Are you using content marketing to boost your ecommerce business? Working in a large enterprise, you may be dabbling in content but don’t have a clear plan on how to attract new buyers and retain current ones through content. In this post, we’re breaking down how to build a content calendar for ecommerce businesses.
Why Do You Need a Content Calendar?
For any brand, content is one of the best investments you can make. It can improve your visibility in search results, highlight thought leadership, and educate your buyers. It starts with a content strategy, but that’s only the beginning. Next, you need a content plan, and managing that plan requires a content calendar.
Your content calendar is a hub for all projects. It includes all the steps, resources, and other information that’s necessary for building any piece of content. Because you have many players and objectives, it can be hard to stay organized. Using spreadsheets to manage it simply won’t improve your workflows and throughput. Instead, you need a dynamic content calendar that’s part of your content marketing software.
Your content calendar should include:
- Content topic
- Buyer stage
- Buyer persona
- Objective and relevant CTA (call to action)
- Each step of the project: writing, editing, SEO optimization, design, approvals, and distribution
- Roles – who is responsible for each step
- Metrics to monitor for performance
Those are the basics of the content calendar. Having this information clearly defined will make it easier to organize and plan your content. But, what makes a calendar an even more effective tool is its transparency. Any content stakeholder, from the CMO to the content writer, can see any project’s status and what, if any, barriers are in the way.
Let’s go through the specifics so that you can create your own content calendar and tweak it for ecommerce success.
Content topics come from lots of places. Many teams use brainstorming exercises to develop topics, but there are other ways to add to your idea repository.
Topics may be keyword driven, so your SEO team should submit critical opportunities to help here based on volume, competition, and relevance. Your SMEs (subject matter experts) are often a great source as well. They understand how your products work, the problems they solve, and why your buyers need them.
Other opportunities for topics come directly from the goals of your business. If you have new products coming out or specific promotions throughout the year, those should influence what you write about.
Finally, seasonality can also impact topics. As a B2B ecommerce company, certain times of the year relate to how your audience buys, so keep this in mind.
Analyzing your keyword data and current search engine ranking positions (SERPs) uncovers obvious opportunities for new content. I’ll use our company as a quick example. One of the primary keywords that drives traffic to our site is “content planning”. We currently average position 5 in Google. In theory, if we can improve upon that position, we will get more traffic. Hence, it’s important for us to continually plan new content on that topic within our content calendar.
If your content team isn’t working closely with your SEO resource, or you don’t have visibility into your keyword ranking data, you need to change that. For more on this, here’s a killer guide from SEMRush.
Buyer Stage and Buyer Persona
Having enough content for each buyer stage is important. Typically, this leans toward top-of-the-funnel, but don’t forget about middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel content.
It’s also essential to define to whom the piece is speaking, from your list of buyer personas. This impacts what you say and how you say it.
Objective and CTAs
A content calendar really forces you to be purposeful with content. You aren’t developing stuff ad hoc or just to have something on your website. Every piece of content should have a specific objective. You need to ask:
- Why are you writing this?
- What response do you expect from a viewer?
- How does the content support sales enablement or other goals?
If you can’t answer these questions, it probably shouldn’t be on your calendar. Here’s an example. Let’s say you sell supplies for industrial companies. Right now, those companies have lots of concerns about disinfecting and protecting spaces. If you have products that can deliver this, it’s important to frame it in a content campaign. You could create an infographic with data points about viruses and bacteria, and supplement it with facts about how your products do the job.
- Why are you writing this? To educate buyers and give them peace of mind that your products disinfect and protect.
- What response do you expect from the viewer? To browse your products and order.
- How does the content support sales enablement or other goals? It gives sales a visually appealing takeaway piece to send to customers. It could also promote any special offers you have on the product.
When you understand your objective with the piece, the CTA fits in naturally. It may not always be to “shop now,” especially if it’s top-of-the-funnel. Instead, you might push them to a video about how your products work.
Steps, Tasks, and Roles
With a content calendar, you clearly outline each step of the process. Each step may be one task or a series of tasks. For example, approvals may include multiple tasks because more than one person has to approve it. In addition to marketing approvals, you may also need legal to review it for compliance.
For each task, you’ll assign a team member. They can see what their responsibilities are, along with the due date for their part. Should things fall off track, you can refer back to see where the issue is so that it doesn’t become a blocker.
Finally, you need to define your KPIs (key performance indicators) to help determine the performance of your content. By looking at content analytics, you can evaluate insights like social media engagement, if the content prompted people to make a purchase, and how it’s helping with organic rankings.
An Ecommerce Content Calendar Is a Must-Have for Enterprise Teams
To elevate your brand and drive more traffic to your website, you need to invest in content marketing. But don’t do it on the fly. Do it strategically by building a content calendar for ecommerce. Follow these points to create your first one on DivvyHQ. It’s free to try, so what are you waiting for?