Build Your 2024 Content Calendar: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Your content calendar is one of the most important building blocks of your marketing plan. By
creating eye-catching content, you can inform your audience, position your brand as a thought leader, and boost SEO. 

But, you might be wondering how to even get started.

Building a content calendar is easier said than done; we know. When you have the right tools, though, it’s really not as difficult as it sounds. In just a few steps, you can plan content for your full year to ensure that you’re connecting with your audience consistently through blogs, email, social media, and other content-related channels. To get you started, we’re sharing this step-by-step guide to building your 2024 content calendar. 

 

How to Build a Content Calendar in 7 Simple Steps

 
1. Identify the types of content you need. 

Before you begin, identify the different channels that you’ll be writing content for. This might include blogging, social media, email marketing, podcasts, or webinars. Any channel that you need to be posting on consistently will need its own calendar. 

Pro tip: Build your content calendar in a spreadsheet, using a new page for each type of content. For example, the first page might be blogging, the second social media, the third email marketing, so on, and so forth. 

 
2. Set a schedule for each type of content. 

Set a schedule for each type of content so that your content team knows when each topic should go out. This will also help you determine how many topics you need for each type of content. Your different channels will all have a set cadence. Maybe you put out one blog a week, one podcast episode every two weeks, and an email every month. Choose a schedule that works best for your audience and your workflow, and try to stick to that schedule as closely as possible.

 
3. Identify your audience’s pain points. 

Your content really needs to grab the attention of your audience. You have a better chance of doing that if you key into a challenge that they are looking to solve. As an example, your pain point might be that you are ready to build a content calendar but aren’t sure where to begin. That’s how we chose this topic—we know that our audience might struggle at times to map out consistent content. 

 
4. Research your competitors’ content. 

Researching your competitors’ content is not to suggest that you should use the topics that your competitors write about. Rather, you should see the types of content that they share with their audience. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must be aware of what your competitors are offering to prospects. Create a content calendar that is very much unique to your company; but, always research competing sites to ensure that you aren’t dropping the ball on any major stressors that your audience might face.

 
5. Identify the keywords you’re hoping to rank for. 

Using tools like SEMrush allow you to identify keywords that you want to target, increasing your chances of rising to the top of search engine results. By identifying keywords early in your content planning process, you can implement said keywords into your topic ideas.

 
6. Create topics for each channel. 

Now for the fun part. Begin building your content calendar piece by piece for each channel. We find it most helpful to map out our idea, the description, and target keywords for each topic. With this approach, you can easily delegate these topics to your content experts, and they will understand the direction and purpose of each piece.

 
7. Cross-reference your topics between channels. 

To make the most of your time and efforts, cross-reference your topics to repurpose as much as you can. For example, if you’ve written a blog article topic that would be great for a podcast episode, you can tweak the topic to fit your podcast audience.

Keep in mind that your audience consumes content differently depending on where they’re getting information. If you are writing a blog article about “10 Things to Know About X,” your podcast audience might prefer the topic to be presented in less of a listicle format and more of a thoughtful discussion. 

 

The Importance of Timely Content

Though it’s good practice to begin your year with a content calendar, remember that it isn’t set in stone. There will be events that happen in your industry, or even just out in the world, that will cause you to adjust your calendar accordingly.  A content calendar is a great planning tool, but you should always leave room for change. 

Would you prefer that a content marketing team helped you stay connected to your audience? We can help. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

Copywriting Tips that Inspire Your Customers to Take Action

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Inspiring customers to take action is the goal of any marketing campaign. Achieving that goal requires knowing the words that will resonate with your audience and motivate them to take the appropriate next step. This is why copywriting is such a powerful part of marketing.

There are dozens of things to take into account whenever you’re writing marketing copy. You’re thinking about your audience, the medium you’re communicating through, and what you’re trying to achieve. You’re also trying to determine what will capture their attention and keep them engaged. Most people don’t realize how challenging it is to accomplish such a feat.  

