What is the importance of a content calendar for your business?

It is a well-known fact that content marketing is a powerful business tool. Now what’s more powerful is planning integrated with all the content you wish to roll out. A content calendar is a comprehensive plan laid in advance for all your social media posts and their behind-the-scenes. It serves as a framework to rely upon to create content and schedule its posting.

Nothing compares to the benefits of planning. A good amount of planning always leads to the sweet fruits of success. Hence, the reputation of content calendars for the social media of your business precedes itself. Social media is a double-edged sword. In order to harness the good it has to offer, one has to travel to great lengths in terms of planning and efforts.

Content calendars, in the most basic sense, streamline the entire process behind content marketing. You create a calendar, plan your posts, allot work, track progress, schedule posts, decide the kind of promotion a particular post needs and voila. Plus, you get to avoid spamming all your channels with similar posts. You can decide the content which best works for a particular social media channel.

An added advantage is being able to document all your work formally and have it stored for future references.  Documenting your progress leads to an overall optimisation of your organisation’s day-to-day procedures. It helps you achieve heights of success by helping you bridge any and every gap in due time.

Tools to create content calendars

Content calendars can be curated using many freely available services as well as paid services which usually have a lot more to offer than the former.

Digital CalendarGoogle Sheets and MS-Excel are the most commonly available services. You can use basic tables with n number of columns and rows to suit your need. They also offer an option to collaborate with your teammates and have as many people as you want to be able to edit your calendar. Multiple websites offer ready-to-use calendar templates for Excel which are also editable to a certain extent.How to Create an Editorial Calendar [Examples + Templates] Trello is another partly free service out there. It allows you to organise your content under various categories and in a rather fun way. It has a very user-friendly interface. Another cherry on the cake is that its pricing plans are comparatively less complex than other services out there.

Other services offering a partly free interface include – Asana, Loomly, ContentCal, Falcon, Brightpod, Airtable among many others. Certainly, all the services have one or the other edge over another. The pricing plans of all the mentioned services fall in a similar price range, so make sure you choose what works best for your day-to-day marketing goals.

Scheduling using a content calendar

As discussed above, a content calendar houses a date of publishing. The date of publishing is when the post(s) is(are) scheduled to be posted.

Most of the services discussed previously also offer an option to schedule posts to be put up on the desired time and date. Yes! You can avail of these services to actually put up posts that you create for you instead of you having to sit and do it manually. This feature addresses the uniformity in terms of posting at the most beneficial times of posting and help boost your content’s reach and grow your audience.

What makes a good content calendar?

15 Best Social Media Calendar Tools Compared (2021)A content calendar serves not only as a tool to optimise content marketing but also as a means to keep everyone in your organisation in the loop with the tasks assigned to them and for you to track the progress of your employees and your organisation.  Hence, certain things should definitely be adhered to while deciding the heads of your calendar.

A good calendar should cover all aspects of content writing. Suggested heads to cover the most important aspects of content writing are-

Title, Author, Word Limit, Publishing Date, Social Media Channel, SEO terms, Call to Action, Shareable Document, Suggested Edits, Feedback. A good content calendar also touches upon the factors which occur after posting. These include – Analytics and Audience Reception. These are very essential to help you effectively plan ahead.

Depending upon your model, you might need to add a separate column to allot content and funds for your ad campaigns as well. The calendars will, in this case, also serve as a record of your investments and help you decide the kind of content which works for your ads.

All the above-mentioned heads will help you create a calendar that is both pleasing to the eye but also lead to great efficiency in terms of work allotment. It will also help your content writers improve with each piece of content they curate. Once in place, you will slowly be able to recognise the type of content campaigns that work for you.

Plan your content calendar for the holidays

Imagine it is the festive season and you are figuring last-minute strategies to boost your sales. At the same time, your employees are yearning for a break and you yourself are constantly thinking about getting back home to your family. That does not sound pleasant, right? Now imagine having a holiday content calendar at your disposal. All your content is scheduled to be posted without much manual involvement required. Sounds better, right?

