Fashion marketing in the digital age has so many moving parts. From influencer partnerships to lookbooks, this industry has used content marketing in new and creative ways for decades. With so many channels and opportunities for content marketing available, your brand can’t afford to go without a content calendar. Today, we’re looking at how to create a content calendar for a fashion brand that spans channels and content types and keeps your team organized:
A content calendar is a planning resource that helps you schedule content development from start to finish. Creating a content calendar is part of the content planning process, the second step in content development. Use the research and information you find and brainstorm during content strategy development when making decisions during the planning phase.
A content calendar may take on many styles. Some look like traditional monthly or yearly calendars. Others look like columns of notecards or even spreadsheets. The design of your calendar doesn’t matter as long as the information is clear and your team understands how to use it.
Fashion is an interesting area of the marketing industry because it blends a want with a need. Everyone needs to wear some type of clothing regularly. But the aspects of color, cut, and style are additional elements beyond necessity. For companies marketing both a want and a need, here are a few ways using a content calendar helps get both messages across:
Fashion brands use many channels and outlets, online and offline, for their marketing. Content calendars allow your team to plan and schedule where, when, and how you share brand content across all these channels. It’s easier to view everything when it’s all in one document. Doing so allows different areas of the department to know what’s going on across the brand, beyond their own little corner of it.
On the flip side, each individual marketing segment for your brand can use its own content calendar that goes more in-depth with detail for those team members. Then managers can push the important highlights to the department-wide calendar. For example, your entire brand could have a marketing content calendar, but your social media team could have one too that lists the finer points for posting to each platform.
Because content calendars include your plans across all channels, they’re great for seeing at a glance how consistently you’re sharing content. Consistency varies by channel. Your social media team likely shares more content than your email newsletter team.
Creating a department-wide calendar isn’t about getting your subsegments to compete over who can share more content. It’s about making sure each channel has consistent updates that fit their appropriate individual timelines.
Looking at a visual representation of all the content you publish and plan to publish helps you spot duplicates and mistakes. The bigger your team, the easier it is to publish duplicate content. Using a calendar allows you to assign specific projects to certain team members and avoid any overlap.
Using a content calendar helps you plan cross-channel campaigns with ease. Your individual marketing channels all work together to spread your campaign messages. But you have to do them in a way that creates a cohesive brand voice. Your social media accounts can’t be quirky if your entire website sounds serious. That’s a clash of tones.
Working with a content calendar allows your brand to share the same tone and messaging across platforms and makes sure everything you promote relates to the content on other channels.
Timing and special events are extremely important in fashion marketing. Styles change with the seasons. Promotions become more important during certain holidays or times of the year. Fashion weeks across the globe dictate what your brand should do next. Using a content calendar allows you to play release dates for certain campaigns around all these events in advance. That way, you never miss a timely opportunity to connect with your audience.
Like creating cohesive campaigns, content calendars also show where your plan falls short. They can highlight potential content gaps where you’re missing the chance to share important information with your audience. Content calendars also highlight potential opportunities to work with new influencers or expand to new channels to better spread your campaign messages.
Content calendars are also a great way to keep track of a campaign’s performance. You can break down performance by week, month, or even channel. Some calendar programs even integrate with analytics programs so that you can do all your tracking and analysis with just one tool.
It’s also nice to have a calendar for reference when tracking success to see if there were certain elements surrounding a campaign launch that may have affected its performance, good or bad.
When you have your content schedule ready in advance, it’s easier to plan for unforeseen circumstances and planned events, like paid time off. Sometimes, the pressure to put out new content constantly makes your team feel like they can’t take the breaks they need. But a content calendar makes it easier. Team members can plan to get their content ready before scheduled breaks. This allows them to enjoy time off without worrying about whether it’s hurting their campaign performance.
Use these steps to develop a results-driven content calendar for your fashion brand:
Why are you developing and sharing this content with your audience? Be able to answer this question before you put any work into content planning. Knowing the answer guides all your decisions throughout the process, including how you structure your content calendar. Some of the most common content marketing goals for fashion brands include:
Your goals for each campaign may be different, but knowing your expected outcome makes for better, more cohesive, and more effective planning.
Content calendars for fashion brands may cover pieces that publish on a variety of different channels. Make sure you represent each one within your calendar. Some of the most common marketing channels for fashion brands include:
Decide which channels are right for your brand content. Each company may have a unique combination of channels that works best for its marketing and its audience. Looking at audience segmentation during the content strategy phase helps you pick which channels get the most engagement and show where your audience spends time.
If you’re creating a content calendar for the first time, it may feel intimidating to start from scratch. You can eliminate that feeling by creating a calendar template before you plan how and where to share your content. The best content calendars include spaces for the following items:
These are not the only items you can add to a content calendar, but they are the most popular. You can customize your calendar to the campaigns and your brand’s individual needs. For fashion brands, you may add additional campaign elements, like current promotions associated with each piece. For example, if you’re promoting a new fall line with a 10% off coupon, it’s important to include those details within the context of each calendar item. Make spaces to put all the information, even if you won’t use every line for each piece of content.
While the editorial calendar is to help you visualize your publication process, that’s not its only use. A content calendar also helps you keep track of upcoming events that you want to mention in your content, even if you don’t have it planned it. Just as you might add important dates to like birthdays and anniversaries to your personal planner, you can do something similar to your fashion content calendar.
Start by putting in all the important dates for your brand and niche. These may include the start of each fashion season, fashion week in your area or around the world, holidays, or other times of the year when you run brand promotions. Having these markers visually available on your calendar lets you know what’s coming up. Then your team can prepare the content to coincide with each one for the upcoming campaigns.
Once the template is ready and you’ve filled in any important dates, it’s time to input the actual content details into the template. Even if you create a template for the entire year, you don’t have to have all your content scheduled and ready to go that early in the planning process.
In the fashion industry, you may plan your content by season, or by the length between one collection release and the next. While you can use a calendar for a full year, it’s actually helpful to break creation and scheduling into smaller chunks. The divisions prevent your team from becoming overwhelmed with too much information at once.
After you list what content you’re sharing and where you’ll put it, select the right publishing dates and times for each piece. The best times to publish content vary by channel or platform. For example, social media content gets stale more quickly than web page content. Learning how frequently to post or share content to each channel makes your campaigns more effective. Find the right balance of content to keep your brand name in front of your audience without over-saturating them with your pieces.
Once you have the calendar planned for your designated content period, give it a review. Check that everything makes sense logistically and contributes to achieving your brand goals. This extra review period helps to make sure you’re not missing any potential content opportunities. It’s also a way to check that you have all the assets or plans for assets you need to carry out your full campaign. Consider asking other members of your team to review the calendar too. They may catch something you missed, such as a duplicate or omitted post.
Creating a content calendar is just one step in the content planning process. Once it’s complete, you’re able to move on to creation, publication, and promotion. Use the content calendar as a guide to working through those additional planning phases. You can also refer to the calendar document during the review phase to answer questions about the campaign or content decisions.
Even with all the best content planning and calendar development, there’s still a formidable foe every brand faces: Google. With Google’s constantly changing algorithms, it’s hard to plan content your audience loves while also keeping up with the best ways to get it recognized on search engines.
CopyPress and Search Engine Journal have just the fix for that issue. Join us for the How To Adapt To Google’s Helpful Content & Core Updates webinar. At the live session, you’ll learn how to create helpful content that Google and your audience love. You’ll also discover how to recover from any penalties your domain took during the Helpful Content rollout. Can’t join us live? Those who register receive a recording of the live webinar to watch on demand.
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