AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThis Blog Was Conceived on 10-20-2020 Content Calendars

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This Blog Was Conceived on 10-20-2020 Content Calendars

In October, prior to Halloween, I was thinking about the first quarter of the year and the blogs I needed to write. A content calendar is not a sexy marketing technique, but it is one of the most important tools to a successful media effort.

Those nice holiday ads you see in December are usually shot and edited in the summer. That means your product mix, your offer and your theme need to be ready to go in late spring. That kind of work-ahead requires a content calendar, just based on the logistics of accomplishing tasks and following a process.

Here is my content calendar for 2020 blogs. You can see I’ve planned out the blogless weeks and holidays.

Yet even on a small scale, you should be setting a content calendar to make sure you are optimizing all of your content creation, media efforts, messaging and budget. It is estimated that more than 60% of businesses don’t have a documented strategy.

A content calendar provides a 360-degree view of your messaging across all platforms. It also can help you see gaps in your message stream. A content calendar also can help you plan and organize around key events and milestones in your organization. A content calendar leads to high quality because of the strategic planning.

To me the most important part of a content calendar is that it provides a cadence or rhythm to your marketing efforts. As I studied my data for my blog and my past calendar, I found that readership steeply drops the week of a holiday and the week leading up to a holiday. I’ve been able to realign my efforts accordingly — no need to produce fresh content with few readers.

Creating content is a relentless beast. One way to tame it is with a content calendar. So today, as you read this, I should be planning June blogs and thinking about summer.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.