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!

How to improve your Digital Marketing during the Festive Season?

From the annual Diwali festivities in India to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all across the UK and the USA. The festive season or the holiday season is around the corner everywhere around the world. Hence, both as an individual and a business owner, it is time to fasten your seat belts to make the most out of the upcoming season. We say digital marketing during the upcoming season is, undoubtedly, a force to reckon with. Read on to know why.

It is easy to faultily believe that the festive season is directly proportional to a boost in sales and revenue without having to invest much in your products’ marketing. 

On the contrary, the festive season is also directly proportional to an increase in the variety of products available. That basically means increased competition in the market. On the contrary, an active presence in the digital realm will help many customers, looking to lock in last-minute gifts, direct their attention towards your business. Hence, digital marketing during the festive season should top your to-do list of things to do for your business. Now that we are here, we know exactly what not to do. Let us delve into the endless possibilities of how to harness the power of holiday marketing to the maximum. 

1. Planned Social Media Presence

For most of us, the festive season means a significant increase in our leisure time which naturally leads to an increased social media presence. This is single-handedly the biggest advantage handed over to small businesses on a platter. The icing on the cake is the onset of the itch to look for and buy gifts for both our loved ones and ourselves. Digital marketing never becomes more important than done during the festive season. Hence, it is only essential that businesses plan a comprehensive social media calendar well in advance.

What to do?

Maintaining a social media calendar is a must. Finish planning ideally by the end of the first week in October. And maintain a regular inflow of posts by the second week of October. That is mostly when the shopping commences. Needless to mention, SEO-optimized content takes the front seat when it comes to showcasing your products. 

It is also advised that businesses invest give a personal touch to their feeds by talking about various beliefs, traditions and rituals associated with the respective festival in the subject. For example, if you are a cutlery seller in the UK, you can talk about how having a dinner set meant especially to be used only on Thanksgiving is a tradition that everyone should follow. 

Also, invoke a sense of joy and nostalgia combined by putting up customer testimonies from the past years showing your products in use in real life. Invest in getting your products photographed in a homely aesthetic. 

2. Strategise, foolproof Ad Campaigns

Ads form a very essential part of your digital marketing plan all year around, why not make the best of them during the upcoming festive season? Thoughtfully curated campaigns that showcase your products in the cosiest of familial or social settings is a must.

What to do?

Make sure you plan and submit your ads for approval in a planned and timely fashion. There are basically two categories of ads that are a must to adhere to. An exclusive range of ads illustrated for products created especially for the festive season. And ads that convincingly display your range of festive coupons and discounts. Sometimes combining the two works great as well. This goes a long way in boosting sales and creating a strong customer base. Draw curtains on the festive season with a hint of what you might have in store for your customers in the new year. It is as important as welcoming the festive season with a wide range of ad campaigns showing your products and offers. 

What’s most important is knowing the kinds of ads that work for you. It is necessary to pick and allot the agenda to your ads carefully. Avoid going all in because it would only end up diluting the overall reach of your brand. 

Unskippable Email Marketing

Besides social media, it is via email marketing that you can effectively showcase all that your brand has to offer in an organised fashion. Emails are something that one can access anywhere and everywhere, hence it is of utmost importance that all your emails are designed to impress anyone at any time.

What to do?

Make sure your email database has your historical customer data along with those who just shopped from you once. Attach a personalised subject line instead of one which directly talks about selling. Wish your customers on the day of a festival. Establish modes of one-on-one communication to help your customers reach you. This will surely help them identify with your brand in the long run. It is highly advisable to send a thank you email once you bid adieu to the festive season.

Importance of Interacting

Be it via social media or emails or a chat-bot on your side, interaction with your customers during the time of the year when they literally need you the most drives your sales goals home most seamlessly. A phased interaction invokes a sense of belonging in your customers. It also helps them establish a long-term relationship with your brand. 

What to do?

Before the holiday season, it is important that you know the kinds of expectations that your customers might have of you. This will not only help you tailor your products effectively but also help you omit unnecessary products that might not work for you. During the holidays, it is your duty to help your customers stay in touch with all that you have to offer. Including the variety of discounts or other kinds of offers, you might have planned. Wishing them on the day of the respective festival is non-negotiable. Post the holidays, make sure you thank your customers for their support. Do not miss out on dropping in hints as to what you have in store for them in the upcoming year. 

It is also of essence that you do not end up bothering your customers more than the optimal requirement. Lest it should invoke a sense of annoyance in them. 

In conclusion

The holiday season has a lot to offer to everyone. Make sure you are ready to gather all that and more. Allot both your resources and efforts to your marketing in time and in the right quantity. Stay updated with the latest trends in the realm of digital marketing. At the same time be wary of strategies that did not and do not work for you. Wishing you a merry marketing time for the holiday season! Want more tips on how to harness digital marketing for the upcoming festive reason? Contact us at Shaktiki today to book a free consultation call.

