Why Brands Need a Social Media Content Calendar in 2018

Organizing a social media content calendar is one of the most critical components of a successful marketing strategy in 2018.

Today, most brands are juggling dozens of campaigns across multiple channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Unfortunately, there’s no single marketing approach to all of these channels.

Each platform requires their own creative, messaging, targeting, (not to mention dedicated budget) to ensure positive results – whether that be brand awareness, gaining email sign-ups, or increasing conversion rates.

In the following blog post, we spoke with our own social and design professionals at CPC Strategy to find out how they execute a successful social media campaign utilizing content planning techniques.

Social Media Planning & Proactive Creative Mapping

We can’t harp on this enough –  when it comes to social media planning you have to be proactive.

Not only does it help you stay organized, but it can also alleviate a lot unnecessary anxiety for your design and advertising teams.

 

 

“It’s all about being proactive rather than reactive. If you aren’t actively looking ahead at what’s to come, it’s easy for key retail moments like Graduation or Mother’s Day to sneak up on you. By creating a content calendar that helps you plan your marketing efforts in advance, you can ensure that your brand always has a strong presence during these key moments throughout the year.”

Brent Villiott, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy

Here’s a few other reasons why Social Content Planning is important:

1. Allows you to plan for special holidays & avoid missing important dates.

All too often we hear from clients they they need to implement “last minute creative” for an upcoming holiday they just discovered.

Here’s an example: A startup brand sells a unique line of vegan dog treats. They scheduled campaigns and budget for traditional shopping days like “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” but totally missed the mark on “National Puppy Day” on March 23rd.

To be fair – it’s not like “National Puppy Day” is a glaring point on the average calendar – but to this brand in particular – it’s a vital opportunity to target puppy lovers and gain new customers.

2. Avoid burdening your creative, content & advertising teams.

In situations like the one listed above, a majority of the last minute workload will land on the desks of graphic designers, content writers, and advertising teams.

A last minute push for “new social creative” prior to a holiday weekend can land you in some pretty hot water, plagued by spelling errors, budget restrictions, questionable creative choices, and much more. There’s really no excuse not to have a structure in place that allows everyone to do their job confidently and in a timely manner.

Pro-Tip: Allowing a proper amount of time to process creative also gives your team the opportunity to do their research and test a variety of concepts in advance. Here’s a great example of how Facebook uses “split testing” to build performance comparisons and revealing what is and isn’t working for an advertising campaign.

 

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3. Neglecting a social media network, overloading another one.

Many popular brands like Moon Juice and Knockaround established their customer relationships using Instagram. They know this specific creative platform performs well for their brand.

  • But what about Snapchat or Twitter? Is your brand falling into a narrow-minded way of processing creative materials?
  • Are you dedicating too much of your budget to one channel without testing others?

Without a content road map to refer to, it’s easy to invest too heavily into one social media network and neglect the others.

 

Social Media Advertising Platform

4. Plan for Slow Months

For a swimwear line, spring and summer are booming in terms of creative and opportunity. They know their target user is on the hunt for the latest swim styles but what about when winter hits? Is there enough creative (or budget) left to carry through the remainder of the year?

While November might be considered  a “slow month” for a swimwear brand, you don’t want to fall off the shopper’s radar completely.

Having a creative content calendar in place allows your team to better prepare for November when the beaches and lakes shut down for the season.

It also reminds your team to invest in additional research.

For example:

  • How can you adjust your campaign creative to stay top of mind with past purchasers?
  • Is this a good time to offer special discounts and clear our old inventory?

The more preparation you have for slow months, the better.

5. Deep analysis & determining your wins and losses

Without a roadmap, there’s very little opportunity to reflect on the big wins (or the losses).

A creative team is only as strong as the data they can provide to back up their campaign decisions. The ability to monitor campaign performance is absolutely critical to optimizing future content & campaigns.

Although we enjoy the wins, it’s also important to take a closer look at your poor performing posts.

  • Why didn’t this campaign resonate with shoppers?
  • How can you be more strategic about targeting in the future?
  • Do you need to invest more budget in brand awareness or should you be focusing on repeat purchases and maintaining customer loyalty?

These questions can only be answered with data and proper analysis.

facebook analytics

6. Builds brand credibility.

Today, customers want to purchase from brands they can trust. If you maintain your brand consistency (for example, posting regularly, offering VIP special discounts, pushing new and innovative campaigns) your customers are more likely to keep you on their watch list.

Of course social media is not the only line of credibility shoppers will turn to.

Customers are also likely to check your reviews, monitor your email engagement, and keep a close eye on how your brand responses to criticism and poor customer experiences.

 

visual product search

7. Find new ways to repurpose creative content.

When it comes to social media planning, keep in mind –  you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

If you’re experiencing positive results from a recent Facebook carousel ad, why not try and repurpose the creative content into a video format and test it on Snapchat or your Instagram Story?

CPC Strategy’s design team works directly with brands to create engaging video advertising assets to drive results across multiple channels including Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and Pinterest. Based on your business objectives, we create customized MP4 file(s) of video – specifically designed to convey your campaign message, promote brand awareness, and drive bottom line results.

Don’t have video content? You might not need it!

We’ve seen successful results leveraging lifestyle images to create short video clips for advertising on a variety of platforms. The key here is to squeeze as much juice out of your current creative before investing in more.

CPC Strategy Experts Chime in on Creative Content Planning:

“Planning creative collateral out in advance allows for you to be more sophisticated as an advertiser with your advertising creative. It’s important to plan creative tests in order to optimize your advertising performance and iterate your ads based on key learnings developed throughout the year.”

AJ Swamy, Client Services Manager at CPC Strategy

 

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For more on social media content planning, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.