End of Year Jobs: Planning Your Content Calendar for 2017
So that, pretty much, was 2016.
How was it for you?
If you’ve been following our Digital Marketing Weekly Roundups, you will have undoubtedly been rejoicing in weekly delight at all the great updates we’ve been blessed with from our favourite social networks. A big push towards video marketing – and live video marketing in particular – has been on the cards this year, and with Pinterest introducing retargeting features, Facebook Messenger repositioning itself as a direct marketing/sales channel, and even good old LinkedIn finally introducing #hashtags to its search functions, you may not have even noticed all the Brexit, Trump and celebrity death furore that has tried to distract us in the mainstream news.
But, as we wind up for another year, it’s time to take stock of what lies ahead in 2017.
Here’s something to think about….
Has it suddenly become colder in here, or is it just me?
Anyway, as we may surmise from Mr Blunt’s tweet, the marketing team behind whichever label it is that sees fit to inflict our radio waves with such attempts at “music” will no doubt already be planning a number of campaigns to promote the release.
Such foresight leads to good preparation. And, I don’t think it a too trite remark to make to say that fortune favours the prepared.
And so, what must we be prepared for next year?
Well, I’m no prophet, and I certainly don’t have any magical powers that enable me to predict what might happen in the future. But, what I do have is a diary and a calendar.
And this means that I can most accurately affirm that Valentine’s Day will once again fall on the 14th of February, Easter Sunday next year will be on the 16th of April, and Christmas will come around sure as Christmas on the 25th of December.
In turn, this also means that I am able to predict that there will be certain trending #hashtags that fall on and around those particular dates. Further, I know that I will have to come up with some content campaigns that are adequately associated with these key dates in the calendar.
As content marketers, we must learn to take advantage of what’s trending on social, and exploit the corresponding #hastags as much as we can. Taking the time now, therefore, to work out what’s coming up in 2017, will make us much more prepared for hijacking predictable future trends.
Indeed, we could even start to get super-duper-organised and begin writing our St. Patrick’s Day inspired blog posts as soon as we all return to our desks in the New Year. And this is, in fact, a very good idea. For, of course, how often do we actually get the chance to try our hands at reactive marketing, where indeed the challenge is to react to unpredictable trends in the media? Not very often, I’d wager, for we are normally too busy creating our regular content – content, I am here contending, that could and perhaps should have been written in advance to free up space for reactive marketing.
And so, dear readers, I am hereby going to take this opportunity to produce for myself and for you a whole 12 months’ worth of key event dates that we can reliably predict will be trending in one form or another over the next calendar year.
Please, bookmark this blog post for your future reference, and start creating your year’s worth of content as soon as possible. And do you know what? Since it’s #Christmas, I’m even going to offer some suggestions for the content you could be creating, along with a few possible #hashtags that I reckon will be cropping up along the way.
You’re very welcome…
Key Dates for Your 2017 Content Calendar
January 25th – Burns’ Night: Burns’ Night will come around in just over a month’s time, commemorating the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns. His most famous poem is (arguably) ‘A Red, Red Rose’ – I can see the meme already! Trending hashtags will most likely include #BurnsNight, #haggis, #NeepsAndTatties and perhaps even #Scotland. How can you tie in some top-quality, relevant content to hijack some of those?
February 4th to March 18th – Six Nations Rugby: ‘How to Tackle [insert key industry pain-point] like a Welsh Prop Forward’. ‘SCRUM Down: How to Incorporate an Agile Methodology into Your Marketing Strategy’. Any good? The Six Nations Rugby is one of Europe’s most exciting sporting events on the calendar, and there will be hashtags a-plenty for you to exploit.
February 5th – Super Bowl 51: America’s most-loved sporting event. The game, the commercials, the half-time show – #SB51 and #SBLI (i.e. the Roman numeral version) will be trending in no uncertain terms. Align your content, and promote!
February 14th – Valentine’s Day: Can you feel the love yet? Roses, chocolates, hearts, love-birds, vomit – all provide ample opportunity for promotion.
March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day: St. Paddy’s Day will come around mid-March to be sure, to be sure. Irish themes will be your guiding light here – #shamrocks, #Guinness, and #Bono may all be trending.
April 16th – Easter Sunday: What are the opportunities here? Easter basket giveaways? Egg puns in your blog post titles? Bunnies? Plenty of opportunity here for the content marketer.
April 23rd – Shakespeare Day/ St. George’s Day: All the online world is indeed a stage for your Shakespeare-related content set for publication on and around April 23rd. What will your Merry Wives of Content Marketing be? Alternatively, we’ve got the dragon slayer St. George also vying for attention on this date. If you’ve got a market in the UK, this is a golden day for you.
May 1st – May Day: The spring festival, ah yes. Dancing, singing, cakes, maypoles, and celebrations of new life. Perhaps you could plan a new product or service launch to coincide.
June 18th – Father’s Day: Why not? I know there are many complainers out there that insist that this is an “invented” celebration. But I would contend that so is Mother’s Day (March 26th, by the way) – so what’s the big deal? Anyway, if you’ve got any dad jokes up your sleeve, release them into wild on Twitter on June 18th, and direct users to associated content.
July 3rd to 16th – Wimbledon: Tennis, Pimms, strawberries. Here we go – “50% Off All Products – You Cannot Be Serious!” Gotta be something in all that to get your creative juices flowing.
September 5th – Back to School: The new school year begins again on September 5th, connoting new beginnings, learning opportunities, and frantic (or relieved) parents rushing their little loved ones to the school gates. Something to think about.
October 31st – Halloween: Ghoulish giveaways? Ghost-writing services, maybe? ‘5 Tricks to Treat Your Customers this Halloween’? Anything to do with pumpkins – they’re all yours to play with during this autumnal celebration.
November 24th – Black Friday: This is one date that you absolutely must plan in advance for – especially if you’re in the B2C realm. Shoppers go mad for it, and so must you.
November 27th – Cyber Monday: Yeah, see Black Friday. You can’t leave this one to chance either.
December – Something big happens during December, though I can’t for the life of me remember what it is….: Any ideas? Ah yes – December 1st is Eat a Red Apple Day. That must be it.