The complete guide to market your small business

Even if you know a popular brand or a small business, it has become an accepted fact that having an online presence is important. Digital marketing is a critical requirement for every modern business. The medium has helped in building brands in a way that wasn’t possible earlier.

Despite the ease and luring benefits offered by e-commerce and big brands, people still like to shop in retail stores and from emerging brands. This has become possible because of movements like #supportsmallbusiness and #vocalforlocal.

Small business owners aim at creating brand awareness and demand a way to track Return on Investment (ROI). The latter helps in finding what works for their business. In this scenario, digital marketing becomes a must.

It is essential for small businesses, to provide updated information about their plans to their customers and potential customers. From blogging, Facebook marketing to SEO, branding, there are many options for marketing. However, these terms might be alien to small business owners.

This is when the concept of small marketing comes to the rescue!

What is small business marketing?

The idea behind marketing is to build brand awareness to obtain leads and subsequently convert them to sales. However, in the case of a small business, the problem is spreading the word can be challenging due to resource constraints and reduced visibility.

Beyond this having a small team or no sense of direction can be other problems. This is when one should employ small business marketing strategies.

What are some key small business marketing strategies?

Understand your audience

Knowing your audience is central to running a business. One can leverage the most from a niche. This especially applies to small businesses. In order to develop a niche and appeal to buyers from that particular niche, one must understand their problems, priorities; etc.

A knowledge of what pushes them to make a purchasing decision will help in creating effective messaging. Think about your current customers and potential customers. Following this, create a buyer persona to attract the ideal customer.

Highlight your value proposition and stay focused

In simple words, value proposition means what differentiates your business from your competitors. Emphasising this will help in making a favorable argument for you.

Additionally, it’s important to set a goal and concentrate your efforts and resources on it. In the beginning, it’s critical to get ROI. This calls for you to invest in short-term plays or strategies which will provide immediate benefits. In many cases, these can be paid ads. Moreover, getting ROI sooner will help you to invest in more long-term and sustainable models.

After having set up initiatives and experimenting with a few strategies, pay attention to what works. Invest more in what is generating you more revenue.

Value what’s available 

A mistake that many businesses make is forgetting the customers after they make the purchase. On the contrary, you should move beyond the practice of ensuring good shopping. Extend your efforts to delight your existing customers. Consequently, you will realise that word of mouth from them will bring more customers.

In addition to this, one should leverage the benefits of the multiple free resources available. Invest in paid tools provided they offer drastic positive results.

Create a website for your small business

Having a website is equivalent to having a salesperson who works 24/7 for you.

This statement aptly describes how a website is one of the most important assets one can create for their business. It becomes a place where you can show what you provide, where you are based, and how a customer can contact you.

Most importantly, a website has the capability of generating organic traffic while also being able to send traffic from marketing and advertising initiatives.

Consistent blogging for driving traffic

It is a known fact that blogging is an effective way to generate organic traffic. A blog helps you to establish yourself as a thought leader. One can simply use free or inexpensive website tools for this. Posting consistently will subsequently improve the visibility of your website.

Besides this, you can add a call-to-action (CTA) to your posts to subscribe to your blog and receive emails as well. Collecting contact information marks the beginning of collecting leads and informing potential customers about your products or services.

Use social media

Everyone today is on social media. Many platforms have also come up as a great place for small businesses to grow. The Covid outbreak led to growth in a number of small businesses.

With the interactive features available on these free platforms, small businesses should have a good presence here to grow their business.

Offer something for free

Building customer loyalty can prove to be very profitable for every business. Offering coupons or free products or services can help in making a customer happy and satisfied. Such customers not only come back but also bring others with them.

Besides, you don’t have to hire popular celebrities to have brand ambassadors. You can have your friends and family act as people who promote your product or service and there you have your brand ambassador.

Invest in advertisements

Organic traffic needs time to build. However, it is important for small businesses to get an ROI soon.

In this case, short-term plays can be very beneficial. Google Ads are great if you are aware that your target audience is looking for your product on the web. In case they are not, social media ads can perform great for you too. Even though social media users shave less intent to buy, but highly targeted ads can do wonders!

Summing Up

A small business has many marketing options from email marketing to Facebook ads. But it is important to remember that jumping into all strategies is worse than adopting no strategy.

Instead, employ your resources, time, and efforts for strategies that will go along with your business. Maintain a balance between paid tools and unpaid ones. Establish a network and enjoy the benefits.

If you wish to grow your business like this, we can help you. From building a website to creating a blog, contact Shaktiki for the best marketing solutions.