Are you unsure of what to post or share, when? Are you overwhelmed or unfocused when marketing your abundance of products or blog articles? Are you reaching your customer when THEY want to hear from you and with the information they need AT THAT TIME and are you promoting your business in a way that will gain followers and clients?
As a professional art jeweler and art mentor, I have article after article, product after product and SO many places to talk about them: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (Andrea Rosenfeld), my website, Linked In, other people’s blogs and the press but when, how and what do I talk about?
I can’t share items willy-nilly with no forward motion, no media or marketing goals. It would be silly of me to build a cufflink campaign in the middle of August when it’s more appropriate to announce for Father’s Day in June! And why would I detail how to prepare for a Trade Show in January/February while the shows are going on? (my clients need that information months before!)
As super of a woman as I am, I’m not perfect and I need a guide. My assistant and I use a marketing calendar to help stay sane and prepare my content, and you need one too.
Even if you’re just starting out on social networking and have 10 items in inventory, get started now planning your editorial content. Why?
- Anything that can keep you organized is better for you and everyone you work with.
- Knowing your marketplace, when the shows are, when the seasons start and end and what holidays are important is imperative.
- Your retail outlets will need you to be aware of THEIR important markets so that you can be their star vendor and assist them in selling your merchandise.
- With all of the social outlets available to get the word out, you’ll need a schedule so that you don’t miss any or repeat yourself on one site, by accident.
- You can connect with your customers better if you’re in tune to their buying cycles; holidays, start of seasons and speak to them at the correct time.
While a simple editorial calendar that tracks the date and content you are planning is a fantastic start, the editorial calendar I’m sharing tracks more details to help you see connections in your content and get ideas on how you can repurpose (recycle) what you have and what you are planning, and it helps make sure you have key information for things such as SEO (search engine optimization – how your are FOUND inside of search engines by potential clients).
The first thing I want you to do is make a master editorial calendar by month and enter the Holidays that affect retail: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and so on, then write in the wholesale trade show dates that move your industry (you can use one or two trade shows that fits your buyer). If you’re in fabric or fashion design, add the designer shows (NYFW), too. Once you’ve done that, you can transfer those dates to the weekly calendar I’ll describe below. *For my fellow romantics who enjoy writing on paper, you can use an actual paper calendar instead of a spread sheet. Whatever works best for you.
MASTER EDITORIAL CALENDAR:
- Provides you with an overview, weekly and monthly.
- Track key dates such as events, holidays or other things that may impact which content you want to share when.
- Include a brief overview of all of the content that is planned by content type and where you would share it. *note that for Twitter, the “X” means that I announce it on that date, not that I ONLY tweet about it on that date. The tweets can be recurring.
SPECIFIC EDITORIAL/PRODUCT DETAILS:
Once you’ve decided upon the content/product that you are announcing based up on KEY DATES (if possible), make a separate spreadsheet or writing document detailing the content, phrases, keywords, call to actions, retail price, materials, title with short description, link information and maybe an image or two. Compiling all of this information in one area will give you a single place to get information about the article/product when you are ready to promote and share.
You can use the information you store in this specific editorial sheet to help you share the content across the web. When you write the description of your product or content, grab sections of it for Twitter, Facebook and your other platforms, keeping your branding message similar but not exactly the same, and keeping it expressive of yourself and your product so your customer can understand your message. Be sure to promote and describe its benefits and make it interesting and engaging.
- Keep your customers from feeling overwhelmed and space out your new content.
- Remember that some people will see you on multiple social networking sites and some may only see you on one and that just because you post, doesn’t mean that everyone will see it! Posting in different sites on different dates keeps your content fresh for your audience.
- TRACK your content! Get your website signed up to Google Analytics to determine who is reading your posts and going to your product pages, where they are coming from and how long they are staying on the article/page.
- Engage your audience when they comment, inside your website or on social networking sites. Connect with them and keep them interested.
- Link your social networking shares or press back to your website article or product, ALWAYS!
- Use your branding images and verbiage. Make sure your clients recognize you not only from your name but the way you present your company and product/service. If your brand stays recognizable, your client will trust you and be able to FIND you and pick you out from a crowd of the competition! Your images should be similar in feel and coloring.
- Link your content to other places in your website or online sites. If you’re writing a post about your art, link it to a page where the art can be purchased, where more information can be obtained or a page that states your contact information.
The actual calendars can be in any form; paper or online but make sure that you use it. It may take time to become organized and you’ll need foresight to complete it but it’s a great way to learn your industry and what’s important to your buyers and the press. Once you get used to referring to it daily, you’ll be on track with a solid content marketing plan, be able to connect with the press at the BEST times for them with organized content, create a great way to solidify your brand, make you the darling of your retail partners, keep your clients engaged and interested and grow your business!
*Do you have your publicity/marketing strategy in place? In what areas do you need help? Are you marketing in enough social networking sites? Let me know in the “comment” section and SHARE this article by clicking the buttons below. Thanks!
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