External events are useful prompts for your content. But, it seems like there are awareness days for absolutely everything (although if you wonder why some are more successful than others, you might want to see my top three reasons why some are not worth the effort). And content made up just of awareness days probably isn’t right for anyone except those whose business is just in pushing directories of those days.
For the rest of us, variety is the order of the day. If you’re trying to decide which ones to include, or not, then I have eight tips on how to get your content plan perfect just for your business. Here goes:
Add your own days in first
There are events that purely belong to you and your business. It might be your business birthday, a product launch, or an event you know you’re taking part in. Get those on the calendar first. You do not want to miss creating content around those things.
Add in the no-brainers
Look, if you’re in the Cornish pasty business, then you probably ought to have Cornish Pasty Week on your calendar. In fact, that’s probably 7 days worth of content. There’ll be some no brainers for every business.
Feature the charities that mean something to you and your team
There are so many causes that need support and help in raising awareness about what they do. There will only be so many that you’ll feel an authentic connection with. Focus on those.
Show your expertise
As a business, you and members of the team will be at trade fairs, conferences and exhibitions over the year. Whether you’re exhibiting or visiting, it’s an opportunity to show your customers a bit about what goes on behind the scenes.
It also shows that you know your stuff, helping to up the levels of trust customers might have in you. All content is there to help move people through knowing you, to liking you to trusting you.
Get your personality on show
Don’t think that you only have to do the sensible things. Showing your personality is key, as a way to bring to life your values and interests. It helps people know if you are for them. Remember that old phrase about birds of a feather? Well, personality helps your flock find you.
You might not be in the Cornish pasty business, but you can create content during Cornish pasty week about your favourite pasty, for example. Or during the Jane Austen festival , you might write about your favourite Austen novel or your, favourite film based on one of her books. You might even be controversial and write about why you don’t like Austen.
Just be authentic.
Have some fun
If I want to read something dry and dull, then I’ll read the gas bill. For everything else, I think we have not only permission, but a requirement to bring all aspects of life to life in our content. And having fun, the lighter side of life, is something that a business can do. Keep to the mantra: be appropriate, be authentic.
Face the tough issues if that’s right for you
We can all think of businesses that are known for their campaigning stance. It’s a central part of their business values. Even if you don’t think that you’re going to be as out there as a business like Lush, it doesn’t mean you can’t take a stance on issues that mean something to you. If it’s right for you, nail your colours to that mast and add your voice to a campaign.
Leave some gaps
Don’t think you have to plan every moment. Things will change, crop up in your world, become more or less important. You’ll want some flexibility.
Also, events get added in, changed or cancelled. You want to be able to leave space for serendipity and new news.
I’ve developed an Awareness Days Calendar for small businesses in food and drink in the UK that you can download now. Throughout the year I’ll also send out email updates as events get confirmed or added. I checked everything on the calendar with the organisers, so you can have confidence that you have the right dates at this point in time.
These eight things should be enough to get your plan going. If you do end up needing a post in a hurry, then click here for my guide to creating posts in a hurry.