One of the most common questions I receive from agents is, “How do you find content every day?” The issues they are experiencing come from both a lack of ideas as well as precious time. While social media is becoming increasingly important to many agents, most wear multiple hats in the office and it is easy to let social channels fall behind. This is my full-time job, and the truth is, it’s still hard! But I find that starting the year off with a plan really helps me curate content and also ensures the correct content is on our blogs at the time when it’s most relevant to our followers.
When it comes to content planning, everyone has their own method. I wanted to share what works for me so hopefully you can incorporate some of these tips when developing your own content plan. All you will need before you start is a blank calendar for every month of the year.
- Look at company goals. How do we want to educate our followers? Will new products be launched? Is our focus on increased awareness? What about engagement? The goals we set at the beginning serve as a guide as to what types of content I should be focusing on for the entire year. So, what are your agency’s goals? Is there a strong push to lower your loss-ratio? Focus on educating your customers on safer driving, car maintenance and home maintenance in an effort to lower claims throughout the year.
- Determine where the content is coming from. Will you be creating content, curating content or both? If your agency decides to create content, who is responsible? How often will you produce new content? Schedule the content in your calendar and share it with your team (if applicable) so you can be consistent throughout the year. For us, it works to create at least 4 new blog posts a month. We alternate authors to lessen the burden and, thanks to the content calendar, our authors know when their content is due months in advance.
- Step into your customer’s mindset. At Tower Hill we have several different products and therefore several different target markets. Our main customer is a homeowner in the state of Florida, so I’ll use that group for this example. I know that in March a common focus in their homes is spring cleaning, in May and June hurricane preparation begins, August means sending kids back to school and in November our customers are preparing their homes for the holidays. Using that information, I am able to develop overarching themes for each month of the year. Each theme determines the blog content for that month. Those blog posts serve double duty – improving our search engine optimization (SEO) while providing content for our social media channels.
- Brainstorm related topics. A month is a long time to discuss one theme, so keep your followers interested by branching off into subtopics. For example, the holidays are also a popular time for vacations. It’s a great opportunity to educate customers on ways to protect their homes from burglary while away. Think of any and all topics that are related to your theme and write each idea on your calendar now. You can use it as a launching pad when curating content later.
Once you have your calendar in place, give yourself a high five. You now have a content plan in place for the entire year! Enjoy knowing that the extra effort you put in now will save you countless hours throughout the year.
For more ideas on how to start your marketing on the right foot, check out 5 Online Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 from Inc.com.