Over the last few weeks, I’ve been forced to swallow a bit of my own medicine. As the holidays ramp up and 2014 winds down, the demand for quality content is at an all time high, and yours truly is responsible for creating it. This has forced me to prioritize and cut out projects that aren’t absolutely critical, and my own blog has taken the hit. So, #sorrynotsorry for leaving you with baited breath for the final installation in my Mindful Marketing series. While it bugs my brain to fall off my self-imposed content delivery schedule and defies the industry standard to release content at the same time each week, I decided I’d rather wait than publish rubbish. Giving myself permission to pause reinforced my WHY. Oyl + Water exists to create quality content for brands who want to make the world better, healthier and more beautiful. We strive to evolve the conversation, not to add to the noise. If Mindful Marketing is about anything at all, it’s about quality over quantity.
Creating quality content and establishing the right cadence for your brand is the ongoing dance of digital marketing. Below are a few tips and tools to help structure your content and cadence for the year ahead.
Macro Marketing: Create a Large Scale Plan
Start with a macro view of the year ahead. Begin with the biggest and most obvious events: product launches, holidays, special events, speaking engagements. Then, identify your key initiatives to build new revenue streams or drive revenue from existing streams. Maybe this is a new B2B relationship or a new customer acquisition campaign. Aim for 4-6 for the year. Start plugging these ideas into a master calendar. Don’t have one? Merry Christmas. Download a FREE Marketing and Editorial Calendar Template here.
Game of Themes
This is the fun part, but be mindful. Themes separate the originals from the copycats. Avoid the pitfalls that can quickly cast you as an unoriginal marketer. Sure, it’s tempting to simply cruise through your marketing calendar, adding themes like Mothers Day in May and Thanksgiving in November. Certainly these holidays will be a focus and, if you’re in retail, critical drivers of seasonal revenue. But, challenge your creative brain and do it differently. Don’t blend in. Especially around major holidays, you can obliterate the competition with unique positioning that turns the status quo upside down. My absolute favorite example this season is Lululemon’s #GivePresence campaign, seen here.
The Trickle Down Effect
Now that you’ve fleshed out the arc of your marketing calendar, it’s time to give a little love to all of the individual channels of distribution for your content. This includes, but is not limited to, website, email marketing, blog, social channels, PR, paid advertising, retail POS, live events, training and education. Each channel requires nuanced content and execution while staying true to the brand, campaign and message. For a small marketing team, creating a constant stream of unique content for each channel can feel daunting. In order to stay relevant and stay sane at the same time, start with the most content-rich pieces first, then break it down. The folks over at NewsCred call this micro-content – bite-sized, sharable content in the form of single images, infographics, illustrations, quotes and factoids. This is the content you’ll use to flesh out your weekly editorial calendar across all digital channels.
Tips to Simplify and Clarify
- One at a time, please. The strongest campaign has a single-focus, memorable theme. There are a lot of great ideas out there. Pick one for your campaign and commit to it.
- Destroy silos. With more and more channels of distribution for content, it’s critical to establish a cohesive and collaborative work flow to ensure consistency. SEO and SEM should be inextricably linked to blog content and new campaign creation, for example. Sounds obvious, but as teams grow, silos form. These silos are detrimental to your brand.
- Quality over Quantity. If you remember nothing else, let it be this. Every day we get to choose what we put out into the world. Our words, our ideas, and our intentions make us who we are and shape our experience. So don’t create content for content’s sake. If you can’t say something meaningful, don’t say anything at all.