No matter how much your rational mind realizes you need to prioritize your marketing plan, it’s all too easy to see your marketing efforts fall to the wayside, especially if you’re a small business or solo worker. A marketing calendar is one great way to ensure that each blog post, social media blast, and email newsletter goes out at its proper time. But, for it to work, you need to understand the importance of this calendar and its essential place in your marketing strategy.
Marketing Calendars Explained
When you first set out to create this portion of your marketing campaign, it’s natural to ask one fundamental question: what is a marketing calendar? Typically taken in one-year increments (which are then broken down by months, weeks, and days or even individual marketing campaigns), a marketing calendar outlines your marketing strategy for the year ahead.
As the year goes on, you can adjust and accommodate new marketing activities, noting what works exceptionally well and fueling content ideas for the next season or following year. For example, does a particular post hit home with your target audience? Be sure to make space for something similar in the next portion of your marketing calendar.
The Importance of a Marketing Calendar
Perhaps most importantly, your marketing calendar ensures that you and your marketing team get all your email blasts and social media posts prepared before their deadline. However, this isn’t the only benefit of your calendar. This marketing strategy ensures you remember important dates and ensures that every team member knows what’s happening in your marketing efforts. The last thing you want to encounter is a marketing department that can’t keep track of the types of content going out each day! Your marketing calendar ensures you always know your next step.
Creating a Marketing Calendar
Once you realize you need a marketing calendar, you’ll likely be curious about how to implement it best to meet your marketing goals. There are many different ways to use your calendar to plan out an entire year of content. The most effective way, though, is to take advantage of a dedicated marketing calendar software. This type of program will not only centralize your marketing strategy but will help you visualize that strategy in a variety of ways. For example, say one team member thrives on a timeline view, but another prefers a Gantt chart. Your entire team is sure to find a calendar template that works well for their unique needs.
Improving Your Marketing Calendar
Once you’ve crafted your marketing calendar, you will always want to make improvements—it’s just like any other piece of content in that way. Once you’ve mapped out your initial social media content and other marketing efforts, it’s worth interrogating your existing campaigns. Review your metrics and insights from previous posts and product launches and consider how you can add these to an upcoming social media campaign or promotion. Whether you’re planning for next month or through the end of the year, your existing calendar can help outline your content marketing strategy in the future.
A marketing calendar can quickly become the most crucial component of your marketing plan, analyzing each marketing initiative and product launch in a defined template. From email marketing to social media, you can plan your marketing roadmap and keep your entire team in the loop, streamlining workflow and improving productivity. But, best of all, you’ll find that none offer better insights than this calendar within your collection of marketing tools. From timing content themes with seasons or major holidays to utilizing the best qualities from previous marketing projects to improve your future efforts, a marketing calendar is a living document that can transform your marketing strategy in the best way.