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How to find the right topics to include in your monthly content calendar

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Woman making notes on a calendar to create content later
Topics aligned with your content strategy will boost social engagement | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Creating a monthly content calendar aligned with your business’ marketing strategy is one valuable step towards keeping your communication and sales targets trackable. This calendar will also help you know when posts will go live, which videos are performing well, and which content you should probably avoid spending time on in the future. But how do you find interesting topics to talk about in the first place? How to find the right topics to include in your monthly content calendar?

Another reason why you need to have an efficient content calendar – not random content scattered around or created and posted based on your mood – is that it takes a lot of time. The task of creating good content doesn’t end when you add your last image to a folder containing a month’s worth of posts to start scheduling ahead of time. Nor does it end when you spend a whole day painstakingly uploading content to a social media scheduler of your choice. Those working with digital content know that, besides the hard work that goes into creating content, there will be a vast amount of time you will have to allocate to interaction with your content once it is live. This includes answering questions, replying to comments left under your posts, and being engaging while still business-oriented.

I asked influencers and professionals in charge of creating large batches of content, in Europe and in the US, how they manage to find great topics to include in their monthly content calendars. And here is how they get inspired to come up with content that is both relevant and engaging.

 

Pinterest’s business tool for search terms

“One way to find interesting topics is to utilize Pinterest’s Business tools. For instance, I use Pinterest Trends to view the top U.S. search terms on Pinterest and find when those specific terms peak. I use these insights to find interesting topics and determine when the best time of year is to post that content. I also use Pinterest Predict, which uses data to predict trends that will occur in the future.”
Kathryn Schwab – Head of Content at www.hibobbie.com

 

Have SEO in mind

“The way we find content ideas at our agency is by doing keyword research and having search engine optimization (SEO) always in mind. First, we find keywords and topics that our competitors are ranking for. We also want to choose keywords that we know we are able to rank for. Use Google autosuggest and ‘people also ask’, and www.answerthepublic.com. These tools will tell you if people are interested in that particular topic. In just two hours of this research, you can get all your years’ worth of content ideas.”

Isabel Pak – Global Digital Marketer at www.businessoneonone.com

 

Go back in time

“One way to get interesting topics is to hop in your time machine and see what people were talking about one or two years ago. If you find that there’s been sustained interest in a topic, then go with it. It’s likely that people will be talking about it again. Add your own twist to the topic and VOILA!
Stephen Anfield – Freelance writer and a non-profit consultant.

 

Keep an eye on the competition

“I think the best way to find topics that you could potentially rank for (and should bother creating) is by seeing what your competitors are ranking for. You could use a tool like Ahrefs or SemRush for this. Once you input your domain into Ahrefs, for example, you go to ‘competing domains’ – which will include all the domains that are ranking for some of the keywords you are also ranking for.
You can ignore the keywords you are both ranking for and focus on the ones that only those domains on the list are ranking for. These keywords can give you tons of topic ideas that will help you rank on the first page of Google.”

Freya Kuka – Personal finance expert at www.collectingcents.com

 

 Mailing lists can be useful to crowdsource interesting topics

“One of my favourite ways to develop content ideas is surveying my audiences. Reaching them on social media or using mailing lists to crowdsource the topics of interest is an invaluable method to align my content with the interest of the readers. When reaching out, it’s important to provoke some thoughts and direct your followers toward meaningful responses. So, you want to go deeper than just asking them what they think is a cool topic.”

Rebeca Sena – Architectural Marketing Consultant at www.getspace.digital

 

Search viral content at BuzzSumo

“One of the best ways to get content ideas is to use a tool like BuzzSumo. Enter in a keyword or topic and it will display the most viral content related to it. This includes social shares, backlinks, and other important metrics. Use this to understand what readers are interested in and create content based on that. Marketers can also spin the main topic into clusters and sub-topics for maximum efficiency.”

Carmine Mastropierro – Toronto copywriter and marketing consultant at  www.carminemastropierro.com

 

Ask around to create what people want

“My #1 hack for planning content and topic ideation is “asking the people” – what content are people looking for that’s related to your business? What questions are they asking? Using tools like AlsoAsked.com, using the ‘People Also Asked’ section of the SERPs, and joining social media groups are great ways to learn what your market actually wants to know.”

Shonavee Simpson-Anderson – SEO Strategist at www.firewiredigital.com.au

 

Reddit and Facebook are your friends

“You can create content from discussions online, such as a blog post from lifehacks that uses your product. Crowdsourcing still works for content as long as it’s curated. And if the page of the client you are developing content for has a light tone, you can create memes to share on social media.

We usually create content calendars for clients in advance, but we’re not strict about which topics should be posted on a specific date; if there’s major news that’s related to our niche or our audience’s everyday life, we do adjust.”

Clara Buenconsejo – Digital Marketing Consultant at www.theclaymedia.com

 

Business

Fund to launch and grow a business will help black entrepreneurs in the UK

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Blacl barber looks after a client and his business
Applications are open for funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies in the UK 

Future 100 Growth Fund, a programme backing Black British entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses is now open for applications. The £1m partnership between Europe’s leading media and entertainment company, Sky, and the newly launched independent civil rights group, the Black Equity Organisation (BEO), aims to provide funding and support over three years to help overcome the significant barriers faced by young Black entrepreneurs in Britain when setting up businesses.

