7 Tips for Creating an Effective Marketing Calendar
For your marketing efforts to be effective, you have to plan in advance, stay organized, and be consistent. A marketing calendar can help! It’s simply a way to plan and organize your marketing activities for the year.
You don’t have to use anything fancy – it could just be a spreadsheet or a cheap wall calendar.
Benefits of Using a Marketing Calendar
Creating a marketing calendar helps you spot any problems with your marketing activities. You’ll be able to easily notice if you have too much time between activities, which gives your customers time to forget about you. You’ll also be able to easily spot if you have too many activities jammed into one timeframe. There’s no way you can do everything; sometimes you have to cut out a few activities to give yourself time to focus on bigger projects.
A marketing calendar also helps you better evaluate your marketing initiatives. At the end of each quarter or year, you can go through your calendar and rate each initiative based on its effectiveness. Then, the next quarter or year, you can repeat what worked, improve what didn’t really work, and eliminate anything that was a total flop.
Tips for Getting Started with Your Marketing Calendar
Planning your marketing activities for the whole quarter or year sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Your marketing calendar isn’t something that’s set-in stone; it’s a living, breathing document that you can change and update as often as you need to.
Start with Your Marketing Plan
Before you start filling in your marketing calendar, make sure you have your marketing plan in place. Make sure you’ve answered a few questions:
After you’ve answered those questions, you can start setting up your calendar. Start by adding holidays, vacations, and financial quarters. Having these in place first will help you plan promotions around them.
Fill Up Your Calendar
Now you can start filling up your calendar with your recurring events, like blog posts, email newsletters, etc. These are the easiest events to add because you probably already have an idea about how often they’ll occur.
Just because these events happen regularly doesn’t mean you don’t need time to prepare them. When you’re setting up your calendar, give yourself a realistic timeline for creating each item.
Plan Larger Promotions
After you have your recurring events scheduled, you can start planning your larger promotions. This is when you can decide just how early you’re going to start marketing for the holidays.
Include All Your Marketing Activities
Go through your calendar to make sure that every type of marketing activity is included – like social media, email, content marketing, pay per click campaigns. etc.
When you’re adding events to your calendar, be thorough. Don’t just write “blog post.” Instead, write the type of activity, the general topic, a list of other people needed to make it happen, and a place to record the results.
Ask for Feedback
After you’ve created your marketing calendar, ask your customers and staff for feedback. Ask them if there’s anything specific they want to see during the year. It will help you come up with content for your social media accounts and blog.