How to Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy For the New Year

2016 is out the door, but it’s not too late to do some last-minute planning and set marketing goals. Getting your website ready for 2017 is only the first step towards a successful new year. If you want to start off with a bang, take some time now to plan your content marketing strategy for new year.

6 Tips to Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy For the New Year

In today’s post, I’ll cover six guidelines to keep in mind so you can create an effective plan for 2017 and reach your marketing goals.

1. Evaluate Past Efforts

We’ve covered how to get started with content marketing before so by now you should have a general idea of who your audience is and where they spend most of their time when it comes to social media.

Now it’s time to take a look at your website and social media stats. Take note of the number of visits your website received and what the most popular posts were. Regarding social media, take note of how many followers you gained but also take a look at your engagement rate. How many people engaged with your posts? Did you receive a lot of likes, comments, and retweets? Which posts did better than others? Which social media channels had better results overall?

Doing this will give you an insight into what type of content you should publish more often as well as which social media channels you should focus on in the next year.

2. Mark the Important Dates

Creating engaging content is a lot easier when you keep in mind important dates for your team. It helps you build anticipation and get your audience excited about upcoming events. Naturally, the beginning and the end of the season are some of the most important dates for any team no matter the sport, but be sure to write down all the other dates that are important for your team such as:

  • The team’s big wins from previous seasons.
  • Did you win the season in your league? Mark it down on your calendar and plan celebratory content to keep the memory fresh.
  • Playoff and championship dates – 2017 brings a whole new season to the table and getting your fans excited about that is crucial.
  • Announce the upcoming playoff dates as soon as you know them and create extra promotional content in advance to generate more sales for the tickets or team merchandise.
  • You can also include holidays in your content calendar, especially if your team likes to get involved with the community.

In the days leading up to these events, you can plan special content such as interviews with the key players, contests or promotional videos that will get your fans excited to participate.

3. Set Goals

As with any strategy, setting goals is important. Before mapping out your content, take a moment to write down the overall goals you are trying to accomplish with your content marketing strategy. Are you trying to increase your followers on a particular social media channel? Are you looking to raise money for your team?

Try to make your goals as specific as possible and set a deadline for achieving them so you can keep track of your progress.

4. Brainstorm Content Ideas

Once you know what worked last year and you’re clear on the goals you’d like to achieve; it’s time to brainstorm some content ideas for the upcoming year. Aside from keeping your fans up to date, there are a variety of ways to create content your audience will love.

Here are some content ideas you can try incorporating into your strategy:

  • Sports fans love statistics in all shapes and sizes so use this to your advantage by creating a detailed analysis of your team’s performance. Spice it up with graphs and charts, and you have a clear winner.
  • Everyone loves receiving a gift, your fans included. Consider holding a giveaway in the days leading up to a big match where your fans can win tickets or team swag by helping you spread the word about it on social media.
  • Consider holding a Q&A session with everyone’s favorite player. You could even take it a step further and have a friendly debate with the opposing team where fans of both teams can ask questions. A video or a podcast is a great medium to explore for this type of content, or you can go a different route and use Twitter Chats to reach a much larger audience.
  • Sometimes a little humor goes a long way, and the best way to add a dose of laughter is to include memes in your content. You can create your own or ask your fans to help you. Aside from adding them to your blog posts, they also make for great content to share on social media.
  • Many sports fans are also amateur players so why not help them improve their game by offering tips and advice on how to get better at their favorite sport? Spice it up by including personal advice from your very best players and include gear and equipment recommendations from the pros.

5. Set a Publishing Schedule

The key to a successful content marketing strategy is setting a publishing schedule, whether your focus is your blog, social media or, ideally, a combination of both. Remember that you don’t have to force yourself to post every day, especially if you don’t have enough content. But do aim for at least one blog post a week and stick to it throughout the year.

When it comes to social media, the schedule depends on your chosen platform. While some networks like Facebook and Instagram do well with a single post a day, some like Twitter benefit more from multiple posts throughout a day. Aside from promoting your content and your team, be sure to engage your fans by asking questions and replying to comments.

6. Keep Your Budget In Mind

Finally, consider your marketing budget. Did you use any tools to help you with content scheduling and promotion? Perhaps you hired a social media manager or a marketing team to handle your team’s content marketing? Now is the time to compare last year’s budget with the actual spending and to evaluate whether the same budget will work in the future. Are there any new tools that you want to try? Do you need to bring more people on board?

If you blew past your budget, it might be a good idea to assign additional funds for your marketing efforts. If, on the other hand, you spent way less, then find ways to maximize that extra money in other areas like new transportation for your team, new jerseys, or extra swag your fans can purchase to show their support.

Final Thoughts

Developing your content marketing strategy pays off in the long run since it will allow you to start the year off strong and minimize the need to come up with content at the last minute.

With the tips above, we’re sure you’ll knock 2017 right out of the park.

And if you need a little help coming up with ideas for your content, download our free resource of tools to help you find content topics.

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