How do you inspire your audience to take the action you want in a way that doesn’t come across as a hard sell? In this post, we wanted to highlight a few tips from our writers in Orchard when it comes to creating marketing copy that inspires people to take action. 

Copywriting Tips That Inspire Your Customers to Take Action

1. Identify and solve a problem.

Great marketing copy creates tension that resonates with the audience and then provides a release. During the attention-grabbing phase, it’s essential to identify your audience’s needs or problems so that you can ultimately present a solution.

2. Use short, simple sentences.

You need to make it easy for people to read your content. This is especially true for writing copy that will be published on digital platforms. Reading from a screen is hard. When you write long, meandering sentences, your readers have to work harder to make sense of it. 

3. Don’t bury the lead.

This old adage from journalism also applies to marketing copy. While creating tension is important, you also don’t want to lose your audience’s attention. If you want to inspire action,  it’s best to get to the point. Your audience should know the next step they should take to resolve their issue within a few minutes of reading. 

4. Make sure to emphasize the benefits your customer will experience. 

A common reason marketing copy doesn’t inspire action is that the focus shifts from the audience back to the product or service. While it may be important to highlight the unique features of your product or service, your audience cares more about how it will benefit them. 

It’s important to start with benefits before you dive into whatever features you want to highlight in your copy. 

5. Read what you write out loud before posting.

The best marketing copy makes you feel like you’re having a conversation. It’s personable, relatable, and easy to follow. Reading your copy out loud before you post it is one of the easiest ways to improve your copywriting skills. 

6. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. 

Many times, marketers can be so close to their product or service that they forget what it’s like for their audience to experience it. This is where it can be helpful to take a step back and try to read your content from your audience’s point of view.

As yourself…

  • Would I click this link?
  • Would I find this helpful?
  • Would I enjoy this content?

Any response other than a quick “yes” might indicate that you need to spend more time on your copy.

7. Provide an appropriate call-to-action.

Part of our role as marketers is to guide people through the buying process. In the same way, you don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, it’s important to know the appropriate “next step” to offer your audience. 

Writing copy that inspires customers to take action is both an art and a skill. It requires that you understand your audience’s core challenges and needs. It also involves knowing how to guide them toward the right next step. 

If you’ve struggled to inspire potential customers to take action or you suspect that your website copy might be a reason you’re not attracting new business, our team can help. You can subscribe to our newsletter for marketing tips or reach out to learn more about the ways we can support your marketing needs.  

The 7 Essential Elements of an Effective Blog Post


Blogging can play a major role in the overall success of your marketing efforts. Not only is an effective blog post one of the best ways to
optimize the SEO health of your website, but it is also an ideal tactic to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Before you think your brand doesn’t need a blog, here are a few statistics to consider; 

  • 77% of Internet users regularly read blog posts. (Source)
  • 61% of Americans spend 3x more time consuming blog content than they do email content. (Source)
  • Having a blog on your website increases your chances of ranking higher in search by a massive 434%. (Source)

While there are numerous factors that go into the overall success of your blogging strategy, the way you craft each post matters. Knowing how to craft an effective blog post can provide a framework you can use to maximize the time, energy, and effort you invest. 

7 Essential Elements of an Effective Blog Post

After writing hundreds of blog posts for our clients over the years, here are a few of the elements we’ve found are most effective for achieving success: 

1. Valuable Insights that Your Audience Cares About

If you want your blog post to cut through the clutter of thousands of other online articles, it’s essential that you create content your audience actually wants to read. You can have the best image and the most interesting layout, but none of that matters if your audience doesn’t find value in the content you share. It’s important to get inside the mind of your customers and craft content that they’ll find valuable. 

2. Strategic SEO Keywords

Blogs are an easy way to boost SEO rankings and gain local importance. When you use blogging specifically for local SEO, you’ll begin creating hyperlocal content—content that’s specific to your exact area. Start by identifying the right keywords for your blog. Then be sure to strategically incorporate them throughout your blog post.  

