Have you ever considered what the difference is between your management of Twitter vs Email? What makes them so very different? The answer lies in the definitions of synchronous and asynchronous.
I looked up the definition of synchronous and it said “occurring at the same time”, which I don’t disagree with. But you couldn’t say that Twitter is occurring at the same time, though Twitter is synchronous. So what does that mean?
I opened up my email today and noticed quite a few people talking about marketing calendars. I even saw a few screen shots of people’s calendars that said things like:
Feb 1 Send email about chocolate
Feb 3 Upload chocolate blog post
Feb 5 Start promoting Reggies book
Some of the marketing calendar suggestions just made me chuckle.
Just because you put your to-do’s on a calendar doesn’t mean you have a strategy, doesn’t mean you understand your customer base and doesn’t mean you’re going to be any more successful tomorrow than you were yesterday.
A marketing calendar needs much more thought than putting to-do’s on paper. A strategy laid out and thought through lays out on a calendar quite nicely. It’s not as if you’re going to implement an entire strategy in one day, right? So don’t even begin to put one together until you understand these things:
Hopefully you’re using an analytics suite like Google Analytics to track your efforts. The information you get from these statistics enable you to make decisions, change your methods and better target your revenue sources. What most people don’t do however, is use their analytics to improve their marketing calendar strategy.
Let’s take Halloween for example. You’ve used Google Trends (among other ways) to figure out when your marketing should begin, you’ve used your keyword research tool to figure out what to write about, and you’ve used the AdWords Contextual Targeting Tool to help figure out how to structure your internal linking.
And then you’ve got Google Analytics (and to some degree WebmasterTools) to help you assess your progress. Well if you stop there, you’re only using half your resources. What you learn in your analytics package is how you begin putting together your marketing calendar in the first place. (it’s like a vicious circle)
Are hashtags part of your annual marketing plan? Have you ever even considered doing something more proactive with them than just using your normal ones? If you spend any time preparing for holidays, seasons and events, then you should actively market with hashtags.
In case you missed the memo, a hashtag is a set of characters used to organize content in social media. Typically a hashtag starts with the pound sign (#) and is followed by some characters. Since common English words don’t start with a pound sign, using a hashtag means you can easily search for content that contains that unique phrase. Both on Twitter and Instagram, for instance, you can click on the hashtag and find everything else using that tag.
Every December I see people peddling marketing calendars. Most of them are blank templates which I’ve always called a calendar. Others include lists of holidays to put on the calendar, and places for “important dates”. But planning your business is way more involved than labeling a few holidays.
While an editorial calendar is useful, it should be part of your overall plan – not THE plan. Whether you’re a scrapbooker, a service based business, a holiday decorations website or Nike – you need tie everything you know about marketing to a timeline from which you can plan your success. Assigning dates to your productivity makes you a ton more productive.