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

woman-working-on-calendars


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.

5 Creative PR Tactics Your Business Should Explore this Year

Brainstorm meeting in a office

In today’s increasingly digital world, it can be difficult for brands to reach customers through the traditional PR tactics that our industry relied on for decades. Today’s buyers are not easy to reach. Nevertheless, public relations is crucial for enterprise technology companies and B2B brands, regardless of size, vertical, or industry. We’re constantly encouraging our clients to consider creative ways to integrate public relations into their comprehensive marketing plans. While the tactics may have evolved, the end goal of public relations remains the same: increase brand awareness, credibility, and trust with the people you’re trying to reach.

Creative PR Tactics Your Business Should Explore This Year

Here are a few creative PR tactics we’ve used to help our clients gain traction and create tangible results through their PR efforts:

1. Develop a Digital PR Strategy

We encourage every business to create a digital PR toolkit that can be used to enhance their relationship with current and potential customers. One essential element is a survey tool that helps capture feedback from clients. In today’s digital world, the customer has more power than the business when it comes to brand perception. Bad reviews can tank a company’s reputation. If customers aren’t happy with your product or service, customer reviews allow you to proactively address them. If your product or service generates raving fans, you’re able to leverage those reviews to promote your business to other potential customers

2. Maximize the Power of Podcasts

If social media has replaced traditional news as the way we keep track of important events, podcasts have replaced industry publications as the way to learn and grow in our professions.  Almost 40% of Americans listen to podcasts every month, and that number has grown steadily every year. Additionally, the on-demand nature of podcasting means that listeners are typically actively listening to the entire podcast. This provides you with the focused attention of your audience through a single medium.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to start your own podcast, consider advertising or pitching an idea or topic to be a guest on a podcast that already reaches your industry. If you’re looking to leverage this tactic, your first step is to take what you know about your audience and start searching for podcasts that hit this niche.

3. Create Specific & Targeted Press Releases for Local Markets 

Today’s media outlets are bombarded with dozens of press releases and requests. The more targeted and personalized you can make your press release, the more likely you are to gain coverage and reach your audience. Think of specific ways you can tailor your PR pitches to local markets. Targeting local media means you’ll have a higher chance of getting your story out there and ensuring your target audience sees it.

4. Give Back by Embracing Corporate Social Responsibility 

Businesses of all sizes have benefitted from proactively giving back to their community in recent years. One tactic that’s growing in popularity is to adopt a corporate social responsibility platform that is tied to your community or a specific cause. Doing so is a great way to earn attention. It also generates goodwill with today’s consumers, who increasingly care about giving back. 

5. Leverage Influencer Marketing to Reach Your Target Audience

As social media has evolved, influencer relationships have become a successful strategy for many brands. However, you don’t need to pitch celebrities or influencers with huge followings in order to generate success. Micro-influencers can be just as powerful, especially if your audience is in a niche industry or market. Finding an influencer in your industry is a powerful way to help build brand awareness because it is authentic and relatable to your audience. 

You don’t have to implement every one of these ideas in 2022 to experience public relations success. But if you’ve struggled to gain momentum through traditional PR tactics, we’d encourage you to collaborate with your marketing agency to try a few. Implementing even one of these approaches could provide the valuable insights you need to transform your PR efforts in the future. Green Apple can help you select and deploy the right strategies to increase your influence and your brand identity. We’re available any time to help you craft a successful PR approach.