3. Compelling Images

There are several benefits to using images in your blog posts. The first is that they serve to break up long sections of text that can make it easier for your audience to read. Second, images provide context and help connect with your readers. An image is a great way to connect with the audience in a way words can’t. Images also help with search engine rankings. The alt text added to each image is indexed by search engines, and it can direct interested searchers to your site. 

4. Engaging Headlines and Subheads

Headlines should play a large role in blog strategy. Why? Because most people will scan a blog post before they actually read it. They want to see if the content in the post is relevant and helpful. Adding headlines and subheadings throughout the post will guide readers through the content in a way that makes it easy for them to follow. 

5. Links to Other Forms of Content

People have different preferences for consuming content. This is why it’s becoming increasingly important to provide various forms of content in your post. If you want to get the most out of your content marketing efforts, consider reformatting blog posts into audio or visual content. Supplementing blog posts with audio or visual content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention. 

6. Real-World Examples and Case Studies

If you understand the importance of publishing unique, useful content, you should realize that case studies can be incredibly valuable. Readers want to know how the tips and tricks you share can make an impact on people like them. Incorporating case studies or specific examples in your posts can support the overall content of your post and help readers engage on a deeper level.

7. A Call to Action

Blog posts can be used to support multiple areas of the marketing funnel. You can use them to introduce your brand to new readers or upsell current customers on additional products or services. That’s why it’s important to consider the call to action you craft in each blog post. Think about the most logical next step that you want the potential customer to take, and include a way to take that step throughout your blog post by including a link or button to click or a form to fill out. 

Ready to Take Your Blog Posts to the Next Level?

At Green Apple, we’re constantly evaluating the success of our clients’ content marketing strategies. We’re also regularly sharing what we learn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed on the latest trends and tactics to take your blog (and overall marketing efforts) to the next level.

10 Ways to Promote Your Upcoming Webinar

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You have plenty of wonderful ideas and expertise to share with your audience. What better way than a webinar? The thing is, though, that a hefty amount of thought, planning, and design goes into creating a webinar. And, after all the work you’ve put into building this resource, wouldn’t it be great if someone attended? Of course, we know you want as many people as possible to see your webinar. So, we put together a list of ways that you can promote your upcoming webinar.   

1. Send an Email Blast 

First up, send an email to your newsletter subscribers. Because they already follow you, they’ll be interested to see that you’re providing them with helpful content. You can increase your chances of a successful email by adding an eye-catching subject line and segmenting your list to narrow in on those who would be most interested. In your email, make sure to include all necessary details along with a clear explanation of the benefits of attending.

2. Add a Line to Your Email Signature

Consider adding a line about your upcoming webinar to your email signature. That way, you always have a reminder there for clients and prospects. Be sure to add a link so that they can find more information! 

3. Feature it On Your Home Page

Try featuring information about your webinar on your Home page. When clients land on your site, they’re already looking for insight. Imagine how excited they’ll be to see that you’re offering to share your know-how!  

4. Create a Paid Social Campaign

Help your followers find your webinar with a paid social campaign. Before you put money behind your ad, make sure that you determine which of your social media platforms performs the best and where your audience spends the most time.

5. Write a Blog 

Writing a blog to announce your webinar and feature a high-level overview will give you a multi-purpose piece of content that you can use on your website, social media, and in your emails. It will also be great to send to those who ask for more information.

6. Add a Pop-Up to Your Website

To draw even more attention to your webinar, try adding a pop-up to your website. You can use this as an opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up or learn more. 

7. Collaborate with Influential People or Businesses in Your Industry

Many people in your industry have access to your target audience—social media personalities, podcasts, industry experts, and bloggers, just to name a few. Connect with these people to offer your insight on their next project (e.g., guesting on their podcast) to create an opportunity to plug your new webinar. Since your audiences are so similar, you’ll find that many of their followers are there for precisely this type of content.

8. Hand Out Flyers at Your Next Event

Have a trade show coming up? Design an engaging informational hand-out that you can give to attendees who may be interested. These events are also an excellent opportunity to collect email addresses from those who would like to receive more information.

9. Post Consistently On Social Media

Add a consistent routine of posting about your webinar on your social media accounts. Feature fun, informative content that lets the user know exactly what they would gain by attending.

