Creating a marketing calendar is hard work. But it’s also an incredibly rewarding process. A marketing calendar helps brand managers keep track of tasks and organize their marketing efforts more efficiently. This results in a more streamlined marketing strategy, which leads to better productivity and more successful campaigns. If you’re reading this, you probably already know how important a well-organized marketing plan can be for your brand. That’s why we think you’ll find the following article both useful and interesting! A marketing calendar helps you identify when certain types of content should be released or promoted to achieve the best results. It doesn’t require you to have every minute of your upcoming year mapped out, but it does require that you document all relevant dates, tasks, and events. Read on to learn more about creating a marketing calendar so that you can become even more productive as a marketer!
What is a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is a document that outlines your campaign strategy over a set period of time. It will include the dates on which you plan to publish content, run ads, send emails, and do everything else that contributes to the success of your marketing. Marketing calendars are designed to help you take a big-picture approach to marketing. Using a marketing calendar allows you to see how each piece of your marketing puzzle fits into your overall strategy. This allows you to identify redundancies and double-ups as well as missed opportunities. Your calendar should include not only what you plan to do, but also when you plan to do it. It’s not just a list of events and activities; it’s a plan for how you’ll allocate your time.
Why Is Creating a Marketing Calendar Important?
Marketers who create calendars are almost twice as likely to be successful compared to those who don’t. Creating a marketing calendar allows you to keep track of all the different pieces of content you need to publish, their deadlines, and their intended audiences. It also helps you keep track of marketing events and important industry dates that you might otherwise miss. Beyond that, though, creating a marketing calendar also helps you to visualize your strategy. This visual aspect can help you identify areas in which you can streamline your efforts even further. Additionally, marketers who create calendars are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. This is likely due to the increased sense of control that comes with having a visual overview of your marketing efforts.
Decide on Your Monthly Marketing Objectives
When you’re creating your calendar, the first step is to decide on your monthly marketing objectives. These are goals that you want to accomplish each month, and they should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Your monthly marketing objectives should help you to identify a few key metrics that you’d like to see improve over the course of the year. For example, you might decide that you want to increase your email open rate, decrease your bounce rate, and increase the number of leads your website generates. You can then use these metrics to inform the other aspects of your calendar. For example, if you want to increase email open rates, you should probably publish fewer emails, or at least make sure that each email has a compelling subject line.
Identify Events That Are Important to Your Audience
If you create a calendar for the entire year, you probably won’t end up using it very often. Instead, you should break the year down into smaller segments. Depending on how quickly things change in your business this can be monthly or quarterly. This will make it easier to integrate your marketing strategy with seasonal events and holidays. For example, if you sell winter coats, you’ll probably want to publish winter-related content in the winter. It’s also important to keep an eye on industry events. For example, in the U.S., Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the busiest shopping days of the year. If your company sells a product or service that’s appropriate for gift giving, you’ll want to be ready with appropriate content.
Find Out When Your Audience Is Most Engaged
You won’t want to publish everything during the holidays. Instead, you should keep track of when your audience is most engaged. For example, if you sell children’s toys online, you probably don’t want to publish your Black Friday sales ad during the week leading up to Halloween—not many kids are going to be thinking about buying toys. You can also track when your followers are most engaged with your content. Some social media platforms, for example, offer analytics and insights that can help you determine when your followers are most engaged.
Which Tools Can Help with Creating your Marketing Calendar?
There are a variety of tools that can help you create your marketing calendar. You can use a spreadsheet, for example, or a content calendar template. Some marketing tools, like Hootsuite, also allow you to create a calendar and plan your marketing efforts inside the app. I use a combination of Trello to organize & plan everything out and then CoSchedule to schedule all of my social media and blog posts.
That said, no matter which tool you use, creating a marketing calendar is all about organization. You’ll want to make sure that you include all of the relevant information in your calendar so that you can keep track of your progress throughout the year. For example, you might record the name of the article you’re working on, along with the current word count. You might also want to note the date on which you’ll publish the article, along with the name of the publication and the URL of the publication’s website.
Create Your Calendar
Once you’ve identified the events that are important to your audience and you’ve decided on your monthly marketing objectives, the next step is to create your calendar. You’ll want to break the year down into smaller segments, depending on how long your marketing campaign lasts. If you’re running a seasonal sale, for example, you’ll want to break the year down into quarters. If you’re running a campaign that ends on New Year’s Day, you’ll want to break the year down into halves. Keep in mind that your calendar doesn’t have to be rigid. You can and should adjust it as necessary. Keep track of how your efforts are progressing, and make adjustments when necessary.
These are just a few of the many benefits associated with creating a marketing calendar. By taking the time to create a calendar and plan your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to better organize your efforts and be more efficient with your time. There’s nothing like having your calendar and posts completed so you’re not looking for content at the last minute.
As a result, you’ll likely find that you have more time to focus on other aspects of your marketing strategy, like creating content. And remember, creating a marketing calendar doesn’t require that you have every minute of your upcoming year mapped out. Rather, it requires that you document all relevant dates, tasks, and events.