Google News
Build a Marketing Calendar
A marketing calendar is used by businesses and organizations to plan and organize their marketing activities over a specific period, typically a year.

Build a Marketing Calendar

What is a marketing calendar?

A marketing calendar is used by businesses and organizations to plan and organize their marketing activities over a specific period, typically a year. It serves as a central reference point that outlines important dates, events, campaigns, and other marketing initiatives.

In general, marketing calendars show campaigns you run, promotions and sales, product launches, and any holidays you plan marketing materials for. Larger businesses may have multiple marketing calendars across departments such as social media, editorial, and product. Small businesses often combine all marketing activities into one marketing calendar.

Marketing Calendar

Why is a marketing calendar important?

A marketing calendar is important because it keeps important marketing activities from getting lost in the shuffle. A marketing planning calendar allows members of the marketing team to view scheduled marketing activities at a glance and ensure they are meeting the small milestones required throughout the year.

Creating a marketing calendar is a key process that the marketing department should undertake and re-evaluate regularly. Although this is a time-consuming process that requires considerable forethought, it is crucial for the marketing department to plan campaigns in advance.

In fact, the marketing team may not know all of their planned activities a year in advance. Planning on a monthly or quarterly basis allows teams to be flexible and respond to change in line with their company's evolving needs.

Also Read : How to Build the Strongest Marketing Team

Without an overall marketing calendar, marketing activities may be planned sporadically, leading to a disjointed marketing schedule of events that does not help a company attract, convert, and retain customers effectively.

For example, without a marketing calendar that dictates scheduled dates for blog posts, they may be published whenever a team member remembers, leading to an inefficient method of reaching customers – and thus, an inefficient use of that team member's time.

A well-planned, detailed marketing calendar is critical in helping the marketing department achieve the goals and plans set forth in the company's marketing strategy and marketing plan.

How do marketing calendars different for small vs. enterprise businesses?

Your marketing calendar will look different if you run a small business or a enterprise-level company. Big businesses, as we mentioned above, have different types of marketing calendars for each marketing department, such as editorial (blog), social media, product or email. These businesses usually divide marketing into different teams or hire at least one dedicated marketing person responsible for each category.

For small businesses, a marketing calendar usually covers all marketing channels.

Also Read : Good Marketing Manager Top 12 Skills

Different types of marketing calendars :

There are several types of marketing calendars that businesses can use based on their specific needs and objectives.

Here are 4 common types :

1. Editorial Calendar :

An editorial calendar focuses on content marketing initiatives, including blog posts, articles, social media content, videos, and other forms of content creation. It helps in planning and scheduling content production, ensuring a consistent and organized publishing schedule. An editorial calendar typically includes deadlines, topics, keywords, assigned authors, and publishing dates.

2. Promotional Calendar :

A promotional calendar revolves around planned promotions, discounts, sales, and campaigns aimed at driving sales and revenue. It outlines specific dates for promotions, seasonal offers, product launches, and any other marketing activities designed to boost customer engagement and generate sales. This type of calendar helps businesses coordinate their promotional efforts across various channels and optimize their marketing campaigns.

3. Event Calendar :

An event calendar focuses on organizing and promoting events, such as conferences, webinars, trade shows, product launches, or workshops. It includes key dates related to event planning, logistics, marketing efforts, and registration deadlines. An event calendar ensures proper coordination and enables businesses to effectively promote and manage their events to maximize attendance and engagement.

4. Social Media Calendar :

A social media calendar helps businesses plan and schedule social media content across different platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. It includes dates, times, and specific content to be shared on each platform. A social media calendar ensures consistent posting, timely engagement with the audience, and strategic use of content to achieve social media marketing goals.

How to create a marketing calendar?

Creating a marketing calendar involves several steps to effectively plan and organize your marketing activities. Here's a step-by-step guide :

1. Define your marketing goals :

Start by clearly identifying your marketing objectives. Determine what you want to achieve through your marketing efforts, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Ensure your goals align with your overall business objectives.

2. Identify important dates and events :

Make a list of significant dates, holidays, and events that are relevant to your target audience and industry. These could include major holidays, industry conferences, product launches, seasonal trends, or any other events that might impact your marketing efforts.

3. Segment your target audience :

Divide your target audience into specific segments or buyer personas based on demographics, preferences, behavior, or other relevant factors. Understanding your audience will help you tailor your marketing activities and campaigns more effectively.

4. Determine campaign themes :

Based on your goals and the identified dates/events, brainstorm and define campaign themes or topics that align with each. For example, if you're a fitness brand, you might plan campaigns around New Year's resolutions, summer fitness challenges, or holiday wellness tips.

5. Choose marketing channels :

Select the marketing channels you will utilize to reach your target audience. These can include social media platforms, email marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, advertising channels, influencer partnerships, or any other relevant channels. Consider the preferences and behaviors of your target audience when choosing the channels.

6. Create a timeline :

Create a timeline for each campaign, including the start and end dates, as well as any important milestones or deadlines. Consider factors such as production time, content creation, design, approval processes, and distribution channels. Ensure that your timeline allows for sufficient lead time and coordination between different marketing activities.

7. Allocate resources :

Determine the necessary resources for each campaign, including budget, personnel, and marketing tools or software. Ensure you have the necessary means to execute your planned activities effectively. Assign responsibilities to team members or departments to ensure a smooth workflow.

8. Develop content and assets :

Create the content and marketing assets required for each campaign. This may involve designing graphics, writing blog posts, creating videos, preparing social media posts, or developing landing pages. Assign tasks to team members or outsource as needed. Make sure the content is aligned with the campaign themes and tailored to your target audience.

9. Implement tracking and measurement :

Set up tracking mechanisms to monitor the performance of your marketing activities. This can include implementing analytics tools, tracking website metrics, monitoring social media engagement, and analyzing campaign-specific data. Regularly review the results and make necessary adjustments to optimize future campaigns.

10. Review and update regularly :

Continuously review and update your marketing calendar as needed. Stay flexible and open to adjustments based on market conditions, consumer behavior, or unforeseen events. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make necessary changes to improve performance.