Imagine if one glance showed you exactly what was planned for your social posts, newsletters, video, flyers, blogs, web campaigns and sales missions.
Many of us know the value of a marketing calendar, yet how many integrate traditional and social marketing into a fluid document that will visually keep us on track with the million and one marketing tactics that flood our busy days.
Let’s conquer the clutter with easy to implement strategies and tactics that will give your clients and fans relevant, on-point messaging.
How to: Editorial Calendar
Pulling together a weekly, monthly and quarterly editorial calendar is key to saving valuable marketing time. Having a plan of action can be your roadmap for marketing as well as sales. Here’s a turn by turn plan:
Consider what you’ll be selling and promoting for the upcoming quarter. Consider seasonality and your niche market. Draw up a list of
- tour product
- group space
- cruise promotions
- destination weddings
Create weekly themes based on what you’re going to market.
For example, week #1 you may be talking about one of your fall tours, week #2 you may be talking about a series of upcoming day trip destinations, week #3 may be devoted to the FIT portion of your business.
Gather content related to each weekly theme; a news article, a blog post of yours, engaging video, cool infographic, GIF or series of photos. Let’s get visual.
When researching content be sure to look at all sections of each article to ensure there are no links to booking engines, competitor’s sites or OTA’s.
No matter what type of content you select you’ll want to test the link to make sure that it renders an image that’s suitable when you post it to a social site. To do this I always test each link on a hidden Facebook page or test it as a draft post.
When you’re adding a blog post of your own, you’ll want to make sure there’s a memorable, attention grabbing feature images that renders well on Facebook. If your image pulls as a small thumbnail, consider resizing the image within your blog post.
Bonus tip: If you’ve selected a video from You Tube, keep in mind that it will NOT render any larger than a thumbnail image of the video. (Figure 2) The video will not play directly in Facebook. Your viewer will be taken out of the Facebook eco-system into You Tube. Also, this type of post typically doesn’t have the engagement or reach of a native video, Figure 3. (Native videos are those you draw from your hard drive directly into a Facebook post)
Be sure to upload videos directly from your hard drive as the video will play directly in Facebook and show up as a full size graphic, not a thumbnail like the example above. Here’s how it will look:
Plan your Posts
Plan out and write your weekly posts, tweets, blogs, ads, videos, newsletters, e-blasts and graphics based on the content you’ve gathered. Lay this out in a calendar so that you can visually see how your messaging will flow over the week. Here’s a sample calendar template that you can use for your own content.
Best practices include mixing up content styles to increase engagement. Be sure to limit the number of sales and promotional posts to 1 in 4 posts. Therefore, you may plan to have 3 posts providing content and 1 post that’s sales oriented. You know how it is, if you continually see posts from a company featuring only discounts, promotions and flash sales it’s a huge turn off.
Work in Advance
Construct a weekly posting schedule like this for a revolving 3-4 weeks. That means that you’ll be working on gathering content for posts 3-4 weeks in advance.
Repeat and Tweak
As you get close to finishing your quarterly themes, design themes for the next quarter. Study your Facebook Page Insights to see which posts generated the most engagement and challenge yourself to construct and compose similar content. Rinse and repeat!
This will give you a revolving ongoing list of themes and you can plug-in content along the way. The end result is that you’ll have a quarterly plan of action along with weekly strategies and tactics. Feel free to spontaneously post when great new content is available. This will simply add to your planned content strategy.
When you integrate these themes into your newsletter, website updates and traditional marketing, you’ll be saving time as you won’t have to plot out your plan every week. Here’s a sample calendar you may find helpful.
Save time and keep up with your integrated marketing plans. You can do this by implementing a cohesive plan with consistent messaging across all marketing platforms. This way your clients will see and hear your message in a number of different ways.
You know what they say “one has to see a piece of marketing 7 times before taking action”. Put the Rule of 7 to work for you.
What will be your next weekly theme?
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