Planning for Success: How to Use a Content Calendar

You’re ready to break away from the wirehouse. Your transition plan is in place, and you’re ready to hit the ground running. But one concern may still weigh on you—how will you keep a steady stream of clients coming through your door as an independent advisor?

A good content marketing strategy is an effective way to turn prospects into clients. Creating compelling content will help you connect with your audience, demonstrate your expertise, and build brand awareness and visibility.

But how do you access those high-quality leads? By developing a plan to get your content in front of your target audience where and when they’ll read it. To get started, establish a content calendar.

What Is a Content Calendar?

A content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar, is an actionable blueprint for all of your content marketing efforts. Just as your personal or work calendar reminds you about important appointments, your content calendar will act as a planner for what, where, and when to post.

A content calendar can help you remain organized and ensure that you consistently connect with clients and prospects. It should outline precisely how you’ll tackle your marketing efforts for a specified period of time. As you start out, consider planning just two weeks or one month ahead of time. As your company and resources grow, you can then expand your calendar planning to monthly or quarterly.

When you have a plan in place, you’re much more likely to follow through on your goals. In fact, research shows that documented marketing strategies are 313 percent more likely to succeed. Luckily, there are plenty of tools and templates for content calendars, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Whatever format you choose, here are two basic components for creating a content calendar:

What Do I Want to Post?

Ideally, your content will offer solutions to your target audience’s pain points, answer questions, and deliver value. These posts can help educate clients on important financial matters while demonstrating your expertise. You may even want to develop themes for your content. You could focus on investment solutions one month, for example, and then share topics related to retirement income planning the following month.

If you’re unsure where to begin, evergreen content that caters to your ideal clients’ needs is a good starting point. Evergreen content is information that remains relevant no matter when a reader views it. Avoid referencing specific dates, events, or seasons that could eventually make the content outdated.

“How to pay off debt” or “Why you should create a budget for retirement,” for example, are considered evergreen content because they are of interest to the general public and the recommended strategies typically don’t change.

Remember, not everything has to be written. You may want to consider creating videos to discuss these topics.

Pro tip: Once you have a process in place for evergreen content creation, take it a step further by writing about time-sensitive topics or events as they happen. If the Federal Reserve raises rates or there’s a change to relevant legislation, for example, share the information with your audience—along with your point of view. These posts can boost your credibility and position you as a thought leader.

Where Should I Post?

Although some content will live on your website—and you ultimately want to drive people there—you’ll want to ensure that your efforts are noticed by potential clients. This means meeting them where they are.

If you’re trying to reach younger investors, for example, studies show you’ll have better luck sharing content on Instagram. Older audiences are more likely to use Facebook and YouTube. Professionals across all age groups use LinkedIn. A social media best practice guide can help you understand the types of content that perform best on each platform while remaining compliant across social media sites.

If you plan to focus on only one social media network (which we recommend when first starting out), consider LinkedIn. Although it may not be the largest social media channel in terms of users (Facebook still holds that title), it is the largest professional network. LinkedIn can help you connect with potential clients, employees, and business partners. Plus, your profile will show up in Google search results, which increases organic brand awareness.

Pro tip: When posting on social media, don’t dismiss the opportunities that come from engaging with niche groups. LinkedIn Groups, for example, provide a great way to connect with like-minded professionals in your field. You can join groups based on interests, share your content, provide insights on others’ posts, and generally add value where you can. Check out this guide to get started.

What’s Next? Tracking Your Results

Although clicking the publish button is an exciting accomplishment, it’s not the end of the road for your content plan. Instead, plan to frequently review critical metrics, including:

  • Website visitors
  • Blog article views
  • Social media engagement rate, including post reactions, comments, and shares

Why is this important? Collecting data allows you to determine what’s working, what you can improve on, and what your return on investment is. It can also help you set reasonable growth goals.

Most website and social media platforms come with integrated reporting tools to help you understand which posts performed best. This will show you what works for your audience—and what doesn’t. Armed with this knowledge, you can tweak future content types, topics, and your posting schedule to make them more successful.

Create a Plan for Success

When you commit your marketing ideas to paper, you can transform them into a powerful strategy. Our complimentary guide, 5 Steps to an Effective Marketing Plan, can help you create an organized, thoughtfully written plan to raise your profile and enhance your ability to attract and retain clients.

Contact us today for an introduction to the resources we offer to help you grow your business.

These tools/hyperlinks are being provided as a courtesy and are for informational purposes only. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. Please consult your member firm’s policies regarding videos/social media prior to utilizing the features/platforms discussed.

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