Is 2018 going to be a big year for you and your business?
I’ll be honest, over the 5+ years I have been working in the content marketing space, the results have ebbed and flowed.
But the times where I keep turning up, day after day, week after week, and stay on top of those regular content habits, that’s when the positive outcomes kick into gear.
The key to keeping that train going is being ahead of the game. We all know that life or business takes over every now and then, and if you’re trying to publish content at the last minute all of the time you are fighting a losing battle.
I’ve found the perfect amount of time to be ahead of the game is about 4 weeks. If you can pre-schedule content that far ahead it releases the pressure valve and makes it all much easier to handle.
That’s why planning your content marketing calendar ahead of time is absolutely essential if you want to see consistent results.
Today I want to help you have a successful 2018 by providing the tools and content ideas to make that planning and accountability process much easier.
Event-Based Content Ideas for Your 2018 Content Marketing Calendar
Key events throughout the year are a great excuse to send email communication to your subscribers, or create topical content on your blog. They are relevant and newsworthy at the time, and entice people to click through and see what you have to say.
Here are over 40 event-based content ideas you may like to add to your content marketing calendar in 2018:
#1. 1st – Happy New Year – Use this opportunity to wish your supporters a happy new year and encourage them to plan ahead for 2018.
#2. 26th – Australia Day – This is the anniversary of the first British fleet of ships arriving in Australia back in 1788. If you’re in Australia (or have Australian customers) this date may be a good opportunity to connect with them with a topical piece of content.
#3. 2nd – Groundhog Day – Groundhog Day was made famous in the 1993 movie starring American actor Bill Murray, where Murray went on a repetitive and mind numbing cycle of the same day over and over again. Traditionally this day is meant to mark the time that the groundhog comes out of its hole at the end of hibernation. Get creative and use this event as you wish!
#4. 4th – Super Bowl – The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the NFL – it’s one of the biggest days on the US sporting calendar and is watched all over the world, with short advertising slots during the game traditionally costing big brands millions of dollars.
#5. 14th – Valentine’s Day – Ahhh the day of romance and love, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to play on the emotional drivers of your prospects with a topical piece of content.
Below is an example of a Japanese restaurant here in Sydney using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to engage with previous customers:
#6. 16th – Chinese New Year – This is a Chinese festival celebrated at the start of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar – if you’re in China (or have Chinese customers) this date may be a good opportunity to connect. 2018 is the year of the Dog!
#7. 17th – Random Act of Kindness Day (UK) – I spotted this one in the UK event calendar and couldn’t leave it out. Why not take the opportunity to create a piece of content that helps someone else? Awesome idea.
#8. 11th – Mother’s Day (UK) – A time to celebrate mom’s (mum’s)! Do you have any in your community?
Below is an email I received from a taxi booking app called GoCatch, who have made the most of Mother’s Day to engage with their customers:
#9. 17th – St. Patrick’s Day – An Irish celebration in memory of Saint Patrick, typified with lots of good old Irish cheer, green colors, and leprechauns!
#10. 24th – Red Nose Day (UK) – A now famous charitable drive which is spearheaded by comic relief and helping those in need around the world.
#11. 1st – April Fool’s Day – The day of the practical joke!
#12. 13th – Easter Friday – A religious holiday that doubles as an opportunity for online businesses to offer a sale on their products.
#13. 16th – Easter Monday – Ditto from above.
Below is a special deal sent out from eCommerce store Zoomlite over the Easter break to entice sales:
#14. 16th – Patriots’ Day – A time to commemorate a 1775 battle in Boston.
#15. 23rd – World Book Day – I can almost guarantee you have a few readers on your prospect list. Send them some book recommendations, or use this day to promote your latest masterpiece.
#16. 25th April – ANZAC Day (Australia & New Zealand) – The ANZACs were Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in the first world war, but this day has become a day to remember all soldiers that have gone to battle. It’s the only day of the year when the famous gambling game “Two Up” is legal.
#17. 5th – Cinco De Mayo – A Mexican celebration to remember a famous (and unlikely) victory over the French in 1862.