Employers must not apply paid holidays in snippets due to lock-down days, says Deputy Labour Commissioner – My Vue NewsTherefore, content calendars tailored to your expected sales for the festive season are a must. Besides the above-mentioned heads, there is, of course, an extra emphasis on ads. Make sure your holiday content calendar addresses your requirement for ads. Allot funds to the various campaigns with the help of your data from your previous calendars. Schedule posts and ads well in advance to be able to give both yourself and your team a well-deserved off on festivals.

Conclusion

Content calendars are a business owner’s living document for tracking the marketing of their organisation. And we know, an organisation with an ironclad marketing strategy in place is bound to achieve the best. Sometimes sticking to a calendar might seem overwhelming or impossible. However, it is important to remember that the discomfort does not really last long. While the advantages of creating creative and comprehensive content calendars are both long-lived and highly efficient. Remember to let it grow on you for it to drive you to a leap of efficiency and success. Need to know more about the functionality of content calendars? Contact us at Shaktiki to schedule a free marketing consultation call right now!

Why does your business need a blog?

Modern businesses especially in the digital sphere demand to stay updated. This means they have to be on top of trends and accommodate all the changes required in the rapidly evolving marketing landscape. However, certain marketing strategies have been consistent and important over the last few years, one of them is having a blog.

The practice of blogging has become a crucial element for any business today. One question that has remained consistent along with blogging is – Why does my business need a blog?

It’s important to understand that blogging doesn’t just aid your business, with the change in the behaviour of consumers, business blogging has become essential. Business blogging offers numerous benefits from maintaining an online presence and obtaining new customers to standing out among your competitors. But what exactly is business blogging?

Business blogging refers to a marketing technique that employs blogging to increase the online visibility of your business. Consequently, a business blog becomes a marketing channel that boosts business growth.

Benefits of having a blog

Let’s discuss the benefits of business blogging for your business in detail:

A blog drives traffic to your website

Businesses don’t update their web pages often. Blogging can solve this problem. It can optimise your site for search engines.

Every time a blog is published, it creates an indexed page on your website. This increases your chance of being visible on the search results page. Consequently, it solves the twin problems of driving traffic and keeping your website active.

Helps in converting traffic into leads

Having traffic on your website means an opportunity to convert traffic into leads. In the case of a blog, add a lead-generating call-to-action (CTA) to every blog post. These CTAs can take one to webinars, free resources like ebooks, or anything that people would be willing to exchange information for.

Consequently, this process will turn website traffic into leads for your sales team. However, not all blogs will become leads but they will provide other benefits.

A blog helps in keeping your audience updated about your business

Your company’s website helps in providing your audience with the essential updates. Besides the website, your blog can also help keep your audience updated. A blog provides the advantage of connecting with the audience and sharing updates in detail. Additionally, it shows not only what you do but also who you are as a brand.

In this way, your blog becomes a direct channel to provide details, share relevant content, and comment on what’s going on in the industry.

Obtain valuable feedback from your customers

When websites provide customers with helpful information through their blogs, it has a larger purpose. Blogs are significant because they provide the space to comment, ask questions and even start a conversation.

Engaging customers by providing what they need can start a two-way conversation. Making an interactive platform can start a discussion in the comment sections. Such detailed conversations can help in building trust for your brand.

Beyond this, the comments can be a great place to obtain valuable feedback. They can also help in viewing your business from your audience’s perspective. Hence, it can help in making improvements to your business.

A blog can help you to build your email list

Email marketing has proved an extremely effective marketing tactic over the years.  But the challenge that one faces in email marketing is getting subscribers. It is in this scenario that a blog can emerge helpful.

If your readers find your blog relevant, engaging and informative then there are good chances that they will trust your email newsletter too. You can encourage people to sign up for the same in your blogs. This can be through internal links in your blogs or informing them about it in your blogs.

Once people sign up then you have access to email addresses that makes providing promotions and updates easier.

Can easily repurpose blog content for social media

Blogging and Social Media function in a manner that creates a symbiotic relationship. The former can increase your social media reach in two ways:

  • People can share your blog on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. This helps in introducing a new audience to your business.
  • Secondly, it can keep your social media presence growing as blogs provide a lot of content. Informative and helpful content from blogs can also boost your social media presence.

