Being a social media manager can be a little bit overwhelming at times. Trends change every week and it is difficult to create content that works equally well on all the platforms your audience uses. You might be getting followers on Instagram but is your content powerful enough to get them to your retail store? You may be writing a blog every week, but together are they creating a bigger story? And editorial calendar is a tool that answers all these questions and offers a bird’s eye view of what a marketer’s strategy is going to be for that particular month, before it zooms in to each week and each day, creating a pattern of conversations that collectively hit your marketing goals.
Content Marketing is the only marketing that’s left. That’s a powerful statement even when coming from an experienced marketer like Seth Godin. However, content marketing is extremely crucial to your brand. This is where your brand and your target audience lives and this is where your strategy matters the most. And a perfect editorial calendar is the most important tool of this strategy.
When it comes to editorial calendars for retail brands, Cucumber Marketing swears by the following techniques. Follow these rules, and you’ll do just fine.
Rule #1. Freeze your marketing goal for the month and then create your content goal for each week
Yes, they are two different things. A marketing goal is created with a marketing or business objective in mind and is usually the same over the month. For instance, your marketing goal could be to get more fans and followers. However, you content goal will be a tactic that you employ each week, to achieve this marketing goal. To get more fans and followers, your weekly content goal might be to use popular controversial topics or it could also be to engage the audience with contests and live videos. A solid marketing goal should trickle down to weekly content goals.
Rule #2. Talk to one specific persona each week
You have a buyer persona in your mind. Let’s say your shoe brand targets working women from the age group of 30-40 years. But you can’t talk to all of them at the same time. There are working women who love sports, there are others who love fairytales and then there are those who only want convenient footwear to last a season. Your content each week should talk to only one of these various types of buyers who qualify for your brand’s target market.
Rule #3. It will get boring at some point. Don’t create all the content on your own.
When you try to create content on your own, you tire your brand and its fans. Nobody wants to hear the same tone of voice, reflecting through the same quote cards every day. If you are trying to schedule some inspirational stories then you must be looking for inspiration yourself. However, have you ever thought that what inspires you might not even move another person for even an inch. You need to take breaks and schedule your content such that you also share content from other non-competitive brands/media sources. They have a style of their own, that is different from yours. Your audience will like the freshness and the unpredictable pattern your content will follow.
Rule #4. Identify one key message for each week
What’s the one message that you want to put across to your buyer that week. You could be talking about your lovely products, or your attractive prices or how your fashion is designed by a particularly talented team. Your key message for one week can only be a single sentence. Every content that you then plan for that week should deliver this same address.
Rule #5. Choose your formats carefully
Run an analysis and check which formats work for your brand. Videos are a must nowadays, especially for retail brands. With more than 25% of Canadian Millennials having cut their cable cords, YouTube and Facebook are their prime source of video entertainment. Check how photographs, quote cards and product cards are performing. Plan your posts accordingly.
Rule #6. Hashtag research should be conducted daily
Hashtags are really important when it comes to Twitter and Instagram. You should ensure that as a brand you are creating content for the relevant trending hashtags that you identify each day, each week.
Rule #7. Tweet 4-5 times a day, Instagram once daily
You need to tweet more often to get the most engagement out of this medium. Not every tweet has to be created by you. You can retweet some already shared content by other brands or people not related to your industry even remotely. Instagram photographs should be shared every day. Even during weekends. The Instagram user is active 24/7 and wants fresh content daily.
Rule #8. Pin daily; Create pins once a week
As a retail brand, Pinterest is an important medium that should be a part of your editorial calendar. You should spend time making boards and pinning relevant content every day to your profile. However, creating your own content for Pinterest is an engaging task. You’ll need to write blogs or make landing pages. This can be done once a week.
Rule #9 Only the most engaging content should go on Facebook
With the recent news-feed algorithm changes, Facebook has made it difficult to reach even your own fans. Engagement in terms of comments and shares is the only parameter that can keep your Facebook profile working smoothly and in your brand’s best interest. To get comments and shares, it is important to put that as an added goal when creating your editorial. Extra attention needs to be paid to Facebook posts and hence, quality wins over quantity. There isn’t a need to post everyday on Facebook, but post amazing things on Facebook. That’s the key.
Rule #10 Align your content with the PPC strategy requirements
If you are also running a paid campaign simultaneously, then it is important to align your organic content with your paid content to perfect rhythm. If an editorial calendar includes content that is also fit for paid promotion, when needed, it will save you time and effort.
Rule #11. Do all the social listening you can
This rule is the most important and is a prerequisite to even starting to create an editorial calendar. You have to do your homework and observe what is clicking with your audience, what are other competitor brands saying, what is making them tick. Mark the pages to watch on Facebook. Follow your audience and try to understand their social behaviour. Someone rightly said, Google before you tweet, is the new think before you speak. You have to Google the other players and you have to be social yourself.
Content marketing can be your answer to customer engagement and brand visibility. And it needs no paid boosts or sponsored ads. Great content that follows a great strategy coming from the perfect Editorial Calendar. That, is the recipe to a brand’s success on social media.