#18. 7th – May Day Bank Holiday (UK) – May Day is a festival and celebration in the northern hemisphere. Another reason to connect with your list!
#19. 13th – Mother’s Day (US & Australia) – Ditto from March 11th, but for the US and Australia.
#20. 28th – Memorial Day – For remembering the people who have died while serving in the armed forces.
See below how Sumo used Memorial Day as a deadline to create urgency for one of their sales:
#21. 11th – Queen’s Birthday (Australia – NSW/VIC) – Not actually the Queen’s birthday, but any reason to take a day off work for the Commonwealth!
#22. 15th – My Birthday – You don’t need to send me an email, but you may want to look into emailing your subscribers on their birthdays! 🙂
#23. 17th – Father’s Day (US and UK) – Just like Mother’s Day, but a day to celebrate dads. I bet you have a few on your list.
#24. 21st – Shortest Day of the Year (Southern Hemisphere) – Encourage everyone to get up early and make the most of it!
#25. 30th – Red Nose Day (Australia) – Ditto from the UK version of the holiday, Aussies go crazy wearing red noses around and strapping them to their cars.
#26. 4th – Independence Day – A landmark day in US history, and a gripping movie with Will Smith. Pick how you want to use it 🙂
#27. 7th – Tour de France Begins – Perhaps the most gruelling and world-renowned bike tour begins in France. Do you have any cyclists on your list?
#28. 1st – Horse’s Birthday – In the Southern Hemisphere no matter what day a horse is born their birthday is celebrated on August 1st. This one is a little left of center, but I couldn’t find any other key dates for August!
#29. 2nd – Father’s Day (Australia & New Zealand) – Ditto from June 17th, but for Australia and New Zealand.
#30. 3rd – Labor Day (US) – A day to recognize the contributions that workers have made to the strength and prosperity of the US.
#31. 22nd – Oktoberfest Begins (Until 7th of October) – Held annually in Germany, but celebrated all over the world, Oktoberfest is an 18-day folk festival which is associated with lots of beer drinking.
#32. 1st – Queen’s Birthday (Australia – QLD/WA) – Ditto from June 11th.
#33. 31st – Halloween – Trick or treating, carving pumpkins, dressing up in your favorite costume… Halloween is a recognizable event which online businesses regularly leverage to communicate with their audience.
Here is one example from online design outsourcing platform 99Designs:
#34. 11th – Veterans Day (US) and Rememberance Day (UK) – A memorial day to remember the fallen soldiers and those that have served for your country.
#35. 22nd – Thanksgiving – An opportunity to give thanks to those in your community.
#36. 23rd – Black Friday – The day after Thanksgiving when retail stores and online businesses traditionally provide significant sale prices on their products.
For example, Foundr Magazine offered up to 50% off their online courses in a Black Friday deal this year:
#37. 26th – Cyber Monday – Much like Black Friday, it is an extension of the Thanksgiving holiday and a noted time for big sales.
#38. 21st – Shortest Day of the Year (Norther Hemisphere) – Ditto from the 21st of June for the Northern Hemisphere.
#39. 22nd – Christmas Wishes for the 25th – With Christmas approaching on the 25th of December, it’s a good time to connect with your list, wish them a happy holiday season, and encourage them to reflect on the year that has been.
Below is a an example of a simple, and personalized, Merry Christmas email from Loz James at the Content Champion:
#40. 26th – Boxing Day – The day after Christmas is quite often a time for retailers and online businesses to generate an up-tick in sales by offering clearance rates on the end of year stock that wasn’t sold during the Christmas period.
#41. 31st – New Year’s Eve – It’s time to celebrate the year that was, reflect on wins, and set goals for the new year ahead!
Regular Content Ideas for Your 2018 Content Marketing Calendar
As well as event-based content, it’s also important to maintain a consistent cadence of helpful and interesting information on your website’s blog throughout the year.
This content will vary depending on your customers, industry, objectives, and an array of other factors.
But to help you plan ahead for 2018 I have gathered over 100 potential blog post headlines that can work in any industry, and just about any scenario. Feel free to copy and use any of them when planning your content calendar for 2018.
