Do you feel like you’re always scrambling to put together a marketing campaign? Or maybe you’re not even implementing multi-channel campaigns – just a collection of marketing activities that you loosely track with the hope of generating more leads.
This is what I call scattershot marketing. It’s a terrible way to attempt to grow your business. You will always feel rushed, and you’ll probably never be satisfied with the way your brand is being represented.
Get organized with a marketing calendar
In addition to having a solid marketing strategy in place, you also need to build a marketing calendar for your business.
A marketing calendar is a living/working document that you use to plan your campaigns throughout the year. It helps you build your various promotions, identify what items need built or designed and who is responsible for each piece.
Using a marketing calendar is going to keep you “ahead of the curve.” It means you’ll be thinking about holiday promotions well ahead of schedule, and not at the beginning of November when it’s really too late to be effective.
Your calendar provides you with a plan on what you have to undertake and accomplish every month of the coming year.
You can listen to the 60 Second Marketing Podcast about using content calendars here:
How to develop your calendar
To develop an effective marketing calendar, you need to create different calendars views – or tabs within a spreadsheet. The first tab is a yearly overview that shows you what’s ahead in the coming months. It serves as a guide for your more detailed monthly tabs.
I recommend that you create the yearly overview first. This will help you identify important dates and events that your content needs to support (i.e. – you want to do a promotion around Memorial day so you need a video and an email to accompany that).
In creating this calendar, you should take into consideration the following things:
- Your quarterly and yearly goals
- Your budget and resources for various projects
- How you will track the impact of each campaign on your business
- Your business’ peak and off-peak months
- Major holidays or industry-specific holidays that you could build promotions content around
- Major events/promotions you are planning for the coming year (e.g. – anniversaries)
The subsequent monthly tabs/views allow you to provide more detail about each promotion. The monthly view should contain the following pieces of information:
- Title of the content/promotion/material
- Publish Date
- The format you will use for the content
- Person assigned to develop the content
- Target audience of the content
- Media channel where the content will be published
As you can see, successful marketing campaigns don’t plan themselves! They take time to prepare. You must think through all the details or your campaign well ahead of the launch.
If you’re ready to get your marketing organized, fill out the form below to receive a complimentary copy of our marketing calendar template.
NOTE: you will receive a confirmation email. You need to click the ‘confirm’ button and then you’ll be redirected to the template.
Have more questions about starting your marketing calendar? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!
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What’s makes small business marketing so hard? Trying to keep-up with the ever-changing technology and the limited attention span of your target market.
And it’s only getting more difficult. What works today might not work tomorrow.
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