While time seems to have taken on a new meaning during the pandemic, passing by both excruciatingly slowly and unbelievably quickly, some annual milestones never change for marketers. And Q4 means it’s time to start planning content for the new year.
To help you get the ball rolling, check out our tips for making sure your brand or agency’s content is a success:
It’s never too early to start
Between production cycles and internal approval times, beginning early is a smart idea. First, determine objectives and KPIs – whether it’s brand awareness, new leads or improving public reputation. Then, build out your platform and content strategy from that, ensuring any tactics lead back to your goals.
If you’re looking to run a series of articles, remember that our January issue is released on December 1st. So that means you should line up your contract and start brainstorming topics with our editorial team in October and no later than early November. If you want to create an audio news release (ANR) to launch early in the new year, you should be filling out your production brief in November.
Turn to creative sources for ideas
When it comes to earned content, our 2022 Editorial Calendar is a great place to start looking for topics. There you’ll find seasonal themes and ideas for each month based on what’s been trending with the media.
Another great resource is Google Trends, which lets you see what people are searching for and can be sorted by category, region, time of year and more. Want to know what’s going to be trending before it starts? Pinterest Predicts calls itself a “not-yet-trending report” that’s perfect for businesses to find tomorrow’s ideas today. In fact, the platform boasts that 8 out of 10 of its predictions for 2020 came true.
Keep key seasons in mind
Is tax time an important marketing opportunity for your brand? Do you need a sales boost in the New Year due to product supply issues? Whatever time of year is critical for you, start planning for it now so you’re able to devote enough resources and budget to it when the time comes. Plus, you’ll want to start creating this content early so it’s not rushed or a last-minute afterthought.
For articles and radio segments, reach out to us early to let us know what seasonal content you’re interested in running. We can make sure you don’t miss your window of opportunity and provide fresh spins on topics you cover year after year.
Here are some of the most common seasons and holidays and when to start working with the News Canada production team on them:
- RRSP season / Tax time: December / January
- Summer vacation: April / May
- Back to school: June/July
- Winter tires / safety: September / October
- Christmas / holidays: September / October
Look to the past for new insight
It can be easy to forget all about 2021 once we start thinking about the new year. But this can mean ignoring valuable learnings that can help you create successful content going forward.
So, take a look at your metrics and results over the last 12 months. What headlines performed best? What kinds of articles yielded the most impressions? What ANRs got the most airplay? Did your decorating tips or recipes lead to more clips?
Once you have a solid understanding of what worked well in the past and what didn’t, you can decide what type of content to create more of — with a new, timely angle and fresh copy — and what isn’t worth your time or investment. Just remember to be flexible, as we may recommend going in a different direction based on how the media landscape has shifted more recently.
Need help planning your content or want to know the best time of year to promote your brand? Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.