Marketing is one of the most difficult tasks a business owner must do. We are not saying this because we are marketers responsible for marketing ourselves or because we are marketers who help other marketers.
We say this because we have seen many business owners struggle and fail in their marketing efforts.
A lot goes into running a successful marketing campaign. You must define your goals, identify your ideal customers, and detail what sets you apart from your competitors. This can all be done by creating a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy provides you with a roadmap that you can follow to marketing success.
However there is another tool in the marketing toolbox that you can use to increase your chances of your marketing efforts being successful.
That tool is a marketing calendar.
A marketing calendar can be a very powerful tool because, done properly, you will define what you must do on a daily and weekly basis.
A marketing calendar takes what you defined in your marketing strategy and actually defines it specific marketing activities. Because these activities derive from your goals, target audience, and unique value proposition that you detail in your marketing strategy the chances of success are greatly increased.
Let’s examine just how powerful of a marketing tool that a calendar can be.
Identify The Marketing Channels
Your marketing message only has value if it is seen by the people you need to see. A marketing calendar helps you identify what channels your best customers will be on. More importantly it will help you plan how those channels interact with one another so that you can cross promote.
Cross promoting across your marketing channels helps you do the following:
- Build a larger audience across all platforms
- Reinforce your message
- Establish your brand
- Position you as a thought leader
Having a marketing calendar allows you to better understand where you should be in terms of delivering your marketing content.
Identify The Types of Content
Speaking of marketing content, once you know which marketing channels you will be using to share your message you will be able to determine which types of marketing content you need to develop.
- YouTube – prerecorded and/or live videos
- Email – single use emails like newsletters and announcements and/or multi-email drip campaigns
- Instagram – visually engaging content, with short videos, and/or live content.
As you begin to understand what types of content you need to develop, you will be able to marshal the resources needed to develop the content. This will make the process of developing and publishing the content much easier.
Outline Your Posting Schedule
This is a great benefit of a marketing calendar, probably our favorite. As you develop your calendar, you will determine when to send emails, publish blogs and videos, post social media content, etc. In essence, this is where you give your calendar life.
The reason this is so important is because it provides the backbone of your calendar. You are detailing what needs to be done and when. You can use your posting to see who is doing what and when (see below) and track your daily/weekly/monthly progress (see further below).
If you are relying on others to assist you in your content development, which we highly recommend if and when possible, then it would help to be able to understand who is doing what and when.
Your marketing calendar can do this. You can use it to help you assign tasks to your team or to outside contractors. Your calendar can be used to communicate what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
Essentially, it is an excellent communication tool.
Track Your Progress
As we stated above, there is a lot that goes into both marketing and operating your business. It is easy for things to fall through the cracks. A marketing calendar gives you a birds-eye view of your content development and publishing process. You can use this to track your progress, identify potential problems, and make important decisions. There have been times when looking at a marketing calendar and comparing it to other priorities in the business that we have pushed some content creation back or scrapped it altogether. It happens, however because we made an informed decision we were able to use our calendar to better plan in the future.
Because marketing is such a difficult task that must be done on a daily and weekly basis, it would be smart to utilize every tool available. What makes a marketing calendar so powerful is that it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the day-to-day and week-to-week process of marketing yourself and your business. Used in conjunction with your marketing strategy, a marketing calendar simplifies much of the decision making surrounding your marketing efforts. This allows you to focus on other areas of your business confident that you are promoting your business in an efficient and effective manner.