The relationship becomes symbiotic when your content from social media drives people to your blogs, gaining new website visitors.

This is what we do for Shaktiki too!

A blog can establish you as an industry expert

A simple way to lead your industry is through your actions. Starting a blog on your website can portray you as an expert in your industry. Whatever business you have, start writing blogs for it.

It can be related to your product or services, trends in the field, solutions that your customers might be looking for. From posting your updates to cross-promoting, use your blog as a space to further your interests.  However, make sure that you use your blog to educate – be it your customers, peers, or students.

This way you will teach what you know and answer frequently asked questions. The efforts that you make to genuinely help your readers by providing your expert knowledge will come back to help you. It can be in the form of trust, continuous engagement, and even referrals.

Besides this, demonstrating the social efforts made by your company like non-profit initiatives can also help in building a positive image. Moreover, remember to use the blog to just focus on your business. Make it about the audience with what they would like to read.

Helps with link building

Backlinks are a crucial factor in SEO. Valuable Blogs not only help customers but also other companies. They can add your link which will act as a recommendation and inform Google that you are a trustworthy source.

Summing Up

Blogs provide long-term benefits as they are on the web to provide valuable information since they are posted. Besides these benefits, the major reason you need to have a blog is that your customers expect you to!

To grow your business with such marketing tactics, contact Shaktiki. 

 

What are the benefits of Pinterest for business?

Which is that one platform we can use for hours without feeling guilty about it?

Using social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook start making us feel unproductive after some time. However, this is not the case with Pinterest.

The platform provides immense inspiration, entertainment, and even information. It does everything aesthetically and in a very pleasing and appealing manner.

One can pin content to boards to refer to them in the future, use them as inspiration, or share them with their friends, and purchase products too. It is these attractive features and content that make the platform have more than 450 million monthly active users.

Besides this,  90% of its large user base says that they are using the platform to make purchases. Additionally, Pinterest has a great reputation and 8 out of 10 people believe that it makes them feel positive. So,  with a significant proportion of users ready to make purchases, it has an immense scope as a platform for businesses.

Why should you use Pinterest for business?
Image Source: WWD

This can be proved by how there has been a major increase in companies that have joined the platform, including many Fortune 500 companies.

Before diving more into Pinterest for Business, it’s important to know the functionality of the platform and address some basic questions.

What is Pinterest and how does it function?

Pinterest is a social media platform that allows its users to explore, save and share visual content which is usually – inspiring, entertaining, or informative.

Why does influencer marketing work?

Earlier there used to be a difference between our real life and digital life. But today that difference is reducing at an enormous rate. All spheres of our life are significantly shifting to screens. The coronavirus pandemic fastened this transfer. However, one can’t deny that this digital life was already approaching us.

The influence of social media on people of all ages has increased tremendously. Consequently, it means the influence of people on social media has also increased. This forms the basis of what we call “influencers”.

Who are influencers?

The world has witnessed an upsurge in the number of people using social media. There were 3.484 billion people on social media as per the We Are Social report released in January 2019. This does not mean that these billions of people are just simply users. Social media has elevated some of them to what we now call “influencers” or what we can simply call social media celebrities. However, there is a difference between celebrities and influencers.

Influencers have built a name for their expertise and knowledge on a specific topic. They post content around that topic on different social media platforms. These efforts generate a considerable amount of enthusiastic audience interested in what these influencers have to say. This makes influencers a new crucial player in the world of marketing. Hence, influencer marketing is the new trend.

What is influencer marketing?

This is a new type of marketing that has recently gained popularity. Most importantly, it is the most trending marketing trend of recent years, including 2021! So what exactly is it?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing strategy that uses major personalities from their industry to promote a company’s message to a larger market. In this way, the company does not directly market their products or services. Rather this type of marketing becomes an indirect way of hiring influencers.

This marketing strategy works with a combination of other forms of marketing, like social media marketing and content marketing. These influencer campaigns can have the company providing the content or the influencers creating the content themselves.

Brands are fond of these personalities called ‘social media influencers’ as they are capable of starting trends. Additionally, influencers constantly interact with their audience while talking about a specific topic. This means they have closer relationships with the public which for a business are potential customers. Consequently, they also possess the power to affect the purchasing decisions of their audience. This has made influencer marketing a new and profitable strategy.

