The crisp autumn mornings often trigger a response based in childhood to sit up and take notice. We feel the transformation from the casual and carefree summer days to the discipline of the school year. As Labor Day approaches, the phone starts to ring with business owners ready to ramp up and buckle down. ‘Tis the season for structure.
Unlike summer, when lazy days are relished, as we flip the calendar to September, there is a greater focus on the weeks and months ahead. Year-end sales goals loom, perhaps accompanied by guilt and some angst for not keeping commitments to our own business development. For retail businesses selling to consumers, the stakes are even higher with only eight weeks remaining before the onset of the holiday shopping season.
Even though most business owners know that marketing should be an ongoing effort — the Small Business Administration recommends spending seven to eight percent of annual gross revenues on marketing — without sustainable processes, it can the first priority to fall by the wayside. And while sales may not show the effects initially, your success can tumble as quickly as a house of cards.
Ready. Set. Structure.
There’s no time like the present to put some processes in place. Systematic, repeatable processes streamline your marketing efforts by reducing the hurdles associated with content publication. These processes act as enablers to help you maintain marketing momentum. Rather than recreating the wheel each time you publish a press release, for example, you’ll simply follow your documented process to socialize it far and wide.
Embrace these three cadence enablers to transform your marketing from a house of cards to a solid foundation.
- Honor an editorial calendar: Because content inspiration often occurs at inopportune times — while driving, in the shower, or in the elevator en route to an important meeting — and inexplicably, not at the time we have scheduled to craft the post, we need a way to capture the ideas quickly. Whatever marketing strategies you employ – content marketing, email marketing, blogging, social media, co-marketing, events, presentations or whatever — using an editorial calendar makes content publication a more manageable task.
- Create evergreen posts: As with social media, blogging and email marketing should be published on a regular schedule. Subscribers or recipients of your content become accustomed to your cadence and expect to see new content at regular intervals. But even for the most disciplined, that cadence can fly out the window when “life happens” … a busy season, a security breach, a hurricane that causes a weeklong power outage, or whatever curveball is thrown your way. Proactively create some evergreen posts to enable you to maintain control when the unpredictable occurs.
- Rely on a social media dashboard: Does your head spin from trying to keep on top of all of your social media accounts? You’re in good company. Fortunately, the growth of social media has inspired development of tools which enable you to manage multiple social platforms in a single dashboard. The interface includes functionality for key search terms to help you keep a pulse on the news in your niche, as well as scheduling capability to help maintain social media cadence. An added benefit? Spending focused time on all of your social media, rather than flitting from one to the next, reduces anxiety and improves your efficiency. Check out our post about our preferred platform, Hootsuite.
Is your marketing a house of cards? We can help you build structures and systems to provide an organized and sustainable process for ongoing marketing.
‘Tis the season for structure … let’s get started.