Communicating online: why you need an EDP
Communication is necessary for a company: swimming in the web ocean, getting to stay afloat and be noticed through its contents.
This concept may seem more immediate to those who market "concrete" products: service companies or digital product companies often think that this world is not for them.
In this article I will show you this is not the case and I will introduce you to the editorial plan (EDP), a fundamental tool for communicating online.
How to communicate and why doing it with a professional
Being on social networks without a plan or a strategy is not a good choice. Being on social networks with the help of a non-professional is even worse.
In spite of what many may think, having a corporate blog and an online presence is a task that should rather be assigned to a team of experts in the field.
Incorrect or inaccurate work can, in fact, affect the health of a business: hastily written blog articles, aggressive newsletters and inappropriate social media posts deliver a misleading image of the company. The effects of this communication could go viral in a flash.
And “goodbye reputation!”
Who to rely on then?
To an experienced marketing team, requiring a copywriter and a social media manager: the professionals in charge of creating, in agreement with advertisers and visual designers, the contents that will allow your company to create a bond with people on the other side of the screen.
Maybe I convinced you. The next step is to introduce you to the pivotal content marketing tool, the EDP.
What is an EDP and what is it for
The EDP is the copywriter's logbook and the social media manager's roadmap.
It is a document marking the route that your company will have to follow in communicating its own image:
- what messages to send (products, values, customer opinions, training, authority...);
- who your reader personas are (your contents’ readers);
- the form of your messages (columns, blog articles, recurring social media posts...);
- which channels to manage (website, corporate blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletter, Pinterest, TikTok...).
Once you have defined the basic aspects and features that your contents should have, you can start working on the actual calendar. You will have to indicate for each day which contents will be produced and distributed over a period going from a month to a trimester.
Needless to say, all this work is not based exclusively on a creative spirit: it starts with a careful analysis on data, offline timing, anniversaries, messages to push more, points that need to be worked on.
In short, the copywriter and the social media manager are not stricken by an impromptu inspiration but rather get to compiling the EDP after a study and comparison phase, which involves the other marketing professionals and the company itself.
The EDP is necessary because it allows you to:
- give a clear direction to communication;
- work quickly and consistently;
- measure the results of your communication;
- ensure full coverage of channels and contents.
If you are thinking of improving your online communication, prepare yourself to have one in your hands.
What kind of EDP for a digital products company?
20tab has its own EDP too. Exactly: its internal marketing team works weeks in advance on developing contents for the following month, establishing which contents need to be pushed forward, mixing informative with lighter ones.
We build our plan starting from a meeting between the experts and an excel sheet guiding between times and spaces to fill; after defining the key points, we insert the single articles – created by the different souls of the company – in a Kanban through which we follow the journey of each article or post, from idea to publication. (You can find out about all of 20tab's services here!)
If you think this is not your cup of tea, I will prove you wrong.
Here are some basic tips that should be evaluated according to your situation and goals.
- Start with offline events, important anniversaries, news or days to remember.
- Determine what types of content you can offer to your reader personas to inform them, create awareness, tie them to you and – why not – entertain them.
- Now take these ideas and try to shape them: establish columns, recurring content, structure and length of articles, timing and messages for newsletters.
- A fundamental tip: regularity. Don't start with preparing and publishing an excessive burden of content, if you don't think you can keep up with the pace. The secret to a good online presence is to be out there, constantly. Maybe a little, but constantly.
- Be generous: offer tips, ideas, interesting texts and advice. People linger on reading what is engaging – so keep an eye on the copy – but above all what is useful.
- Find your tools: we use video conferences, calls and task management tools, but you may prefer a shared file or maybe Google Calendar, or even Trello.
You must be thinking that digital companies find it difficult to speak to a heterogeneous audience and to adjust the messages to the different channels.
By relying on a good copywriter, you will find your tone of voice, your way of saying things, of giving information. And then, think about marketable and interesting content that you can offer to your followers.
An example? We have decided to explain the meaning of many technical terms that we use, from web development to marketing. And we are doing it on the social media. Or even, we would like the culture of Agile methodologies to be more present in our country: for this reason, in our own small way, we are trying to convey it through concrete (based on actual experiences) and accessible articles.
Oh, I was almost forgetting: the last and most important tip. When developing an EDP and deciding to work on your communication, it is important to keep always in mind that there are people on the other side of the screen and they want to know people in addition to familiarise with the business.
Show who you are, why you do what you do and how your job is done. The main engine of online communication is curiosity.
Now you know how to start working on your online communication and you finally understand what is hidden behind that threatening acronym, EDP.
Starting today, marketing is closer to your business.