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The importance of a content calendar for your trade business

Planning is the key to success in any job. The importance of a content calendar with your marketing is vital for the online success of your trade business.

Why your trade business needs to be using digital marketing

When used correctly, social platforms such as Facebook can show off your projects as a virtual shop front. They also help you get leads and in turn help to bring your business profits. That can only happen if you make the best use of your chosen platform.

In an increasingly digital world, local tradespeople may start to find themselves impacted when it comes to leads if they don’t keep their online presence up to date.

Digital marketing is an essential part of growth success when it comes to business.

Even if you do not have the resources to invest in your own website, having a membership with a directory such as Checkatrade will instantly provide you with an instant online presence. This profile  which can be accompanied by a social media account like with Facebook.

More than relying on simple word of mouth to attract new leads, digital marketing should be a big part of your strategy for growth. The best thing you can do to be consistent on social media is by creating a content calendar. Keeping your voice right, reflecting on events, trade shows, showing off work are all important.

Having a content calendar goes towards planning your business for growth. Quite simply, it means coming up with a posting schedule across platforms, whether that is online or offline, such as through print media.

What is a content calendar?

Quite simply, a content calendar consists of a range of content ideas that are relevant to your business, formatted in a simple to use way to show off your work online. Content calendars serve as a framework of what you are planning to share and promote across all marketing channels.

Every trade business owner can see just how powerful social media can be. It has become a dominant force in terms of lead generation, from some of the smallest sole traders to nationally recognised companies.

Social media, unlike some other channels, includes the ability to schedule. That means that for many smaller business owners, having a content calendar is key. It means you can stay active on social media, even when your volume of work limits your available time.

Regardless of the size of your business, you can really benefit from seeing the importance of a content calendar and starting to develop one right away.

Why do you need a content calendar?

These are just some of the benefits of having a content calendar:

  • It keeps you focussed and organised
  • It allows you to check ideas with others
  • It helps the audience stay engaged
  • It provides structure

There are a many reasons why a content calendar is so important for planning your social media posts and other marketing activity. The success of marketing depends on getting the right message to the right people at the right time.

Having a reliable content plan in place means your business can keep a consistent message across all channels. By doing that, you avoid missing key events or promotions at times when your resources are a bit more stretched.

Developing a content calendar can help you feel confident in your goals, both in terms of your social media and also your wider business success.

Whether you are a sole trader, smaller team, or even part of a larger company that works with a dedicated agency for your marketing, the importance of a content calendar cannot be understated.

One key thing to keep in mind is that it is the content calendar is to serve as a guide, not as a rule. There should be flexibility built in to allow those last-minute posts or ideas. Really happy with some work? Social media is a perfect place to show off your trade. The content calendar is there to give the framework. All of the ideas are up to you!

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How do you use a content calendar?

Once you have decided that a content calendar is the right way to go, the set-up process depends on the tool or approach you are using.

Create the home of your calendar

Some people use simple Word or Google documents with key dates listed and some wording ideas. Other ways of running a content calendar include spreadsheets, project planning software, or even scheduling tools. Options include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or in-platform tools such as those found on Facebook.

Make it easy to keep on top of everything

Content calendars ensure that you publish regularly and on time. If you want to establish a content calendar for your trades business, there are several ways to put one together. An easy-to-use content calendar is created by you, for your use, and designed to help your business stay visible online.

Track your activity

One way to develop a social media posting schedule is to keep an eye on the timing and frequency of your existing posts. What got you the most engagement? Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc, all platforms have their own best practices when it comes to posting. Each time you put something on one of your channels, you’ll see the response, so track your activity and get to know your audience.

Develop a content bank

Content banks are great to have when it comes to creating a content calendar. Like any bank, a content one is for storing things – in this case, little snippets of content you might want to use in the future. Your bank can contain images, videos, or pre-written text. Basically, anything you might want to put in your upcoming posts.

Tips to getting the most out of your calendar:

  • Keep it simple
  • Find a method that suits your needs
  • Schedule posts when possible
  • Use a content bank

Generating your social media content calendar

Sometimes referred to as a social media posting schedule, a content calendar is designed as a communication plan for your social channels. There is a different tone of voice needed than with your email marketing or print media and of course pictures are an essential part of any post.

Creating your own social media planning calendar could either be done with in-platform scheduling assistants, like those on Facebook, or through a third party such as Hootsuite.

There are many ways to come up with content ideas, but remember that the posts should be professional and relevant to your trade. Remember: People looking for a tradesperson in their area will be researching and find your business. They will not want to see your latest holiday photos, however good they are!

Planning content as part of a dedicated calendar can seem like a daunting task to set up at first. However, once you have nailed your approach, the benefits for your business will really start to show.

Key takeaways

  • Digital marketing is a key ingredient to marketing success, therefore helping to grow your business.
  • Regularly updating a content calendar means more efficiency with social media posting.
  • Creating a content calendar will help your social media from being abandoned during times of limited resource.
  • Using a content bank is a quick way of accessing content for posts – either for yourself or an agency.
  • Content calendars are flexible, so can be adapted and changed to suit your changing needs.

The importance of a content calendar cannot be understated when it comes to your online presence. A key part of any digital marketing strategy, you must plan in advance to guarantee success, just as with any project you would normally carry out.

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*Year runs from April 21’ to March 22’. Spend based on 12,505 members. Discounts differ depending on the partner. Products range from low value items to high value items. Total amount spent on Selco is estimated at £42,380,838 by 7,298 members and based on average savings per member from 2020/21. 10% discount. Some exclusions will apply on products.

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