Editorial Strategy: Does the Early Bird Really Catch the Worm?

This afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice as numerous friends posted on Facebook about a revolutionary product called HUVr. “I really hope this isn’t a hoax!” one friend wrote while the post directly below it stated, “Holy crap, this is groundbreaking!”

HUVr is an electronic skateboard that “hovers” above the ground, allowing riders to board across any surface without wheels. It’s billed as, “The key to antigravity.” High-powered lithium ion batteries keep the board suspended as riders surf the air. Pretty cool stuff. The problem? Despite the compelling marketing video, the entire product is a hoax.

Here’s where things get interesting: HUVr is an April Fools’ Day joke that’s a month early. Released on March 3, 2014, the video and website received over 5 million hits in just 48 hours, setting the bar high for the inevitable April Fools’ Day jokes to come. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen brands accelerate marketing events earlier in their calendar. Retailers, for instance, tend to celebrate Christmas before the rest of us.

HUVr certainly succeeded in generating pre-April Fools’ Day buzz, but does the early bird always catch the worm when it comes to content marketing?

Understanding When the Early Bird Gets the Worm

The early bird isn’t always rewarded. Sometimes it’s better to be the second mouse that gets the cheese. Still, there’s much wisdom in being proactive and going against popular strategy to help your business gain traction with consumers. Consider being an early bird with the following:

  • Email marketing. Conventional wisdom prescribes that emails should be sent Tuesdays through Thursdays between 11 am and 1 pm. Contrary to popular industry belief, though, sending emails late in the morning or early afternoon isn’t the most effective strategy. The majority of business emails are opened between 6 and 9 am, so why not be an early bird and schedule 2 am emails? This helps your business (and content!) stand out amongst the clutter.

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  • An editorial calendar. Creating original content on a regular basis is the primary challenge for 69 percent of marketers across the nation. If your employees are scrambling to post something on the company blog “just to post something,” an editorial calendar helps plan content in advance. However, an editorial calendar goes beyond a tool of mere convenience and organization. It becomes a strategic tool that allows you to plan content relevant to holidays, seasonal trends, and cultural events.

Readers can pick up on rushed content – and you’ll want to avoid the scramble “just to post something.” An editorial calendar ensures that your site is active with quality content and relevant posts. Plus, having content planned in advance will provide plenty of room for marketing flexibility.

  • Keyword selection. If you’ve been marketing on the internet for any period of time, then you know the most valuable keywords are often the most competitive. Fortunately, there are ways to find high volume keywords that aren’t competitive, allowing your business to harness relevant traffic without fighting unnecessary competition.

So what does this have to do with being an early bird? More businesses are discovering the advantages of focusing on high volume keywords without the competition, meaning you can dominate keyword niches and results before the rest of your competitors take their share of the pie. It’s more efficient to target keywords that are on the rise than to try to break into an oversaturated market. Plus, you have the keyword market to lead even once your competitors enter.

  • Mobile websites. A shocking study from Hibu reveals that only 6 percent of small businesses have mobile websites. The study also shows that 46 percent of small business websites aren’t mobile optimized. Mobile users account for nearly one-third of all activity done online, and that figure continues to grow.

Ensuring the company blog is mobile optimized is critical to growing your business and reaching consumers primarily browsing through the web. Since it takes just 7 seconds for a user to determine whether or not your site is worth staying on, it’s critical to ensure your site is specifically optimized for the mobile experience. Taking advantage of this trend now will keep you ahead of competitors that don’t already have a mobile site.

How to Be an Early Bird – And Eat Your Cheese, Too!

Fortunately, businesses can be both the early bird that got the worm and the second mouse that got the cheese. By implementing these strategies early and before competitors, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from mistakes, analyze successes, and continue growing your online presence.

If you’re an agency struggling to get a new client to commit to content marketing, this is likely because small businesses (and even major corporations) aren’t fully aware of the benefits that high quality content has to offer. When you showcase the benefits of blogging for business (80 percent of consumers conduct online research before a purchase, over half of all online users read at least one blog on a regular basis, 61 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business with a blog, etc.), your clients are more likely to become early birds, too.

Just as compound interest rewards those who begin early, content marketing will pay dividends online for years to come.

Are you and your clients early adapters in creating an editorial calendar?

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Daniel

Daniel Chioco is a writer living in Nashville, TN. He earned his Commercial Music degree at Belmont University, where he also studied creative writing and wrote for the student newspaper. When he isn't creating content, Daniel works as an actor and films YouTube videos. He is also a freelance musician and is authoring his first fantasy novel.

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