Have you ever wondered how to use awareness days in your content marketing? A lot of small business owners aren't too sure how to do this - if you're one of them, read on to find out simple it is and how it can really blast through your writer's block!
Stuck for content?
Have you ever been in the position where you meant to plan next month's content, honestly you did, but life kind of got in the way, and even though you've got loads of ideas floating round your head, you know it would take ages to convert them into actual POSTS?
So now your content planner's crumbling to dust and you feel mild panic rising at the thought of another day going by where you don't post ...
Because do you even exist if nobody knows you're there?
You clearly have a dose of content constipation - so let's fix it!
Look, if you're utterly stuck for content and have absolutely no idea how to approach content marketing, this is not going to solve all your woes and get enquiries and bookings flooding your inbox.
But what my suggestion here CAN do for you is unblock you when you've not been posting for a while and get you going again.
It'll give you some really easy ways to spark your imagination, and you can be as brief or as detailed as you like in the posts once you start writing again.
We've all been there. (PLEASE tell me we've all been there ..!) A Trello board or Google Docs file, or even just a notebook full of ideas, all good stuff to post about.
But ... You've been busy. Doing client work, doing kid stuff, doing housework, doing Wordle, doing ... Anything rather than writing and scheduling the posts.
And the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. So how the hell DO you get back into the swing of your social media posting?
Find some timely awareness days to write about.
The internet has lists all over the place for awareness days, ranging from the desperately serious but very worthwhile to the sublimely ridiculous.
Here's how to use awareness days in your content marketing.
Find awareness days relevant to your business
Firstly, are there are any awareness days which are relevant to your business and to what you do?
For the likes of me, that could be World Photography Day on 19 August, or International Women's Day on 8 March. Or National Selfie Day on 21 June ... Cause believe me, I can talk for days about why you should never use selfies on your website!
Find awareness days throughout the year which have a connection to what you do and take the opportunity to explain more to people about your service and about how that service can help them.
Find awareness days relevant to your ideal clients’ businesses
Say you’re a copywriter who works primarily with business coaches. Yes, you could post something about your business on World Copywriters Day on 30 September, but your clients would probably also love hear you talk about National Coaching Week, which starts on 16 May.
You could acknowledge some of your clients’ work, or even explain why you love working with business coaches.
Find awareness days relevant to you personally
The third way is to pick awareness days that you can create more personal content for which will help your ideal clients get to know you and find out what matters to you. This is a great way of fostering connection with potential clients and customers – people are usually curious about other people, after all.
For example, you could be raising money for a Parkinson's charity as you, a family member, or friend could have first hand experience of Parkinson's. Talking about this in connection with World Parkinson's Day on 11 April may be a natural thing for you to do, and using the relevant social media hashtags can bring others into the conversation.
Or maybe one of the more daft awareness days might spark ideas for social media posts. World Chocolate Day is on 7 July, but I really don't like chocolate so that's something I might talk about. (Although to be fair, I wouldn't have much to say about the topic other than the fact I think chocolate's minging.)
Or National Black Cat Day on 27 October – I have two black cats so there are all sorts things I could say about them.
Although actually, National Black Cat Day SOUNDS a bit daft, but sadly cat protection charities have found that they’re less popular than other types of cat, with black cats taking longer to be adopted. (My two black cats came from the Fife Cat Shelter and they’re beautiful!)
And World Chocolate Day may sound like a silly thing to mark, but guess who chocolate matters a lot to, other than those who guzzle it? Cocoa farmers. There are a whole host of serious fair trade issues here.
So it's worth bearing in mind there can often be a more sombre aspect to what sounds the stupidest awareness days.
Although I'm not sure what's really behind Work Naked Day ... So far it seems to be just an American thing. Let's hope it stays that way!
Taking inspiration from awareness days without mentioning them
Another thing you can do with awareness days is to use them to spark content ideas without actually mentioning the days themselves.
Take my example of National Selfie Day. I could write about selfies – oh wait, I already have! – but not even mention the awareness day.
Perhaps you posted a day or two ago something relating to another awareness day? There’s nothing to stop you writing about the importance of coffee in your life without even mentioning International Coffee Day.
Using awareness days in your social media content
Be selective about which awareness days to use
If you Google hard enough, you’ll find an awareness day for anything and everything, and though it can be tempting to post about heaps of them, it’s better to be fussy and stick to those that fall into the three categories I’ve mentioned above. Pick causes which align with your brand and your business values and which are relevant to your clients.
Don’t overdo it either … I’m certainly not going to suggest a limit for the number of awareness days you’d observe every month on your social media, but if you do loads of these things and little else, then it’s entirely possible you’ll alienate your followers and you’ll see engagement drop off.
Use the right hashtags
If you’re posting on LinkedIn or Instagram for a particular awareness day, make sure you use the right hashtags as this can be a great way to involve others, boost your engagement, reach, and ultimately get more eyeballs on your business.
Or maybe you’re not posting for these reasons but you’re just genuinely invested in a particular cause and want to create or join in conversation about it. Use your channels as a platform to help others understand why your cause matters so much.
A word of caution
Whilst producing content for awareness days can be an effective way to highlight and support a particular cause or charity, be careful that you don't come across as shamelessly capitalising on that particular day or marking it just for a publicity stunt.
I feel it's safer not to post about the "serious" ones unless you genuinely care, and even better, if you can show WHY you care. Inauthenticity is easy to see through and if people suspect you're just jumping on a bandwagon for exposure, you'll risk reputational damage that could be exceedingly hard to repair.
Why not pick a very small handful of these kinds of awareness days throughout the year that really mean something to you, and write some really thoughtful posts about why they matter to you so much?
Another really handy thing about using awareness days in your content is that you can plan and write the stuff ahead - a long way ahead.
Dates for these things are set well in advance so you can plan your posts and campaigns in good time. You'll have bags of time to get the posts written, the hashtags researched, and the images put together.
And if you've had a brand photography session done - if you haven't, check my post here on why you need personal branding photography - you'll already have a bank of images which you can draw from for awareness days posts.
Make sure you're following me on social media to see how I do it!