If you market online, you need content. It could be informational, it could be sales-oriented, it could be a mix of the two, but you need content. Some businesses make it up as they go along; others plan ahead. Guess which ones tend to drive more business their way?
With an editorial calendar, you can plan a lot of your content in advance. Many bloggers have already figured that out, but a blogging editorial calendar is one dimensional. Your blog is not your only content, so your editorial calendar should have more than one dimension. It should include:
• Website content, including sales pages and blog posts (or some other form of informational articles)
• Emails, to keep in touch with old customers and elicit interest from new ones.
• Social media to engage your following and inspire them to spread the word about your business.
Ideally, you can thread some nice synchronicity among these three dimensions of your online marketing strategy, which is one reason it pays to have the same writer working across all three types of platforms. And why it pays to plan in advance your 3D editorial calendar, which is something we are happy to do for long-term clients.
While it might seem a little late to be planning an editorial calendar for 2015, you have not missed much. According to the following editorial calendar planner, January doesn’t have the most exciting repertoire of holidays and events around which to wrap your content.
But February is a content-marketer’s bonanza, second only to December, as this Infographic from GetResponse Email Marketing shows:
Of course, GetResponse is a huge provider of email distribution services, so the focus of their “Retail Email Calendar” is on email. But if you look at any holiday or selling season, you can wrap messages around it targeting all three dimensions, and perhaps even interlinking the three.
Take Chinese New Year, for example, since it is coming up soon. I know, I know…you are not targeting a Chinese-specific market, but this is a big celebration in the Chinese-American community and if your competition is missing out, does that mean you have to, too?
So we enter the Year of the Goat. Is there any way you can link your business, one of your products, the uses of one of your products or some of your clients to goats? Think hard and be creative, because there is usually a way. For example, if you run a lawn care company, you might want to refer back to the whole mowing-with-goats episode that got Google some unusual attention back in 2009. Or you might want to sponsor a recipe contest related to goat’s milk.
Whatever topic or angle you choose, you might want to create a blog post about it. Then you might create a series of highly sharable images for social media, to drive people to your blog post and sign up for your email lists. And you might want to invite your email subscribers to visit the blog post and find a hidden clue that will unlock a special 20 percent saving for them in honor of Chinese New Year.
All of this is hypothetical, simply to illustrate how to build a 3D editorial calendar around a variety of dates and opportunities to engage your former and future customers. The keys to making this work are two-fold:
• Plan ahead
• Integrate the different elements of your marketing
Once you are organized, you can develop however many integrated campaigns that draw on the strengths of all your online marketing channels. Watch how a 3D editorial calendar can multiple the benefits for your business.
About the Author