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How To Create An Editorial Calendar--Automotive [Free Template]

Editorial Calendar Auto.jpg

When you organize your marketing plans and create a content calendar for your promotions and digital platforms, it’s easier to advertise your business. On our blog, we’ve been talking a lot about the value of building this type of editorial calendar.

We published a complete guide on how to create marketing editorial calendars, as well as industry-specific posts that look at how to create content plans for retail businesses and healthcare practices and facilities.

Now, we are going to break down this strategy for the auto industry. In this post, we will explain how you can create a marketing editorial calendar for an auto business step-by-step.  

We will also offer an example of how a business in the auto industry, a tire sales shop, could develop their marketing editorial calendar.

Step #1) Start With Our Free Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

Our team at Spectrio has created a marketing editorial calendar template that you can use to start your plans.

The downloadable Excel sheet includes sections for the most important promotional and informational content assets and has categories for:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid advertising
  • On-property signage
  • On-hold messaging
  • Community relations and PR
It also includes sections for you to add the key events, promotions, and messages that will drive your content creation for the year.

Auto Calendar screenshot 1.pngDownload Your Free Template!

Download our template, or create your own marketing editorial calendar for an auto business using a similar structure.

Step #2) Highlight Holidays, Seasonal Changes, and Events

To start your calendar, begin by adding holidays and seasonal changes that are relevant to your business.

Add national or popular holidays using this list comprehensive holiday list to make sure you don’t miss any big dates. Because seasons are important to auto care, also mark dates when seasons change.

And, look beyond traditional holidays. Consider what other events and activities your target audience participates in during the year, and add those times of interest to your calendar. That may include:

Adding important dates that fall during the year will help your find inspiration for promotions and content ideas.

In the tires sales store example below, you can see how they choose the holidays and events that would match their target audience.

Auto Calendar screenshot 2.png

Step #3) Add Your Store’s Promotions

Plan a full year in advance by adding all of your upcoming promotions, specials, and sales to your marketing editorial calendar for an auto business.

If you don’t have all of your promotional ideas laid out for the year, use the holidays and special dates to help you find inspiration. Use the dates to develop fun sales and promotions.

You can see how the tire sales shop found inspiration from St. Patrick’s day to create a “Luck of the Draw Promotion” and spring sale to reflect the time of the year.

Auto Calendar screenshot 3.png

Step #4) Plan Your Content Themes

Marketing content isn’t always about promotions and specials. It is also about topics that are related to your industry and interesting to your audience.

So, go through your editorial calendar and add key themes that will drive the content you create for fun and educational purposes.

Use the dates and promotions to develop topic ideas, and also consider other themes that are relevant to what your target audience needs and wants.

The tire sales shop example uses themes unrelated to their promotions and events, yet relevant to their audience and industry by selecting “Tire Care 101” as their March theme. For April, they connected with the New York International Auto Show event by making their theme “New Trends in the Auto Industry.”

Auto Calendar screenshot 4.png

Step #5) Plan Your Promotional Content

Now you can add ideas for content that will promote your business, specials, and deals. Visit the content sections of your marketing calendar that relate closely to promotions and advertising, such as:

  • Content marketing (especially website content and newsletters)
  • Paid advertising
  • On-property signage
  • On-hold messaging
  • Overhead messaging

Fill in the content columns provided to highlight your auto business's offerings. See how the tire sales shop outlined plans for creating content to promote their offerings in their store.

Auto Calendar screenshot 5.png

Step #6) Plan Your Non-Promotional Content

Once you fill in the content you need to promote your upcoming specials and events, consider what content you can use to engage your audience in a non-salesy way.

Develop content ideas that will attract and interest your audience through:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media
  • Community relations and PR

While you may promote through these channels, focus on creating content that will give your audience information they can use for pleasure or fun.

In this last example, the tire sales shop focused their entire month of blog strategy on “Tire Care 101” in March. Then in April, they repurposed the content series to create an ebook on the topic. They also used their blog topics and promotions to create the themes for their email marketing newsletters.

Auto Calendar screenshot 6.png
Not sure what type of content an auto shop can create? Check out Auto Industry Marketing Tips: 17 Ways to Use Engaging In-Store Content. 

Step 7) Use Your Marketing Editorial Calendar as Inspiration

As you build your marketing editorial calendar, note that you don’t need to fill in every box or each type of content. Stay focused on the platforms and content mediums that have proven to work best for your business and audience.

Then, use other styles of content to test out new marketing channels that can expand your brand into new platforms you may not have explored.

Also, consider how you can connect mediums for cross promotion, and look at how you can repurpose content to get the most use out of everything you create.

With these strategies and a year-long content calendar, you can be sure that you don’t overlook any opportunities for creating new, innovative, and effective ideas for your auto business.

Download your free template and start creating your strategic and smart marketing plans today.
Download Your Free Template!

Tags: marketing automotive

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