make it achievable. Look at the content plan to see what’s happening in the coming month and make a start.

Use Eliza Stock images to complement your content plan by allocating images that relate to the content.

Use one of the planning apps to work out the layout of your content in social media.

Content planning can make all the difference.

From feeling like you’re selling all the time to now showing up as an engaging, multifaceted and dynamic business; having interesting content that connects and engages followers means you’ll be the content queen before you know it.

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