10. Tell Everyone You Know

Word of mouth is a more effective marketing strategy than some may think. Tell everyone you know about your webinar, and be sure to send them follow-up information if they seem curious.

Need Help Building or Promoting a Webinar? 

Green Apple builds and promotes webinars for clients in various industries, and we find that it’s an incredibly robust marking tool with a high return on investment. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

7 Key Elements of Eye-Catching Content

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The internet is a vast sea of information. Search engines help us find what we need, but even when we’re searching for a topic, we have an overwhelming amount of options. If you’re looking for ways to improve your content marketing, for example, you will then be left to choose from around 12 different articles—and that’s just on the first page of your Google search.  Your audience is out there swimming right along with you, wading through the fluffy content to get to the good stuff. And they’re busy and skimming their content, just like you. So, how do you catch their eye? Grabbing your audience’s attention isn’t an easy task, but expertly crafted content can do the trick. 

1. Keep it concise.

We can’t say it enough: your audience is busy. They want to skim their content, because even when they do have the time, they want to spend it relaxing or enjoying time with their family. Give them what they want as fast as you can, and try not to overload with fluffy language that takes away from your point. Say what you need to say, and let it go.

2. Break it up.

You wouldn’t want to read a wall of text, and neither does your audience. What if you’re heading into an article about how to bake a cake, and you just need to know how to make the frosting? You’re going to want to jump to the end and find your answer. Give your audience a format that they can quickly jump around in. You may think, “Don’t I want my reader to stay on the page as long as possible?” Yes, you do; however, readers will leave your site if they don’t find what they want quickly, and they are much more likely to share your content with their peers if they find your content helpful or valuable. Use sub-headers, bullet points, and numbered lists strategically throughout your content to make it more digestible for the reader. And don’t be afraid of short, quick paragraphs!

3. Focus, focus, focus.

The more specific you are about your topic, the more receptive your reader will be. General articles don’t grab as much attention because we are often on the lookout for exactly what we want. For example, if you want to learn how to make icing for a German chocolate cake, you’re not going to click on How to Make Cake Icing. You’re going to click on How to Make the Best German Chocolate Cake Icing You’ve Ever Had. Even if you feel like specific topics may alienate parts of your potential audience, know that someone is looking for that particular idea. When your content is aligned with what that person is looking for, they will stay on your website longer and share it with others who they know need the same information.

4. Diversify your content throughout different platforms.

When we think of content, our mind often goes to blogging, but it doesn’t stop there. We must also consider social media, email, webinars, podcasts, and any other way that we communicate with our audiences. The beauty of solid, engaging content is that you can mold it to fit these different purposes. For example, if your company created an excellent podcast episode that others need to know about, add it to your next email newsletter, post about it on social media, and summarize the points into a blog article. Good content is a great front-end investment that will provide you with excellent returns.

5. Use imagery.

People are visual creatures. We’re intelligent, and we want to learn new information, but there is still an element of “Look! A pretty picture!” that catches our attention. We want to see beauty in our world, and the internet is no exception. When you’re doing research for work or learning about a hobby, you’ll most likely click on the article that uses visual elements. Not only do we love the way it looks, but visuals make information easily digestible for our brains. For this reason, infographics are an incredible tool that our audiences enjoy reading and sharing.

6. Put the content within your audience’s reach.

We all have friends who use one platform for their information more than others. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, email, or another outlet, make sure that your content is ready and available to your audience whenever the mood strikes. Work with your web developer to ensure that your resources page on your website is as user friendly as possible.

7. Look for creative angles wherever you go.

Creative content inspiration is everywhere we turn. We can find ideas in our daily conversations with clients and coworkers. We can find them in other content that we’re reading or something we see on television. We may even ask pointed questions to clients and others to determine what they want to learn about. You are out to propose new ideas, solve problems, and provide your audience with inspiration and solutions. Remember that as you go about your day, and you will organically collect potential topics to share with your audience.  We can help you create and manage content that your clients can’t take their eyes off of. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation today!