Some of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns include Mariott’s campaign with YouTube influencer Jeana Smith.

Influencer Marketing: The way to trust and growth

Another interesting example can be Google hiring two DIY-focused micro-influencers behind the @thesorrygirls to promote the new Pixelbook.

Influencer marketing – every brand’s favourite strategy

In the current times, setting up a production unit is far easier than selling the goods or services. There is heavy competition in every market. With so many choices, a consumer has been forced to choose between brands. This has led to a demand for systematic and interactive marketing strategies. Every brand is working on creating relevant content. While many succeed in doing so, the competition still remains tough.

According to statistics revealed by Google in 2015, about 56% of paid digital ad impressions are never even seen. Whereas DoubleClick shared in 2015 that 62% of consumers trust brands less. Such statistics point out that conventional digital marketing tactics are not working anymore.

Just recall how many times have you been tired of online marketing messages or advertisements. Before the advent of these strategies, one of the most popular marketing methods were the advertisements which ran on television or radios or billboards. These are comparatively unpopular methods because of several reasons including high budget requirements. But most importantly, people get tired of hearing companies talking about their own products. Celebrities from the film and sports industry helped take sales to new heights. But such endorsements have become very apparent.

In this scenario, influencer marketing works opposite from the traditional tactics while adding a sense of familiarity. Celebrities are known popular faces, while influencers seem more closer to life as they are common people who are just popular online. Additionally, influencers help in creating a conversation among consumers. All of this has the following benefits for a business:

Attracting new customers

Brands select influencers from their product or service category. But additionally, they can target audience groups after assessing the profile of customers. For example, a clothing company launching a plus-size line can promote themselves with the help of a body-positive influencer.

Increasing customer loyalty

An influencer’s audience sees their life closely as someone they can relate with. This is the foundation of a follower-influencer relationship. It is this authenticity earned by an influencer over a period of time, which a brand utilizes by just hiring them.

Maximum return on investment

The expense of approaching an influencer is less than a celebrity. Additionally, the hard-earned trust of the audience by an influencer makes them a loyal potential customer base.

Influencer Marketing: The way to trust and growth

So, a comparative analysis of investment and returns points out the immense scope of profits from influencer marketing.

Quit the old way

Many brands have already adopted influencer marketing, especially in the fashion industry. If you haven’t then it’s about time that you start it now. This requires following a detailed procedure in order to get good results.

Why do you need to start?

Social Media is where the conversation is brewing now. Additionally, business runs on trust is a fact. Influencers with an enthusiastic audience are the best solution for gaining trust. Brands need to realise why people follow influencers and not them. The audience is less bothered about the brand but more interested in the opinion of these popular influencers. So if you are thinking of using this tactic then remember not to force your knowledge on influencers. The audience is there, so let them give you the results.

If you want any such purpose-driven marketing solutions, then contact us at Shaktiki and let us do the magic with our marketing expertise just like an influencer!

Why is content marketing the most important strategy?

If you are a brand trying to establish itself then the first thing on your to-do list is to ensure creating quality content. Every successful marketer today follows one golden statement – “Content is King”. Even if someone has zero knowledge of marketing, there are great chances that they are familiar with this golden statement. In short, one doesn’t need to hold a prestigious degree in Marketing to figure out the importance of content. But why has content been that undefeated king?

Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King” which was published on the Microsoft Website in January 1996. The essay threw light on the Internet as a marketplace for content in the near future. Since then the phrase has become a marketing mantra.

We can’t survive without the internet today. The coronavirus pandemic even made the digital way of living a necessity. However, it is important to note the role of content in the modern marketplace called ‘Internet’.

Every time you use your phone and go to a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook, you are consuming content. Everyone on the world wide web is consuming content at an enormous rate. Consequently, it promotes organisations to create content but the increasing competition calls an emphasis on quality content rather than simply content. This makes content marketing the most trending marketing strategy every year.

Understanding content marketing

It refers to the strategic marketing approach that is concentrated on producing and distributing relevant, interactive and valuable content to attract and maintain consistent viewers or audience. The aim of this type of content is to lead to profits through customer action.

