With so many channels and touchpoints to consider it can be easy to fall into a “spray and pray” approach to marketing, but this haphazard approach will slowly but surely diminish your credibility as a brand. If you aren’t effectively communicating your values, how will your prospects ever differentiate you from your competitors?
To blog effectively, you need a game plan. Without a content calendar, you’re effectively shooting into the dark. You’ve got nothing to aim for, and nothing to measure your efforts on. So where to begin?
At a minimum, your calendar should include the following:
- Due date
- Publish date
- Topic & Purpose
To save yourself time, download our free content calendar template here.
When the goal is to produce a steady stream of relevant and engaging content, a content calendar will keep you and your team organized and on track. Here’s 6 steps you can follow to make sure you’re getting the most out of yours:
1. Create a Timeline
The first thing you’ve got to work out is how often you should be posting new content.
Companies that post more than 16 blogs a month get 3.5 times more traffic than those who post four or fewer – but you’ve got a lot on your plate as a real estate professional. Finding the time to write four blogs per week that are actually helpful to your target audience? Probably not gonna happen.
If you can only publish a blog post once a week, or once a fortnight – don’t stress. Like we said, the great thing about blogs is that they continue to direct traffic to your website for months or even years after you post them. Plus, roughly one in every 10 blog posts is compounding – meaning that clicks from Google searches actually increase over time.
2. Plan Your Content Topics and Purpose
The first step in planning a blog post should be to ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with the post. Define it, as clearly as possible. Here’s a few things you should keep in mind when planning your content:
- Clearly define the outcome - Start with what you’re trying to achieve, then work backwards. Are you trying to educate your audience on some product features? Or are you trying to showcase what your team has been up to behind the scenes?
- Vary your types of content - To keep from fatiguing your audience, a content calendar will help ensure you’re mixing up the types of content your audience receives. Variety is key!
- Keep it on brand - It’s easy to get carried away with ideas, but you need a filter. When reviewing your calendar, triple check that your content reflects your company's values and personality.
Penciling this into your content calendar will make sure you’re keeping your content aligned towards your KPI’s.
3. Brainstorm Content Ideas in Advance
Forcing creativity within an unrealistic time-frame is a recipe for disaster. Learning to plan ahead and compile a plethora of content ideas is a lesson marketers often learn the hard way, but an important lesson nonetheless!
When those ‘light-bulb’ moments spring to mind, write them down! There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting creative, but freeing up the time to produce content that feels inspired will pay dividends on your brand's engagement.
With a stockpile of content ideas, your blog posts will be easier to write (because you’ll know what you’re going to say before you put your fingers to the keyboard) and you’ll find yourself writing a flow of great content.
4. Don’t Forget About SEO
Thinking strategically about your keyword usage is one of the most important steps of running a successful blog. If your articles aren’t backed by keywords, how will you ever get found on a search engine?
When choosing your keywords, you should think carefully about how relevant they are to your business and how competitive they will be to rank for. If you’re new to SEO, here’s 9 best practices to get you started.
On the flip side, overusing keywords is one sure way to get your website penalised by Google. By leveraging a healthy amount of keywords at the right time, your business will find a welcomed increase in traffic over time without spending a cent on advertising.
5. Decide Where You’ll Distribute Your Content
If you’re serious about squeezing as much value as possible out of your blog posts, you should be distributing them across various channels. We would recommend:
- Your email list
For example, if you decide to write a blog post that’s designed to generate conversation (say, perhaps about local community news) – that could be shared on Facebook. If you’re writing to your local market, that could be suitable for LinkedIn – as it could help establish you as a subject matter expert for professionals.
Clueless on how to distribute your content in social media? Spoke offers a simple solution to help your agency reach thousands of buyers, sellers and promote your agency in just a few clicks.
6. Review and Update Your Calendar, Constantly!
It doesn’t stop there. We all know how turbulent the Real Estate market is. With the goal posts shifting, you’ll need to adjust your calendar to account for emerging trends. Make sure that the topics you’re covering are still relevant and timely. As your business grows and evolves, so too should your content.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to start properly planning and tracking your content marketing initiatives, download our customisable content calendar.