For ease of reading I have grouped these headlines into five of the best performing headline categories – How to, Lists, Getting a clear benefit, Avoiding a negative outcome, Facts, statistics and examples – as well as providing an additional catch-all category which I’ve labelled ‘General’.
The most intriguing part about these headlines is that they are proven performers backed by research. Steve Rayson from BuzzSumo did a meta analysis of which headline elements are most common in viral posts, and the five elements that showed up most were:
Each of the headlines you see below contain a combination of these elements.
Let’s take a look…
Note: I originally published these headline formulas on JeffBullas.com in a guest post here.
#42. How to Get [benefit] Out of [topic]
#43. How to [benefit] When You’re Not [topic]
#44. How You Can [benefit] Almost Instantly
#45. How to Become [benefit] When You Feel [negative outcome]
#46. How to Use [topic] to [benefit]
#47. How to Turn Your [topic] Into [benefit]
#48. How to Turn [topic] Into [benefit]
#49. How to Build a [topic] You Can Be Proud Of
#50. How to Take the Pain Out Of [topic]
#51. How to do [topic] In Under X Minutes
#52. How to Make People Line Up to [topic]
#53. How to Get [benefit] In Under X Minutes
#54. How to Skyrocket Your [benefit] With [topic]
#55. How to Shortcut [benefit] By Using [topic]
#56. How to Avoid Looking Stupid When Asked About [topic]
#57. How to Turn [topic] Into [benefit] Every Time
#58. How to [topic] for [benefit]
#59. How to [benefit] Like [case study or example]
#60. How to Create [benefit] for Your [topic]
#61. Exactly How to [benefit] Right Now (Step-by-Step)
#62. How to Master [topic] In X Steps
#63. X Hacks to Accelerate [benefit]
#64. X Ways to Avoid [negative outcome]
#65. X Mind-Blowing Benefits of [topic]
#66. X Factors for Getting [benefit]
#67. X [benefit] Techniques That You Didn’t Know About
#68. X Elements of The Perfect [topic]
#69. X Examples of [benefit] from [case study or example]
#70. X Experts Reveal How to [benefit]
#71. X Little Known Ways to [topic]
#72. X Questions Answered About [topic]
#73. X Free Ways to [benefit]
#74. X Underground Tips On Achieving [benefit]
#75. X Tips on How to Avoid [negative outcome]
#76. X Tactics for Knocking [topic] Out of the Park
#77. X Proven Methods for Accelerating [benefit]
#78. X Tricks for [benefit] More Often
#79. X Simple [topic’s] You Can Create (Even If You’re Not a [job title])
#80. X Principles for [benefit] with [topic]
#81. X Shocking Mistakes Killing Your [topic]
#82. X Surefire Strategies for [benefit] Even If You’re Worried About [negative outcome]
#83. X Examples That Will Help You Overcome [topic]
#84. X Ways to Get [benefit] That Won’t End Up In [negative outcome]
#85. X Valuable Lessons from [your industry] Experts
Getting a clear benefit
#86. A Simple Way to [benefit] That Works For [job title]
#87. Where [benefit] Is and How To Get It
#88. Why I [topic] (And Maybe You Should Too)
#89. An Open Letter to [job title’s] Looking for [benefit]
#90. [topic] Your Way to a [benefit]
#91. Discover the Secrets Behind [benefit]
#92. How to Fast-Track [benefit]
#93. The Secret to [benefit] Is Revealed
#94. Get [benefit] Without Losing [topic]
#95. Imagine [benefit] Without [negative outcome]
#96. If You Can [topic] You Can [benefit]
#97. Improve Your [benefit] In [time]
#98. See How Easily You Can [benefit]
#99. Give Me [time] and I’ll Give You [benefit]
#100. [topic]: Get More [benefit] Than Your Competitors
#101. The Quickest and Easiest Way to Get [benefit]
#102. The Exact Process We Use to Get [benefit] Without [negative outcome]
#103. Here’s a Quick Way to [benefit]
Avoiding a negative outcome
#104. The Unfortunate Truth About [topic]
#105. Why You Need to Stop [topic] Before It [negative outcome]
#106. Never Suffer From [negative outcome] Again
#107. The Hidden Risk In Your [topic]
#108. If You Don’t [topic] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
#109. [topic] May Be Causing You to Lose Out On [benefit]
#110. To People That Want to [benefit] But Can’t Get Started
