What’s better than sending out SMS marketing? How about integrating SMS with your other marketing channels and amplifying your message’s impact? Using an SMS content calendar to guide your planning helps ensure your messages go out consistently and at the right time.
And if you’re using the emfluence Marketing Platform, you can map out your SMS marketing, along with email and social media, all from the same marketing calendar.
Let’s take a quick look at how to plan your SMS marketing, along with other customer engagement using a content calendar. But first, here’s a recap of the main benefits of using a content calendar.
What are the benefits of using a content calendar?
With a content calendar, everyone benefits — your company, your marketing team, and your customers. Here are five of the best reasons to use a content calendar, of which SMS marketing should be a part:
1. Optimize your timelines
With a content calendar, you don’t miss key deadlines. You know when products are being launched, when campaigns are starting, which deadlines are approaching, and what others on your team are doing. Everyone can see the same schedule, and your marketing doesn’t go out too late.
2. Produce consistent content
You don’t want your marketing to be like hills and valleys — tons of content one week, and then nothing the next. With a content calendar, you can easily plan ahead to make sure your audience is hearing from you consistently.
3. Maintain a unified voice
It’s far better to produce campaigns all at once, rather than a few pieces at a time, stringing them together as you go. With a content calendar, you can create all the content for an upcoming campaign, across all channels, and then schedule it to go out over time. This way, your campaigns will use consistent language, and convey a uniform set of emotions, calls to action, and benefits for your prospects.
This approach also saves your team stress because you don’t have to keep returning to a campaign over and over, retracing your steps and reminding yourself what the campaign was all about.
4. Stay ahead of holidays and key dates
Some dates, like holidays, are set in stone, and if you don’t create and plan your marketing early enough in advance, it will either get rushed and sent out too late, or not at all and you miss that opportunity for the year.
National puzzle day? If that’s your thing — you won’t miss it. April Fool’s Day? Covered. All the smaller events that are important, but often slip through the cracks, will make the cut.
Your customers miss out when you fail to plan ahead for your marketing. Using a content calendar helps prevent this from happening.
5. Optimize internal communication
With a shared calendar that everyone can see, your team will be on the same page and know what others are working on. You may be running multiple campaigns at once to different segments of your audience. Sometimes there’s overlap. Customers may feel bombarded if you don’t manage this well, and a content calendar helps keep everyone apprised of what’s going on.
Best strategic uses for SMS in your content calendar
You can’t afford to ignore SMS — the potential is too great. But it does have a few differences from other marketing channels, and one of the biggest ones is frequency.
With social media, it’s okay to post multiple times per day. With email marketing, you can get away with several per week for some industries, and sometimes even once a day.
But not with SMS. If you start texting your subscribers every day, you’ll very likely upset almost all of them and burn out your list. A content calendar helps ensure you integrate SMS at a pace your subscribers won’t mind, and that’s consistent with what you promised them when they signed up.
A couple more tips:
Try not to use SMS to introduce new campaigns
SMS works best as a follow-up to your other marketing strategies. This is partly due to the stringent character limits. So if you have a new product or new campaign launching, you’ll want to introduce it first in other channels, and then use SMS for reminders, updates, and ‘breaking’ news like special one-time or time-limited offers that may be related.
With a content calendar, you’ll know where to inject a few SMS messages within broader marketing campaigns.
Use SMS as part of multi-channel marketing
SMS marketing also doesn’t work as well as a standalone channel. It’s character-limited, and you don’t want your sending frequency to get too high. With multi-channel marketing, you aren’t relying on a single channel to engage your customers. Each channel reinforces the others for the customers and subscribers who see them.
When you plan out a multi-channel campaign, create the content calendar and integrate all your marketing channels so you can reach a broader audience.
A word on multi-channel marketing
You can find a number of informative statistics about multi-channel marketing. For example, 72% of customers say they prefer multichannel marketing communications.
And those that integrated four or more digital marketing channels outperformed campaigns that used just one or two channels by an average of 300%.
Another study found that more than 50% of multi-channel marketers reported “outstanding” return on investment as a result of using multiple channels.
All this to say — adding more channels tends to produce better results. And SMS is, comparatively, one of the easiest marketing channels to add on. It requires little to no design, very little actual content, and doesn’t go out every day.
And with a platform like emfluence that already allows you to easily plan, create, and send out SMS marketing, it doesn’t add a ton to your workload compared to most other channels.
Tips for incorporating SMS into your content calendar
You can use SMS for far more than transactional messages. With the proper planning, you can add instant value to your marketing campaigns. Here are a few tips as you seek to add SMS into your marketing calendar and plan out your campaigns:
Pick open dates and times
One reason multi-channel marketing works is because it keeps your potential customers engaged consistently.
As you plan out email marketing campaigns, send text on dates where no emails are being sent.
Likewise, do the same if you aren’t posting every day to social media. Or, if you are posting every day, choose times of day to send texts when you don’t have any social posts going out.
Let SMS messages stand alone
Another reason multi-channel marketing works is because it engages more customers. Not everyone uses every channel. Therefore, the more channels you use, the more potential customers you’ll engage.
So, don’t assume people who see your texts have seen your other marketing. That’s why it’s good to include coupon codes, links to product pages and landing pages, and other ways to learn more in your SMS marketing. If this is the first time someone has heard your offer, don’t leave them confused.
SMS can effectively leverage deadlines and urgency, because most people tend to see and open them very soon after receiving them. So if you have a time-sensitive message, using SMS to send it might get the biggest response.
You can easily plan ahead for this in your content calendar. Suppose a product sale is ending on a particular date. You can plan your final email to go out that morning, and it will sit in inboxes all day waiting for people to see and respond to it.
But you can plan for a text to go out just a couple hours, or even less, before the time runs out. The same thing goes for holidays and personalized offers based on birthdays or other unique customer information. Texts can become that last little nudge to get someone to respond.
See how emfluence’s marketing calendar works
The emfluence Marketing Plaform has a marketing calendar that makes it much easier to plan out when your marketing will be distributed. It helps you implement the tips and strategies you’ve just read about.
With our platform, you can schedule posts across all your digital marketing channels weeks or months ahead of time, and all from the same place.
One of the common complaints about integrated marketing is that you have to keep track of so many disconnected systems. With emfluence, you can run your digital content calendar from one place — including SMS, email marketing, and social media posts.
Learn more about our marketing calendar, or click below to schedule a demo.