Planning The Year Ahead: event ideas for your social media posts (plus a free content calendar template)

Planning The Year Ahead: event ideas for your social media posts (plus a free content calendar template)

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One of the challenges for your social media is: what do I post?!  The simple answer is: content your target audience finds interesting and that helps build your brand values.

 

One unique way to do that is to leverage special dates during the year.  This in-depth post will give you event ideas for your content marketing. Magazine editors do this too – run timely articles that use ‘borrowed interest’.

 

 

What events are we talking about?

 

There are all the usual obvious dates in the year. You know, like Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day, that sort of thing.

 

But there are plenty of other dates too, many intriguing and interesting ones you could play with – to do something different and give your content marketing some character. (Did you know there was World Emoji Day for example?) 

 

Event ideas for content marketing Emoji Day

Yes, there is an Emoji Day! (On 17 July.) An event idea for content marketing? 

 

Yearly events and what to do with them

 

In this post I’ve put together the best of what happens in a year – to help give you ideas for posts to coincide with events. Have a look, there’s likely to be an event or a special day that’s both relevant to your work or to the interests of your target group. (Let’s face it, there’s pretty much a day for everything these days.)

 

Pick some relevant dates and create content around them. Then schedule that content to appear on the day. And then if it works well, do it again next year. Even five of these per year would add an interesting dimension to your overall content marketing. But you could do more. 

 

At the end of this post, there are some tips to help you pull it together – including a link to a free content calendar template.

 

Go one step further (plan your life)      

 

The other important thing you could (and should) be doing while you’re in planning mode is working out what’s happening in your life and in your business in the coming months. There are markers in the following list to help you do that too – plan for things like public holidays, school holidays, tax time etc.

 

Here’s all the stuff that happens in a year …

 

2018 (event ideas for content marketing)

July

1st – New Financial Year

1st – Dry July

5th – School term 2 ends (NSW)

7th – World Chocolate Day

14th – Bastille Day

17th – World Emoji Day

22nd – School Term 3 begins (NSW)

29th – National Tree Day*

30th – International Day of Friendship

31st – National Stepfamily Awareness Day

August

3rd – CafeSmart*

3rd – International Beer Day*

8th – International Cat Day

9th – Elvis Week*

12th – International Youth Day

12th – City to Surf Fun Run*

13th – Left-Handers’ Day

18th – Children’s Book Week*

19th – World Humanitarian Day

19th – World Photography Day

19th – Sydney Tea Festival*

20th – Cupcake Day*

31st – Last day of Winter

September

1st – Spring Starts

2nd – Father’s Day*

5th – International Day of Charity

8th – International Literacy Day

13th – RUOK? Day*

17th – Australian Citizenship Day*

18th – Yom Kippur*

21st – International Day of Peace

27th – World Tourism Day

27th – School Term 3 ends (NSW)

29th – AFL Grand Final*

30th – NRL Grand Final*

October 

All month: National Cybersecurity Month 

1st – International Coffee Day

1st – International Day of Older Persons

2nd – Labour Day* (NSW, ACT)

5th – National Walk to Work Day*

7th – Daylight Savings starts* at 2am on first Sunday of month (wind clocks forward)

10th – World Mental Health Day

11th – International Day of the Girl

11th – World Obesity Day

14th – School Term 4 begins (NSW) 

14th – Anti-Poverty Week

17th – National Ride to Work Day*

18th – Sculpture By The Sea* (Sydney)

20th – Garage Sale Trail*

27th – World Audio Visual Day

31st – Halloween

November

All Month: Movember

5th – Guy Fawkes Night

6th – Melbourne Cup Day* (first Tuesday of the month)

7th – Diwali* (Hindu festival of lights)

11th – Remembrance Day

13th – World Kindness Day

16th – World Philosophy Day

20th – Universal Children’s Day

21st – World Television Day

22nd – Thanksgiving*

23rd – Black Friday Sales*

24th – Small Business Saturday*

26th – Cyber Monday Sales*

25th – White Ribbon Day*

30th – Last day of Spring

December

1st – Summer Starts

2nd – Hanukkah*  

5th – International Volunteer Day

10th – Human Rights Day

19th –  School Term 4 ends (NSW)