“We want to share our platform and capability to create lasting change for Black British entrepreneurs. We are pleased to be working with BEO to provide direct assistance and advice from Sky to help make the UK a great place for Black businesses.” – celebrated Dana Strong, CEO of the Sky’s Group. The company has made £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality and make a difference in communities impacted by racism.

Driving economic empowerment and equity of opportunity for Black people and businesses is one of six key areas Black Equity Organisation will focus on. Research has highlighted that in the 10 years between 2009-19, only 0.24% of the total invested in UK start-ups from venture capital funding went to Black entrepreneurs. Just 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs.

Besides offering funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies, the initiative aims to create a network of mentors and community organisations to advise and assist new enterprises through direct financial support and products nurturing talent and innovation.

”The Future 100 Growth Fund will back the next generation of Black founders to thrive and succeed. We can’t wait to see what the applicants achieve through this programme as they drive growth across their businesses and for the UK economy.” – says Dame Vivian Hunt, Chair of Trustees at Black Equity Organisation.

The programme is open to applicants between 18 and 30 years old of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and/or Mixed-race descent who are UK residents. The fund will support Black entrepreneurs who are looking to bring a business concept to life, have a fledgling business that they want to scale or have the beginnings of a thriving business.

To find out more about the Future 100 programme and for details on how to apply visit the project here.

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Hospitality industry in the UK threatened by staff shortages

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Housekeepers are expected to receive a 7.4% pay rise, but UK businesses still struggle to recruit staff | Photo: Liliana Drew

The hospitality and leisure sector’s post-pandemic recovery, in the UK, could be severely hampered by the lack of staff, a new report from a British bank has revealed.

“UK Hospitality’s Next Challenge”, a study from Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that the release of pent-up consumer demand for socialising, holidays and experiences following the pandemic has given a boost to the sector. Over three quarters (77%) of H&L operators are confident of growth this year, and had predicted an average 30.5% uplift in revenue compared with pre-pandemic levels. This equates to a £36bn² rise in annual turnover over 2019, and a £54bn increase on 2021.

However, the predicted growth could be stifled by soaring supplier costs and a scramble for talent. Hospitality and leisure businesses report that their transport costs have already spiked by over 38% year-on-year on average, and their utility bills by 37%.

Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (94%) hospitality and leisure businesses are struggling to recruit personnel, with vacancies for cleaning staff (20%), front of house staff (18%), and delivery staff (16%) causing the most issues. There are particularly acute shortages of cleaners in the East Midlands and the East of England (28%).

Almost a fifth (16%) of bars and restaurants are finding it difficult to hire waiting staff, and over two fifths of gyms and leisure centres (42%) cannot find fitness instructors. Recruitment issues also extend to back-of-house and C-suite roles: 17% of operators are having trouble sourcing finance staff and 16% said the same about senior management positions.

“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies. It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.” – says Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking.

Hospitality and leisure operators are already establishing new incentives to recruit and retain talent, including permanent work flexibility, the introduction of bonuses, and an increase in staff welfare budgets.

Almost one in five employers (19%) have also increased wages given to staff. Senior managers are set to receive the biggest boost to their pay packets, with an average increase of 7.7% – equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker. Delivery riders, housekeepers and kitchen staff are also expected to see their wages rise in 2022.

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Contemporary artist Demit Omphroy partners with GAP for NTF collection

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Artists Demit Omphroy on the streets
Partnership: the limited-edition is Demit Omphroy’s first digital series of NFTs | Photo: Instagram

Contemporary artist and former professional soccer player Demit Omphroy is partnering with GAP for its third collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As the brand, founded in 1969, continues to explore new channels to engage customers in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, this spring, Demit launched a limited-edition graphic tee collection featuring his unique and recognizable work, and now the artist is launching his first NFTs with Gap. Demit’s art depicts life through vibrant colors and an expressionistic style, seeing the world through his inner child.  

“My work is playful, expressive, and simplistic, yet loaded with emotion. Being able to express myself through a new digital medium and collaborate with Gap, one of the most iconic brands in history, is exciting for me as a creator.” – celebrates the American artist who is also a citizen of Panama and the Philippines through descent.

On June 15, the One of a Kind digital auction will begin, featuring single edition digital art and a custom, hand-painted Gap denim jacket by Demit.  

In July, Gap x DOGAMÍ NFT wearables will launch as the first fashion collaboration in the petaverse. Digital Gap logo hoodies specifically designed for DOGAMÍ avatars will engage players to express their virtual pet’s individual style that will have a direct impact on game stats. 

“Partnering with unique artists and creators is a cornerstone of our NFT program,” – says Chris Goble, Chief Product Officer at Gap. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Demit and to create this vibrant collection of NFTs and product that amplifies his voice and represents his distinct individual style.”  

The Gap Threads marketplace and DOGAMÍ are both built on Tezos, a more energy efficient blockchain, allowing for minimal energy consumption and a low carbon footprint. Customers can also join Gap’s Discord server to connect, engage, and foster a community with other fans of Gap NFTs. The Discord server can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads.

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