By AMY MARIE OROZCO
Face it: your business needs an editorial calendar for its social media.
The ol’ random shotgun approach isn’t cutting it. Never has. Never will.
“Just why do I need an editorial calendar?” you may ask.
Here’s why: First, you are most likely reading this because of an interest in or need for publicity, and you are reading a blog not a book. This blog post is an example of “content marketing.” Content marketing is what fills, or should fill, Web sites, Twitter feeds, blogs, and the rest of the digital universe.
Today, wooing clients and customers is a whole new ballgame. Getting estimates, window shopping, kicking the tires, checking out “Consumer Reports,” they pretty much all are done online. And the buyer is looking for information, not hype. Think of information as a synonym for content marketing.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, potential customers are preparing to purchase something. That prep work is via the Internet. Comparing and contrasting. Shopping around. Yes, they may come into shop or office for the actual transaction, but odds are they’ve done their research online. Or they’ve taken a recommendation from a friend, who has done the research online
Your content marketing pipeline must be filled. All the time. In his book, which is well worth the purchase, “How the Web Has Changed the Rules of Marketing and PR,” David Meerman Scott advises, “While information about your organization and products is certainly valuable on the inner pages of your site, what visitors really want is content that first describes the issues and problems they face and then provides details on how to solved those problems.”
In other words: Know your customers and give them what they want. (Simple, eh?)
An editorial calendar keeps things simple. You already know your customers and what they want, right? An editorial calendar enables strategizing by giving a bird’s eye view of what’s ahead.
Start with listing your company’s social networks such as blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among others. Brainstorm a list of topics. Don’t worry, the editorial calendar is a living document, so it’s easy to change. Who will write the pieces? You, an employee, a guest blogger, a professional writer?
Now, slot the information into the calendar.
There are plenty of free templates available on the Internet (content marketing in action!). Along with lots of valuable information, CoSchedule offers templates that include an idea zone, an annual overview, and a one-month calendar.