22nd – Summer Solstice*

24th – Christmas Eve

25th – Christmas Day

26th – Boxing Day

31st – New Year’s Eve

 

2019 (event ideas for content marketing)

January

1st – New Year’s Day

26th – Australia Day

28th – Australia Day Holiday*

29th – School Term 1 begins (NSW)

February

All month: Febfast (Pause for a Cause)

2nd – Groundhog Day

5th – Chinese New Year*

13th – World Radio Day

14th – Valentine’s Day

21st – International Mother Language Day

29th – Last day of Summer*

March

1st – Autumn begins

3rd – Clean Up Australia Day*

5th – Sydney Mardi Gras*

8th – Womadelaide

8th – International Women’s Day

17th – St Patrick’s Day*

20th – International Day of Happiness

21st – World Poetry Day

21st – Harmony Day

21st – Holi (Hindu festival of colours)

30th – Earth Hour*

April

1st – April Fools Day

7th – Daylight Savings ends at 2am on first Sunday of month* (wind clocks back)

12th – NSW School Term 1 ends

12th – Royal Easter Show (Sydney) starts

19th – Good Friday*

21st – Easter Sunday*

21st – World Creativity and Innovation Day

22nd – Earth Day

23rd – World Book Day

25th – ANZAC Day

29th – School Term 2 begins (NSW)

29th – Screen Free Week

29th – Sydney Writers Festival starts

30th – International Jazz Day

May

4th – Star Wars Day (may the 4th be with you)

12th – Mother’s Day*

15th – International Day of Families

23rd – Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

26th – National Sorry Day

27th – Reconciliation Week*

TBC – Vivid Sydney*

31st – Last day of Autumn

June

1st – Winter begins / ski season opens

1st – Global Day of Parents

4th – Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)*

5th – Sydney Film Festival starts

5th – World Environment Day

8th – World Oceans Day

10th – Queen’s Birthday Holiday* (NSW)

20th – World Refugee Day

21st – International Surfing Day*

21st – International Day of Yoga

21st – World Music Day

22nd – Winter Solstice*

27th – International Small Business Day

30th – Social Media Day

30th – End of Financial Year

 

Event ideas for content marketing Womens Day

Build brand values into posts. A fashion company does here with International Womens Day.

 

Will these dates be the same in future years?  

Surprisingly, a lot of the events listed will be on the same date each year. The events marked with an * (asterix) are ones likely to be held on a different date in coming years (although probably around the same period.) If you’re going to use any of these events in your content, you should double check the dates and the links.  

 

Holiday dates do change of course, especially school holidays. In New South Wales, to check the dates of holidays, go to NSW Public Holidays. And to find school holiday dates, go to NSW Government School Terms. If you’re elsewhere in Australia, to check dates of holidays, go to Australian Public Holidays. And to check dates of school holidays, go to Australian School Terms.

 

But wait, there’s more …

Got a sneaking suspicion there’s something you haven’t seen in our list? You can dig even further through these ‘Special Dates and Events’ via the Australian Government and these ‘Festivals and Events’ courtesy of Tourism Australia, if you’re keen.

 

If you’re really into whacky dates, this is the definitive source: ‘Chase’s Calendar of Events’. Or search online ‘offbeat holiday’ with the month you’re in. Or google ‘world’s weirdest holidays’ or ‘national today’. You’ll unearth even more.

 

What else is happening in your business?  

Back to reality. It’s a good idea to factor into your planning important events and deadlines specifically related to your business. Check out the list below and see which of these event types are relevant and important.

 

Apart from the need to get ready for these things, you may also be able to build content around them and make a few of them part of your content plan.  

 

Some of those business type dates include:

– anniversaries

– birthdays (personal and staff) 

– peak seasons 

– stocktakes 

– launches 

– major promotional campaigns

– email campaigns

– blog posts

– tax return lodgement

– BAS (gst) lodgement dates (28/7/18, 28/10/18, 28/2/19, 28/4/19) 

– awards 

– trade fairs

– conferences 

 

Events in content marketing

Pat Flynn and your author at the Problogger Conference. (You can post timely ‘business’ events too.)

