Pandemic Playbook from Amber Engine: Content Strategy for Furniture Companies
Content is one of those weird words that marketers like to throw around. Content marketing. Content strategy. Content creation. So, if you’re doing your own marketing, the term may be confusing. After all, where does one procure – ahem – the content?
At its simplest, content refers to any visual material your company shares with persons outside of your company. This includes everything from whitepapers and product brochures to social media memes and product videos. It also includes your website and all its contents – not to fuzzy the word – including landing page copy, imagery and blogs.
Therefore, your content strategy is a plan to simplify the creation and distribution of all these pieces. Think of it like a giant puzzle that you assemble with the help of a fabulous team. Or, how about a road map? You may be exhausted of puzzles from quarantine.
Start Your Content Engine
Whether you’re addressing an unprecedented event, like the coronavirus pandemic, or you’re simply tackling 2020’s content plan, it’s easiest to start with the big picture. Simply identify relevant topics and/or themes around the time/topic of your choice.
If you’re putting together content about your businesses return to work, you may have things on your list like:
Staggered return to work – share the plan
Safety precautions you’re putting in place
Additional measures to keep employees and/or the public safe
A full return to “normal” – time estimate
If you’re putting together a regular content plan, you may outline key ideas for each month:
August – Holiday stock sale
September – Back to School promo
October – High Point Market
Put as much down on your paper as you’re able and keep pushing until you’ve exhausted every possibility.
Revisit your list of ideas. Some will be gold-star winners while others will be good-intentioned grasps. A few will simply be misplaced and need reassignment to a different part of the year. For example, for a supplier, a Back-to-School promo may be better in July, when retailers are thinking about their own sale on desks and shelving.
Place your star themes and concepts on the calendar as your “due date” and work backward according to your team’s cadence.
In our Return to Work example, we’ll work with Staggered Return to Work. From this key idea, we need:
An email for employees and customers outlining the plan and detailing preventive measures we put in place to protect the health of all.
A blog to cover the same material with 3 in-line images and links to the CDC and WHO
A visual for quick reference detailing the return of plant workers, office workers and sales teams.
Social media post: Our plan to return to work with supporting image/graphic
Social media post: Impact of return to work for customers with supporting imagery
Social media post: Update on our employee’s return to work with a picture of staffers on the floor
Next, you’ll strip out assignments from each need:
Copywriter – Please work with HR to write an employee email, a customer email and a blog that covers our plan to return. Deadline: ABC
Designer – I need a quick-reference graphic for our return to work schedule. Deadline: ABC
Photographer – Please plan to shoot our teams on XYZ day for our return to work media coverage. Video is a wonderful bonus if you can capture. Deadline: EOD first day back
Web Developer – Plan for a new blog page, copy to come from Copywriter by ABC. Go-live goal: LMNOP
Obviously, with non-pandemic themes, your teams will have more time to create several iterations of each content idea. During times of crisis, things tend to take on the rip-and-read tempo of a newsroom.
We’re attaching a worksheet for visual learners to help you “see” how each topic breaks down.
Share and Store Your Content
After your content is approved, make sure all pieces are scheduled and/or loaded and ready to go out. Take the necessary time to monitor response, read comments, answer questions and continue sharing on different platforms to increase traffic and show engagement.
Finally, archive the pieces you created for future use. Depending on the topic (hopefully, we will never cover COVID-19 again) you can repurpose content later with a few small tweaks. This enables your team to produce quality work without recreating the wheel each time High Point Market rolls around.
Workflows and Processes for Content Creation
Each company and Content Manager has a unique way of managing the work. Some prefer the simplicity of a Spreadsheet while others like visual programs like Trello. There is no right or wrong answer if pieces stay top of mind and deadlines are met. If you find yourself or your team missing work, you may need to examine the way you move projects from creation and review to edits and publishing. This may also be a sign that you need additional staffing or outside assistance from a freelancer or marketing outsourcing company.
Content doesn’t have to be complicated. If you take a top-down approach and keep a careful calendar, you’ll be able to produce high-quality pieces that deliver value to your consumers.
About Amber Engine: Amber
Engine’s innovative software solutions simplify work and empower
people. The company offers full-service e-commerce solutions for
furniture brands looking to sell in online marketplaces such as Wayfair,
Amazon, Houzz, and many more. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the company’s website.
Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
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