Why You Should Create a Marketing Calendar

October 4, 2016
By Zack Poelwijk

Marketing in general is a big task, and one that might require delegating. Create a marketing calendar to help create structure in your efforts and keep you on track.

Plan ahead as far as you can.

Sit down with a notebook and think about the coming year. Note what months you know you will have events or holiday related sales. If you plan to attend a conference or speak at an event, note the month and day. If you know that you will be hiring a new employee at a certain time, write that down as well. Is your business anniversary coming up? Chart the selling cycle or seasonality of the products and services you offer. Create a marketing calendar to outline any company event or milestone that you would structure your marketing around so you can coordinate your efforts.

Also add in days when your business is closed because of a holiday or dates when you or your key employees have scheduled vacations. Do you publish a blog post each Thursday? On the list it goes.

Use whatever system works for you.

Once you have the dates mapped out, create a calendar. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Google Gmail Calendar, a spreadsheet or a paper desk calendar, as long as it is a system that works for you and makes sense. Note on the calendar the key times you’re concerned with so that you create messaging for your target audience at the right time.

For instance, if you offer a spring sale, note a month out to include your spring sale in your upcoming email newsletters, and note two months out to begin updating your product descriptions to include the change of season. If you send a monthly or weekly email, put that in there as well, and add in the extra emails you might send to remind people of these special events. Look for dates on the calendar where you may be sending out too many emails or spots where there are gaps.

If you blog on Thursdays, that makes your Friday social media posts easy. If you publish a newsletter on Wednesdays, you have an instant look at what you’ve done recently so you know what to highlight in the next issue.

Create a marketing calendar in advance like this to ensure that each piece of content you create and each bit of effort you put into marketing is focused on furthering your business. At-a-glance calendars like this “theme” your marketing, to keep it seasonal and timely. You can more easily spot “holes” in your strategy and fill them appropriately. You’ll be able to more clearly see what you’re doing and when, to focus your efforts.