Content Marketing CalendarLike setting New Year’s resolutions, January is the perfect time to decide what marketing goals you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Content marketing is a great way to reach potential buyers and provide current customers with valuable information. (Read more about content marketing in our free eBook, Hooked on Content.)

Planning an entire year of content marketing campaigns can be an overwhelming task, however. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Identify a goal
    This is a simple but crucial first step. It’s important to identify the reason for your campaign and to clearly define what it is you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to generate more leads? Generate awareness about a new product or service? Attract attendees to a conference or event? Remember to aim for a measurable goal, and make sure that success can be easily tracked and measured.
  1. Understand what strategies have been successful in the past
    Spend some time looking back on your previous content marketing campaigns. What did and didn’t work in previous years? Which types of content garnered the most attention from your customers? If a campaign was sluggish, could timing have been a factor? Were campaigns properly advertised? Learning from past experiences can help ensure future success.
  1. Decide on topics and timing
    Now that you have defined specific goals and have an idea of what strategies have worked in the past, it’s time to decide what content you are going to offer and when you will offer it. In order for your eBooks, webinars, blog posts, and other content to be enticing, provide valuable information that educates your buyers or solves their problem. Determine when you want to launch each content campaign – considering major events (like tradeshows or product releases), holidays, and peak buying times. Use your content to generate awareness and drive traffic at the right times.
  1. Consider distribution
    There are many outlets available to promote and distribute your marketing content – blogs, social media, email marketing, direct mail, pay-per-click advertising – the possibilities are endless. Decide which methods would be best for each of your content pieces. Often, you will want to promote your content through a variety of channels. For example, direct visitors to your content landing page through social media posts while also advertising on pay-per-click sites and highlighting the content in your weekly email newsletter.
  1. Create the plan
    Outline the details of each campaign in a content marketing calendar. Include as much or as little detail you need. To help you get started, we’ve created a calendar template that can be downloaded here.
  1. Execute
    ClickDimensions is full of marketing automation tools to help you execute your content marketing campaigns! Build landing pages and web forms for visitors to download your eBooks or white papers. Send emails or SMS messages to alert your contacts and leads about new content as it becomes available. Integrate your webinars and events with CRM. And put your campaigns on auto-pilot with our new campaign automation builder.

So forget about cleaning out the garage or losing those last 10 pounds… With a solid content marketing plan in place, this is one New Year’s resolution you can stick to! Happy marketing in 2016!