A marketing calendar is an essential tool for any business that wants to create a cohesive and effective marketing strategy. By mapping out key dates, deadlines, and content themes in advance, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are well-coordinated and align with your overall business goals.
However, creating a marketing calendar that actually works can be challenging. There are so many things to consider, such as what type of content you should create, when you should post it, and how often you should be promoting your business.
This blog post will discuss how to plan a marketing calendar that works for your business. We will provide tips and advice for creating a marketing calendar that helps you achieve your goals and grow your business. So if you’re ready to start seeing actual results from your marketing efforts, keep reading!
What is a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is a tool that businesses use to plan and track their marketing activities. This can include everything from social media posts and blog articles to email campaigns and paid advertising.
It can also be helpful in identifying any gaps in your content marketing strategy. For example, if you realize that you haven’t been doing any email marketing lately, you can add this to your calendar so that you make sure to do it going forward.
Why You Need a Marketing Calendar
There are many benefits to creating and using a marketing calendar. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider making one for your business:
1. Helps You Stay Organized
One of the main benefits of a marketing calendar is that it helps you stay organized. This is especially important if you have a lot of different marketing activities going on at once.
With a marketing calendar, you can see everything that needs to be done in one place. This means that you’re less likely to forget about important tasks or miss deadlines.
2. Keeps You on Track
Another benefit of a marketing calendar is that it helps keep you on track. This is because it helps you plan out your marketing tasks in advance.
If you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, you’re less likely to get sidetracked or fall behind. This will help ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.
3. Helps You Make Better Use of Your Time
A marketing calendar also helps you make better use of your time. This is because it allows you to batch similar tasks together.
For example, if you know that you need to write three blog posts this week, you can block off a few hours to do all of the writing at once. This is more efficient than writing a little bit each day.
4. Helps You Measure Results
Finally, a marketing calendar helps you measure the results of your marketing efforts. This is because you can track how well each activity performs and make changes accordingly.
If you see that a certain type of content isn’t getting much engagement, you can try something different. Or if you notice that a campaign isn’t bringing in as many leads as you’d like, you can adjust your strategy.
How to Plan a Marketing Calendar that Actually Works
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of a marketing calendar, it’s time to learn how to create one. Follow these tips to plan a marketing calendar that actually works:
1. Set Your Goals
The first step in creating a marketing calendar is to set your goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Generate more leads? Convert more customers?
Your answer to this question will determine the types of activities that you add to your calendar. So make sure that you have a clear idea of your goals before you start planning.
2. Choose the Right Platform
There are many different platforms that you can use to create a marketing calendar. The best platform for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some of the most popular options:
Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a free online calendar that’s easy to use. You can create multiple calendars and share them with other people.
Trello: Trello is a free project management tool that can be used to create a marketing calendar. It’s visually appealing and easy to use.
Excel: Excel is a spreadsheet program that can be used to create a marketing calendar. It’s more flexible than the other options but can be difficult to use if you’re not familiar with it.
Crosscap: Crosscap is content marketing calendar software that helps businesses plan, publish, and measure their content. It offers a variety of features, including a drag-and-drop interface, team collaboration tools, and analytics.
3. Identify your Marketing Strategies
The next step is to identify your marketing strategies. What types of activities will you include in your calendar? Some common marketing strategies include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO.
4. Add Your Activities
Start by creating a list of all the tasks that need to be done. Then, add them to the calendar one by one. Include all of the tasks that you need to complete to reach your goals. Make sure to include the due date, assignee, and any other relevant details. You can also add notes and attachments if needed.
5. Take Note of Important Dates
As you’re adding activities to your calendar, make sure to take note of important dates. This includes things like trade shows, webinars, and conferences.
You should also add holidays and other special days that could impact your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re planning a sale around Black Friday, make sure to add that date to your calendar.
6. Determine the Marketing Channel
The marketing channel is the medium through which your marketing message will be delivered. It can be online or offline, and it can be paid, earned, or owned.
Some common marketing channels include social media, email, blogs, and websites. Once you’ve determined the marketing channel, you can start working on your activities.
7. Review and Adjust Your Calendar Regularly
Reviewing and adjusting your calendar regularly will help you stay on track and make sure that your calendar is always up-to-date.
At least once a month, take a look at your calendar and see if there are any changes that need to be made. For example, you might need to add new activities or adjust the due date of existing ones.
You should also review your calendar whenever your marketing goals change. For example, if you’re planning a new product launch, you’ll need to adjust your calendar accordingly.
Planning a marketing calendar may seem like a daunting task, but with a little forethought and attention to detail, it can be a relatively simple process. By taking into account your company’s marketing goals and objectives, you can develop a calendar that will help to ensure that your campaigns are successful.
Additionally, by involving all members of your marketing team in the planning process, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of the overall strategy. By following these steps, you can create a marketing calendar that actually works for your business.