#111. Get [benefit] Without [negative outcome]
#112. Why you shouldn’t [topic]
#113. What Your [topic] Won’t Tell You And How It Can Save You [topic]
#114. The Sooner You Know [topic] The Better
#115. No [negative outcome] Just [benefit] Everyday
#116. Get Rid of [negative outcome] Once and For All
#117. Why [topic] Fails and [topic] Succeeds
#118. Forget Everything You Know About [topic]
#119. What Your Competitors Wish They Knew About [topic]
#120. Warning: Ignoring [topic x] Could Seriously Damage Your [topic y]
#121. Why You Are Wasting [resource] and What to Do About it
Facts, statistics and examples
#122. How [big number] Got [benefit] in [time]
#123. [case study or example] Reveals X Ways to [benefit]
#124. How [big number] Got [benefit] Without [negative outcome]
#125. The [benefit] That [case study or example] Is Talking About
#126. [topic] Hacking With [case study or example]
#127. Join [big number] of Your Peers That Got [benefit]
#128. Like [case study or example] You Can [benefit]
#129. Why [big number] of People are Starting to [topic]
#130. X% Of People Got [benefit] From [topic]
#131. Here is a Method That is Helping [case study or example] to [topic]
#132. How [case study or example] Increased [benefit] In X Days
#133. How I Got [big number] [benefit] Using [topic]
#134. Take X minutes to get started with [topic]… you won’t regret it!
#135. What Everybody Needs to Know About [topic]
#136. Don’t Try [topic x] Without [topic y] First
#137. You Don’t Have to be [respected expert] to Achieve [benefit]
#138. The Ultimate Guide to [topic]
#139. The Definitive Guide to Getting [benefit]
#140. Everything You Ever Need to Know About [topic]
#141. The Only Thing You’ll Ever Need to Master [topic]
#142. Who Else Wants [benefit]?
#143. Your Competitors Don’t Want You To Read This [topic]
#144. Answered: Your Burning Questions About [topic]
#145. Do You Know the X Warning Signs of [negative outcome]?
#146. How Many Times Are You Willing to [negative outcome] Before You Try This?
#147. What’s More Effective [topic x] or [topic y]?
#148. How Do You Get [benefit] Without [negative outcome]?
#149. The Smart [job title’s] Guide to [topic]
#150. Revealed: The [topic] Strategy No One Has Told You Yet
#151. Smart [job title’s] Should Do [topic]
Bonus: Your Fully-Populated 2018 Content Marketing Calendar in Two Clicks
151 content ideas… that is a LOT to take in!
How are you possibly going to decipher all of that information and actually plan your content marketing calendar for 2018?
Well, I’ve tried to make that process a whole lot easier.
You see, FlypChart has a built in content marketing calendar where you can view all of your planned and scheduled content across email, social media, and on your website.
Plus, we have created a pre-set content “Recipe” that will automatically populate all of these content ideas into your FlypChart content marketing calendar, ready for you to edit and approve to be posted. Our recipes are designed to replicate the creation and scheduling of content (social media posts, blog posts, emails etc.), using proven methodologies, without you doing it all manually.
Within two clicks you will have planned your entire content calendar for 2018.
More specifically, the recipe includes 41 event-based emails and a weekly blog post that is pre-populated with suggested headlines from the list above.
Let’s take a look at exactly how it works within FlypChart:
Step 1 – Create a campaign using a recipe from the top navigation
Step 2 – Name your campaign and choose a the recipe “2018 Content Calendar”
Step 3 – View your 2018 content marketing calendar in the calendar view
Two clicks… I was being serious!
Wrapping things up
So there you have it, a comprehensive breakdown of over 150 content ideas you can add to your calendar for 2018.
I hope you have found this information helpful, and more importantly will actually take action by planning and executing on your content marketing objectives in the year ahead.
What’s stopping you from making 2018 your biggest year yet?