In today’s business world, marketing yourself often comes down to one word – content. Whether it’s your print advertising, your blog, your social media accounts, or the flyers you distribute with your products, content is king.
Content can also be overwhelming. Not only can trying to create and manage fresh content turn into a time-sucking commitment but also, poorly thought out content is worthless to your business. The day after the holiday is not the time to realize a blog post with a discount coupon was a good idea.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is something every business needs and few use. In its simplest form, it’s a list of your marketing priorities matched up with your marketing opportunities. Once you master it, the editorial calendar is a self-contained promotional mission control that lets you make the most of your marketing time and dollars.
What to Do Before You Create Your Editorial Calendar:
- Identify your marketing channels. Do you use print advertising? Do you have, or are you willing to commit to social media? Does your company have a blog or website?
- What does your company do? This is a question that doesn’t get asked enough. “We sell cupcakes” is not enough of an answer. Think about your products and services. A cupcake baker is also likely a designer, a party facilitator, a caterer, and a part of local holiday traditions.
- Match your business to your marketing channels. A cupcake baker might want to look at more visual channels such as Pinterest or Facebook. A blog laden with seasonal photos might be a good choice. Your editorial calendar can help you make the best use of your resources.
The Parts of an Effective Editorial Calendar:
The editorial calendar is your marketing and content master plan for the year.
- Sales Cycle Strategy. Sales don’t materialize out of thin air. Your company has to attract potential customers, engage them, and overcome their objections before closing the deal. Even selling a cupcake has a sales cycle. Your goal is to shorten that cycle with content and information. When customers walk into your shop because they have been to your website, seen your photos, interacted with you on social media, and have a coupon in hand, your upfront work reduces the sales cycle to minutes.
- Holiday Strategy. Competition for holiday business is fierce. Your editorial calendar can tell you when it is time to start prepping for holiday business. Review your records from previous years. When did you start getting orders for Easter cupcakes? That date will tell you when you need to start targeting your promotional activities. The best time to get your plans for the next holiday on your editorial calendar is while the last holiday is fresh in your mind.
- Keyword Strategy. Keywords and tags are called meta data. These are the signposts that guide people to your content. This and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two of the least understood parts of online marketing. But once you know what works, for example, a blog post tagged “bunny ear cupcakes” brought in orders, youcan add these keywords to your editorial calendar for use in future promotions.
This isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it sounds. Instead of trying to wrangle spreadsheets and sticky notes, Sur-Ryl Marketing has designed an easy-to-use template for your 2017 (and beyond) editorial calendar. It’s time to take your business to the next level, contact us for a consultation on SEO, marketing channels, and achieving the right mix of seasonal and evergreen content to help drive your sales.