Creating A Marketing Calendar and Why Every Business Needs One!
For small, medium or new online businesses, marketing can be scattered or even irregular. You know your company needs marketing to reach potential customers/clients/patients, but beyond the usual e-mail and social media bomb you would do, you're too busy to go beyond the quick self-promotion here and there. Marketing is work, and you've got your ''real'' job to focus on, you know the job you market.
No one would argue that marketing isn't valuable. Having a plan in place that outlines your marketing activities on a month-to-month basis assures that a steady stream of promotion enters the marketplace. You want your customers to be consistently keeping you in the minds of your current customers and while securing in new ones.
The more your company is talked about, the more potential people will overhear and become interested knowing more about you.
A marketing calendar is exactly what it sounds like: a plan that covers your marketing activities for the entire year. Almost like a business plan, it requires some initial due diligence in time and resources, but it will pay off in the long run.
Outline an overall strategy
Before you begin creating a marketing timeline, you have to decide on an overall marketing strategy. Here is a list of factors to consider:
What is your estimated marketing spend? Know what you are able to budget for the entire year and try to always add about 10-15% extra of the initial estimate.
How frequently will you promote your business? Determine the frequency of your promotions based on what your resources allow.
When is your peak demand? Determine whether demand will rise or fall during different times of the year, such as holidays. This way you'll be able to know when to start a campaign
What types of media will you target? Consider more than just e-mail and social media - look at writing articles, attending exhibitions, creating videos, using google, SEO etc.
Who is your audience? What other resources do you have on hand? You may have a photographer in the family or own a high-end video camera
Once you have a good sense of how to market, you will plan when to market.
Create a calendar
Google and Microsoft both have online instruments for making schedules that are incorporated with email and other efficiency software. These schedules enable you to set repeating occasions and automate updates - particularly helpful for frequent email updates or blog entries.
A spreadsheet is another approach to keep a schedule. Spreadsheets enable you to see more data initially and are increasingly adaptable, yet you will lose a significant part of the usefulness of an online schedule.
Whatever you pick, you should have the option to refresh sections, monitor achievements and note results. A marketing calendar isn't only for media arranging your future showcasing endeavors, it is a record of your past efforts, enabling you to note methodologies that did or didn't work.
At minimum, each entry in the calendar should track the following:
The name of the project
The date that the project will go live
Who is responsible for managing the project
Any other employees or contractors needed to complete the project
A place to record any reports or results about the effectiveness of the campaign
When you have a schedule that will suit your needs, fill in events, for example, occasions, excursions and money related quarters. This is the skeleton whereupon you'll hang your marketing plan.
Map your strategy in detail
Based on the questions you answered above, you should have a good idea who, what, when and how you wish to market. Now fill in your calendar.
Recurring events, such as regular blog posts or e-mail blasts, are the easiest. Be sure to set realistic timelines for producing and distributing routine promotions - if you turn them out at the last minute, your audience will know.
Planning when to create larger or more elaborate promotions takes some work. For many businesses, the holidays are the most important sales times. Holiday promotions must be planned and executed months in advance. For instance, it's not uncommon for major retailers to begin designing Christmas marketing efforts in early July.
You may not need to go to such extreme lengths. Just be aware of all the milestones necessary to produce your promotions. Having your content finished early is better than scrambling.
Aside from organizing your promotional milestones and deadlines, a calendar will show you the gaps in your marketing coverage. You will be able to see if there are times when you're not producing any content. You will also see if there are times when all of your efforts are bunched together. Of course, peak times will have more promotions than slow times. Just make sure that your resources are well spent and wouldn't be better used elsewhere.
Learn from your results
Was one particular promotion successful? Put it on next year's calendar. Did another one flop? Try something different. Having a complete and detailed record of your marketing plan provides tremendous insight. Refine your marketing strategy year by year to reach more and more potential customers.
A simple organizational tool, marketing calendars turn haphazard promotion into comprehensive marketing strategies, making your business more professional and visible.
If you would like to know more about how to plan your marketing efforts don't hesitate to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Focuz Digital Business Consultancy - is your strategic business and marketing partner that looks out for your interests firsts, speak to one of our consultants directly on Whatsapp or send us an email us for any questions related to your ideas!
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