 

What to do with all these dates?   

That’s a heap of dates Phil you’re probably thinking. So now what? First, pick up a pen and go through a hard copy of the list above. Circle the events that are relevant. You might then write some rough ideas for content to go with them.

Next, you’ll need to find a strong visual to go with each key date you’re thinking to include in your content / social media marketing plan.

 

Where do you get good visuals?  

There are a few places to find the right pic. You may have a strong relevant photo already in your own photo library. Or you could create a pic for it. If you’re just posting in Instagram, you might ask if you can regram someone else’s relevant pic. (If you ask and they are ok about it, make sure you give them a mention and credit when you post.)  Or you could search a decent stock library like Unsplash (for a high-quality photo you can use for free.) 

Event ideas for content marketing - Yoga Day

One for your content plan, if International Yoga Day is relevant. (Pic by Matthew Kane on Unsplash.)

 

Plan it out in a content calendar

Once you’ve got a better idea of which dates you can post against, add in the other content that’s going into your content plan. The idea is to map out what you’re doing over time. This ‘content calendar’ will help you see everything in one place and think strategically about your content marketing. Publishers use editorial calendars in this way – to plan what they’re doing for the year. You can see the overall calendar for magazines in their media kits. 

Editorial content calendar

Snapshot of an editorial content calendar

The next stage is to put the dates and details into a spreadsheet. 

 

Tools for content planning 

Are there tools to help you do this plan? Yes! Google Sheets is the one I use. It’s free and in the cloud, so if you’re working in a team it means you can collaborate on the one document. Alternatively, you could use an Excel or Numbers spreadsheet. If you’ve got a lot of content you may want to use a dedicated planning and workflow platform like Airtable or Trello

 

Better still, I have a free, pre-prepared Google Sheet template for you … 

 

Grab your free content calendar template!

Yearly content marketing calendar template

Your blank content marketing calendar ready to go …  

Click on this link to find your free yearly content calendar template in Google Sheets

(Note that if you’re doing this in a team, you could expand the sheet and add additional columns for things like who’s working on each item and status of the work in progress.) 

 

Planning for Instagram

If Instagram is your main social media platform, there are apps that enable you to visually map out photos – so you can see what they’ll look like on your Instagram profile once they’re all posted. They include Planoly and Plann. The scheduling tool Later does it too. When you use Instagram, don’t forget to add hashtags. If you want to learn more about them, this Guide to Instagram Hashtags will help.  

 

How often should you do your content planning?

I normally plan content quarterly. So I’m working in reasonable detail for 3 months ahead. Though I also have a rough plan (with key dates) for the year.

 

A helpful tool to plan the big picture  

Whilst I use Google Sheets for setting up my content marketing plan, I also use Google Calendar for planning my businesses and life more broadly. It includes when I’ll sit down to write the content, when I’ll work on the different businesses I run, family commitments and appointments. Life’s a juggling act and Google Calendar will help you balance it.

Plan work and life in Google calendar

You can plan work and life in Google calendar

 

Final tip (one for the road)

Grab a good coffee, block a few hours, and find somewhere quiet to think. It’s strangely enjoyable this planning thing. It’ll give you structure and a road map. That’s the obvious immediate benefit. But it’ll also help you get more done, achieve your goals and feel more under control. Happy planning! 

 

Content marketing ideas planning

Plan the work. Then work the plan. (Pic by Hannah Olinger via Unsplash.)

 

Have I missed an important date? Got tips on posting content around dates or on how to plan your work? Let us know in the comments.

 

There’s more to content marketing of course than just leveraging events and dates. To get a fuller picture, check out our series of posts on Content Marketing For Beginners

Phil Stubbs About the author
phil@mediaschool.com.au

Phil Stubbs is Founder and Principal Trainer at Media School in Sydney, Australia. Phil launched Media School to help people like you learn how to use new media to achieve your goals.

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