The abundance of content calls for a different approach. Earlier approach of just pitching your products or services is not relevant and attractive anymore. The need is to provide content that serves some use or purpose or is just entertaining. Today, every organisation is working on its content strategy. Marketing has made quality content a necessity. This means content marketing is the most trusted strategy. So if you are wondering why to invest in content marketing, here’s how it can induce growth in your business:

Exploring the most important strategy

The race for “great”, “relevant” and “attractive” content is full of competitors. Everyone in the market seems to be focused on creating content which makes this race seem never-ending. This speaks volumes about content marketing and its crucial role. But what makes it the most important strategy?

Building brand awareness

What is more difficult than setting up a production unit? Selling the products manufactured in that unit because this requires customers. How does one get customers? When they tell customers about their products. In simple words, the basic step to start the process of sales is letting people know about your brand, its products or services and the company’s values. However, despite delivering this knowledge to customers your brand might not attract customers. This forms the core of brand awareness.

Brand awareness allows creating a space for a particular brand in the market. The older ways of building brand awareness were advertising and PR. But these require allocation of a significant budget. As a result, content marketing has emerged as a more effective way. This allows building brand awareness at a very low cost. Hence, even a small company today can market themselves in the same way an MNC does!

Quality content can do wonders. The traffic of your website and social media can drastically increase which means more and more people know about you and your products. But most importantly, people can gauge the company’s values and connect to the brand on a different level.

Links and increasing traffic

The digital medium is one of the most widely used domains for marketing. One important aspect of this digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A good SEO is necessary for increased traffic which can be improved by adding links to other websites. This means “great content” can not only attract traffic but also make others link your website to their own. As a result, there will be an increase in traffic over a short period of time. This is called backlinking. The procedure can also help in improving your website rank significantly.

Educate your audience

The reason people are not attracted to advertisements or publicity that worked a decade ago is that it never solved their problem or concerned them in a direct way. With a fast life, the attention span has decreased so people will only consume content that helps or benefits them in some way. This has increased the need for informative content.

For example, the coronavirus pandemic severely impacted our lives. With strict lockdowns across the globe, we entered a worldwide health crisis. The sudden change in our lives demanded a change in the content to make it more “relevant”. Many brands responded to this call and acted with empathy. The content produced was related to the new unknown virus. This helped in educating the public. But what it does on a larger level is create a strong relationship with people who are your potential customers. This gives us the next reason to adopt content marketing.

Intimate customer-brand relations

Do you remember how you ended up buying a product from that online store you came across long ago?

Every time one comes across something relevant or attractive, one tends to visit that website or page again. This initiates a cycle where repeated visits lead to increased traffic. Gradually this can lead to customer action in terms of purchasing products or services. In simple words, an intimate bond is formed between the brand and company which means more customer action and more profits. This is why every brand loves a loyal customer. Content has the power to maintain a group of loyal customers and even expand the customer base. But today everyone is focused on creating quality content. This demands unique and new strategies within content marketing. One of the methods that can be employed is purpose-driven content marketing.

How Shaktiki can help

Every customer in the market today is an aware being who wants to make a significant impact in the society. Keeping in mind the values of a modern customer, companies can align their message with the customer’s belief. Consequently, the customer will support the brand as it shares a common aim.

Why is content marketing evergreen?

For example, a customer will buy the products of a company that promotes gender equality rather than one that is simply profit-oriented.

The campaign for this purpose-driven marketing has to be carefully designed like any other content marketing. So if you wish to start a campaign or post the right content in order to take your business to new heights, then contact us at Shaktiki to book a free consultation.

Why should brands be interested in user-generated content?

In the modern era of commerce, there seems to exist an almost triangular chain of functioning. A brand invents and implements its well-planned marketing strategy which then generates a response from consumers. As a result, it benefits the company with increased sales. This is the usual triangular relationship. However, in recent years, the world of marketing has been revolutionised with a new type of content. This is how we have restructured the old triangular relation that always ceased to exist. This new type of content is called user-generated content (UGC).

“The next wave of the Web is going to be user-generated content.”

