A content calendar is essential when it comes to managing your business’s marketing. It’s what keeps your marketing plan on track.
The trouble is, sometimes it’s tough to find enough content to fill the calendar.
What is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a blueprint for your marketing efforts. It includes all blog, social media, and marketing posts you make for your business. It shows what content will be shared with your customers (i.e., blog post, infographic, photo, etc.), where it will be shared (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, website, etc.), and when it will be shared.
But, when you’re running multiple social media accounts, a blog, and other marketing efforts, there’s a lot of space to fill every month. While you do your best, brainstorming ideas isn’t always easy.
What should I include in my content calendar?
If you’re just starting, there are a few things you should know about creating a content calendar. I suggest that you read this previous post, 3 Simple Social Media Rules, before you get started. It will give you a good idea of how often you need to post on each social media platform.
When it comes to what you should post, Facebook has a great breakdown. You want items that will educate, engage, and excite.
For many businesses, items that educate will be at the core of your content calendar. These are items that offer value to your customer.
Whether they’re blog posts or infographics, or explainer videos, they give your customer something of value. They educate your customer.
Just as important, though probably not as prolific, are posts that engage. These posts are not about making a sale. They’re just there to keep people connected to your brand and give them a sense of your brand’s personality.
They likely have nothing to do with your business, but they’re fun, and they create interaction between you and your customers.
Never underestimate the value of an engagement post. Sometimes the most frivolous posts are the ones that do the best sales work for you.
You also want posts that are going to excite your customers. Give customers a sneak peek at your new product line. Get customers excited about the online learning event that you’re hosting in a few weeks. Get them excited about your brand and the things your brand is doing.
Engaging Content Ideas
While education is likely at the core of your content calendar, it’s not the focus here. If you’re looking for ideas for educational content posts, check out this previous post.
The focus of this article is fun and engagement. I’m looking at content ideas that you can lightly scatter throughout your content calendar to encourage engagement with your customers.
Below are some ideas that you can utilize on most of your social media channels.
I’ll admit, this isn’t as frivolous as it sounds. A quiz is a great way to get people to engage in your content and show them how much you know at the same time.
Most people want to prove they’re more intelligent than the average person. They take a quiz to feel superior.
Your quiz can be silly, such as “How Well Do You Know Your Friends TV Show Trivia?” or it can be a little more serious, such as “Best Marketing Practices for a Dental Implants Business.”Either way, you’re creating engaging and sometimes shareable content for your followers.
Like quizzes, a poll can be funny, or it can be serious. You can use a poll to determine what products your customers would like to see from you, but it may be just as fun and even more engaging to ask social media followers which Simpsons’ character they best identify with.
A little different from quizzes, games, and trivia can be just as valuable for your content stream. You can post an image puzzle such as “How many triangles do you see?” and then ask users to drop their answers below. Or post a math word problem and see what kind of responses you get.
Often time riddles lead to a variety of answers, which gets people thinking and debating. That’s more engagement with you and your business.
GIFs & Jokes
GIFs and jokes can be a little risky, so if you do it, make sure you’re monitoring the responses. Most businesses want to make sure the responses stay family-friendly.
Some posts that get great engagement include, “Share your best dad joke.” Or post a GIF and say, “Caption this.”
If you’re looking to increase engagement with the post, offer a small prize to the best answer.
Fill in the Blank
Fill in the blank is another easy post that creates engagement.
Ask an open-ended question and see what people say. For example, a travel company that I follow on Facebook often asks questions like “Your bucket list trip is______” or “My favorite place in the world to visit is _______.”
People love sharing their stories, so allow them to share.
Let Your Phone Fill in the Blank
A twist on the fill-in-the-blank asks users to type a word or phrase into their phone and then see what autocomplete suggests.
For example, pick a phrase like “I love” and then have users add the first word that their phone suggests.
The responses are bound to lead to some laughs.
A remember when post is good if you have an older audience.
Post an image of something they’ll remember that younger generations may not. Think of a beeper or a fax machine, or an 8-track player.
Then just ask your audience if they remember.
A trip down memory lane is often nice.
Ask Me Anything (AMA)
Reddit made it famous, but you can still hop on the bandwagon. Open yourself up to questions and promise to answer them. Put a time limit on the event (i.e., 1 hour) to ensure that it’s not a free for all.
You may also tell users to keep things PG-rated to make sure that things don’t offend people.
Social Media Takeover
Okay, so maybe you don’t take over your own social media account, but what if you allowed an influencer to do it for you. A social media takeover is a great way to create engaging content and tap into a possible new pool of customers.
If you have an influencer that you’re already connected with, great! If you’re looking to connect with an influencer, read this post first.
While none of these ideas will offer educational value to your customer, they may do something even better. They may make someone smile. Never underestimate the value of making someone’s day.
If you want more ideas on using these silly ideas to inspire interaction on your social media pages, check out this previous post. If you’re still stumped for content ideas, dig through old blog posts. This previous post on our blog will show you how to repackage content as new again.
Written by Erika Towne