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eCommerce Marketing

Implementing a Content Calendar can give you more time to focus on your eCommerce Store

Implementing a Content Calendar can give you more time to focus on your eCommerce Store

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

8 years ago

Implementing a Content Calendar can give you more time to focus on your eCommerce Store

In todays eCommerce world, social media is one of the most important and prevalent marketing tools for any online business. However, it can be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating for any marketer or manager as social media is a vast, complicated and labour intensive activity. Many businesses are now turning to content calendars as a method to efficiently plan an ecommerce store’s future social media activity. Whether you are the marketer at a large ecommerce store or the founder of a scrappy eCommerce start-up, here are four helpful tips to make the most out of your ecommerce store’s social media by developing an effective content calendar.

What is a Content Calendar?

Content Calendars are a straightforward yet incredibly successful marketing concept. It is basically a calendar that a marketing manager creates that plans out a business’s marketing plans for the future.  It has been used in traditional marketing for quite some time and is now being adapted to the online world. As social media becomes a more dominant force in ecommerce, many stores are now using content calendars to reach their audiences in an effective way. They enable ecommerce stores to see what significant events are coming up and how social media can be most successfully used. It also allows businesses to see where there are lulls in their social media content, therefore enabling them to think of innovative ideas to fill in these gaps and keep their target market interested & engaged with their brand.

STEP 1: Understand your Audience and Sales History

So if you want to create a content calendar but aren't sure where to start then there is a simple answer to this: your Audience and Sales History. This is an important and resourceful place to begin when planning an eCommerce content calendar as your audience and sales offer significant information about when and how a business should promote itself. 

Observing audience and sales is effective and can be simply done through a number of ways:

  • Look at Past Sales Activity

Every business has peaks and troughs and by carefully observing these a marketing manager can plan when content is most appropriate to push out to social media. This can add significant information to when your efforts will be most effective and involves as much information & detail as you want. It could be as simple as recognising that sales rise in the month before Christmas to more exact details such as the most sales occur online between the hours of 7pm to 9pm on weekends. In this example these are essential times to market and therefore will play an integral role in your content calendar. 

  • Ask Your Team

No one knows your company better than your employees. Asking teams such as sales, marketing, IT, etc. can help guide when and where content should be added. It gives feedback on what others have experienced to be successful in the past and what could potentially help in the future. The information garnered could be invaluable. 

  • Observe Existing Social Media

What a business is already doing on social media can offer insight into what actions can be taken in the future. As well as looking at trends of when your audience is most actively visiting your social media, ecommerce should also consider which platforms are most popular and effective and which have the potential to reach the most consumers. Also, asking consumers though social media for feedback can offer crucial information about how to model your social media and help identify potential gaps that may have been overlooked. 

These three options should give interesting and enlightening material that chill help guide what content will should be on an ecommerce social calendar making it an essential step to delivering great content marketing. 

STEP 2: How to effectively use Content

After learning the extensive knowledge gained by observing your audience and sales patterns, a plan for content can then be created. Knowing when customers are online, when the most sales are achieved, etc., allows a business to plan what methods they should implement. When doing this step there are aspects which must be carefully considered:

  • Which content fits best?
This is an integral question to ask as it could determine the success of your social media marketing efforts. When planning a content calendar the content planned must be relevant to your audience and the time that it is being used. When considering content ecommerce stores should try and make content as relevant as possible. This can be as simple as having a promotion associated with Christmas in December. Using content that reflect the dates that it is being published and accurately fits the social media platform is more effective & more fun for consumers. 

  • Stick to a schedule
Many marketing ideas fail as they are not planned properly. Content calendars only work with social media if they are constant and continuously engage with customers. Therefore be strict with when content will be produced in order to maximise you audience reach. 

  • Continuously Promote
Many ecommerce stores make the mistake of sparingly using social media and only displaying information once. This is not effective use of social media and the message that you want to portray. Continuously tweeting or publishing Facebook posts means that customers can see content they may have potential missed or be reminded of your company’s message. It's ok to promote the same content more than once.

STEP 3: Track and Modify

This is an aspect many social network-using ecommerce stores fail to do. So many companies put large amounts of money, time and effort into forming a content calendar and then fail to recognise that it is an on-going process that must be monitored and most of all, be adaptable. By engaging with customers to see what promotions work, observing traffic and reviewing online analysis; it can be very advantageous to continuously follow what your content calendar is doing right and what is not gaining attention. 

If properly monitored, companies can have a more effective social media presence. It can save time and money as social media content that works can be recycled and improved. Also content that is not working can be reassessed enabling your ecommerce store to get the best results from social media. 

STEP 4: How to Keep Up With Content

So you have your content calendar planned out, now how do you keep on top of this continuous stream of content? Many ecommerce stores find social media too exhaustive and not time-effective to update a Twitter or Facebook page numerous times a day, resulting in a rather lacklustre social media presence.  So how does a busy ecommerce store solve this problem in an efficient and cost-effective way?  Simply use scheduling tools such as HootSuite or Buffer.

These are ingenious platforms that allows businesses to schedule social media updates, posts and statuses in advance. This is a simple yet effective way for any ecommerce store to keep their social media active and engaged with consumers.  It allows a social media manager to easily produce content over numerous platforms. They are cost and time-effective as it enables any social media manager to do many time-consuming tasks with ease. This is a must for every ecommerce store. 

How does your ecommerce store plan its social media content? Do you have any helpful ideas on how to improve social networking for businesses? Please leave a comment below. 


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