 –
John Doerr, Venture Capitalist

Revolutionising marketing with user-generated content

In marketing, it refers to the content that is related to a brand but created by someone who is not officially working for the brand. User-generated content can take multiple forms like a review, a video, a social media update among many others. In simpler words, if it involves a brand and no employees or affiliates have contributed in its creation then it falls under this new type of content. This process puts a customer on the centre stage with the limelight on them. In this way, the triangular chain transforms into one where the customer is in the middle and focus of the entire process.

A brand produces its products or makes its service available to consumers. In the next step, these consumers market the product. This becomes a trustworthy marketing effort to attract potential customers. Consequently, it benefits a brand in terms of increase in sales and business.

A familiar example for this marketing is Coca Cola’s famous ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The idea of adding names on bottles attracted a lot of consumers. However, the company employed an effective strategy to keep the momentum going.

Customers asked to share pictures of themselves with their personalised coke bottles on social media became a core strategy. As a result, customers became marketers.

But most importantly, it generated millions of revenue and presented a fresh image. This is why the particular campaign is regarded as one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.

Principle of social proof

The main success factor of user-generated content is rooted in a psychological principle called ‘social proof’. According to this principle, people make decisions based on the behaviour of other people. A consumer will be more attracted to buy from a company when others are enjoying their products or services. This is because new customers lack experience. Additionally, consumers trust their fellow consumers more than the company.

Authentic content

Today marketers need to understand that customers are no longer passive who can be easily influenced by billboards or TV commercials. People today do thorough online research before making a purchasing decision. A single bad review can severely impact the image of a company and hence influence the customer’s final decision. Authenticity is important in the online world. Customers will choose brands that understand them and value their experience. Subsequently, user-generated content becomes the best strategy in this context.

Budget friendly

Consumers making content forms the basis of UGC. In most cases, this is unpaid though consumers have multiple reasons to participate in content creation. It can be sharing their experience of meeting similar people or winning a prize. Even if a prize is announced, the total cost of marketing will be more. In short, consumers practically run the campaign while the company can incur benefit from allotting a less budget to marketing.

High return on investment

User-generated content needs to be credited for one of the chief benefits that it provides, that is, high return on investment. A company needs to design and plan a UGC campaign. Consumers then implement the remaining marketing process.

Forming communities with user-generated content

User-generated content can form as a tool to unite audiences. In the usual marketing approach, the company and customers remain separate entities. Brands remain burdened to constantly make efforts to attract consumers. However, UGC solves these problems.

When consumers produce UGC, they come together and approve the brand. According to McMillan and Chavis’s theory called ‘Sense of Community’, four things encourage a community like feeling. Two of them are: influence and shared emotional connection.

With UGC, people feel like they have influence on decisions. Additionally, all the people who promote a brand share a common interest and emotion towards that particular product or service. This forms a community instead of a commercial brand. Hence, increasing brand loyalty and attracting potential customers.

Most Successful UGC Campaigns

By Netflix

The American content platform and production company includes creating buzz around the new releases as a crucial part of its social media strategy. Netflix promotes posts of fans with hashtags to promote the upcoming content. This introduces people to new content that is much talked about by their fellow audience members. Additionally, people get curious to watch such popular content.

In 2017, Stranger Things Season 2 earned popularity because nearly 1 million posts generated on Instagram with its hashtag. In addition to this, it also became the “most-Tweeted about streaming series”.

This type of marketing helps Netflix to engage, attract and build a loyal community of Netflix users.

By Adobe

The software company is one of the best examples for carrying a UGC campaign. The hashtag #AdobePerspective allows artists and content creators who use Adobe Suite to share their content and source work for free from users.

Adobe has the advantage of presenting the capabilities of its software. Additionally, it creates an engaging community. This is especially helpful to new users to understand the software.

Plan for the future

With the increasing competition in the market, the pressure to find creative ways to market products has also increased. In this case, user-generated content can be a good strategy to include in your plan.

Other than this, the best way to appeal to masses is to improve your brand image. This can be done by showing your active participation in the welfare of the customers. In short, purpose-driven marketing can be a way to show that you care and are beyond just a brand.

Contact us at Shaktiki today to create an impactful marketing strategy for your brand.