Do you ever find yourself dashing off an email newsletter, writing a blog post, or putting something on social media just because “it’s been awhile”? While it’s good to reach out to customers, that kind of approach can actually backfire.
Your audience doesn’t want to hear from you unless you have something meaningful to say. Haphazard, random communication will cause your readers to abandon ship. Strategic, organized communication, on the other hand, will not only build customer loyalty, but will also help you find new opportunities to promote your business.
I’m a big advocate of using editorial calendars—for blogs, for web sites, for email campaigns, and for social media. It keeps you on track, and a calendar makes you think, “What’s coming up (in the world / in my business) that I can promote or leverage to build sales or increase my audience?”
(You should also have an advertising calendar…but that’s a different story.)
Start a calendar. Look at seasonal events in your business or organization (sales promotions, special events, peak periods), and plan your emails and posts accordingly. Work ahead and schedule your communications to publish weeks or months later, so deadlines don’t sneak up on you.
Your editorial calendar should also include print editorial. Check with newspapers, magazines and websites; many put their editorial calendars online and list submission deadlines and focus topics for specific issues.
Your editorial calendar can also inform your marketing and project management.
When you start getting organized with your communications, it forces you to get organized elsewhere. You can’t plan and schedule emails and social media posts on a special event or promotion unless the details of those promotions or events are hammered out. You definitely can’t score a mention in a magazine unless you have things pulled together at least two months ahead of time.
In short, get an editorial calendar started, and it will get you in the mindset of calendaring other kinds of tasks. Then you won’t miss a beat.