For those businesses online, which are small or new, marketing can be sporadic. As a small/new business owner, you know the requirement of marketing your company, but beyond the social media blast and initial e-mail, you’re too busy for going beyond the rapid self-promotion here & there.
Marketing basically works, and you’ve got products to ship. Yet nobody would argue that marketing isn’t actually valuable.
Coming up with a plan in place, which outlines your marketing activities on a monthly basis, assures that a steady stream’s promotion enters the marketplace, helping in keeping you in the minds of your established clients and roping in fresh ones.
The more you describe your company, the more likely individuals will become curious.
A marketing calendar is just exactly what it sounds like!
It’s a great plan, which covers your marketing activities for the whole year. Like most elements of a business plan, it also needs some initial time investment and resources, but later on, obviously, it pays off.
The time period where the marketing calendar is the most helpful is precisely the moment you have the minimum time to consider self-promotion.
Why is the marketing calendar proving to be highly important? (Summary)
The marketing calendar is essential as it assists you to:
- Measure every of your single marketing effort for a certain period of time.
- Track marketing expenses related to your marketing efforts.
- Enhance your marketing efforts.
- Stay concentrated.
Who should design a How to Create a Marketing Calendar in 2021?
Organizations have invested great time period in working in creating the calendar as accessible as possible to everybody that works in marketing.
However, what does that mean in practice? In case you’re the head author of marketing, it’s a fantastic place to indicate to your team how your objectives are going to translate into campaigns. Every interactive calendar has an area reserved for both.
If you’re a beginner at marketing, then a calendar is the most useful to you as you answer some questions before you begin. Your replies to these questions offer custom recommendations for how you must structure your calendar.
Now, are you ready to plan yours?
Let’s begin with the basics.
How to Create a Marketing Calendar
What’s the requirement of a content marketing calendar – Let’s dig deeper
Content marketing is basically not something you can handle on an as-you-go basis. It’s ideal for organizing your content in a specific form of a calendar instead of a disorganized to-do list. This assists you in visualizing when exactly specific content will be published and in what manner.
Always using a calendar format will also permit you to easily plan content even around holidays and on a frequent manner, timely basis. It assists you to ensure everything that’s actually being published at ideal timing and in the perfect order.
Besides that, organizing your content on a consistent calendar format will make previously posted content a lot easier to track as well as re-purpose if need be.
Try imagining this: you own a store of some cute pets. It’s just another peaceful day, right? Maybe you’ll make some cute Instagram posts regarding some guinea pigs you have on sale. Besides that, you might be publishing a blog post on your site to teach users to take care of their goldfish.
You begin scrolling down your own newsfeed of Instagram only to indicate all your friends sharing pictures of their dogs with some hashtags such as #NationalDogDay.
However, National Dog Day might not be a “real” holiday, and it might not be essential to numerous people (unless you’re a dog owner that’s dedicated). However, with the dedication of a pet store, you’ve now missed out on a fantastic marketing opportunity.
As the well-meaning fish care tips you provided get drowned out by a sea of puppy pictures, you might find yourself after that wishing you had planned ahead. Now you might have to scramble to make some canine content whereas, your competitors are already racking up some fresh retweets.
This stressful circumstance could have been avoided in case you or your agency had plans of a content calendar in advance based on nearly industry-specific holidays. Hundreds of calendars are available there, maybe even thousands, of fun holidays, which are practically created for especially social media.
You must have content calendars for your articles, social media posts, emails, and any other sort of media you’re publishing on a frequent basis. Keeping separate, however, related calendars for every sort of marketing enables you to link all your content and keep great consistent themes across all of your media.
This will surely make cross-promotion a breeze! Currently, as you understand what a content marketing calendar is for what’s the way to make it useful for you and your business, let’s keep diving.
The major steps that you must keep following while designing Marketing Calendar!
1) Outline your entire strategy
Before you build a marketing timeline, you must consider an entire marketing strategy. Factors to think about are:
What is your budget for your marketing that you estimated? Know what you’re able to spend for the whole year
- How constantly will you promote your organization? Consider the frequency of your promotions on the basis of what your resources permit- everything from just promoting at specific times of the year for posting weekly blog articles.
- When is the time of your peak demand? Decide on whether demand will go up or fall during distinctive times of the year, for example, at major holidays.
- What sorts of media are you going to target? Consider more than only e-mail & social media – look at writing blog posts, attending conventions, making videos, etc.
- Who are your clients?
- What other resources you’ll be having in your hand? You might have a photographer in your family or have a high-end video camera.
Once you have an ideal sense of marketing strategy, you will determine when to market.
2) Create a calendar
Google & Microsoft both are having online tools for creating calendars, which are integrated with e-mail & other software for productivity. These calendars enable you to set recurring events as well as automate reminders – especially helpful for consistent e-mail updates or articles.
A spreadsheet is one other approach to keeping a calendar. Spreadsheets enable you to indicate more information at a glance and are highly flexible, but you’ll lose much of the functionality of the online calendar platform.
Whatever you select, you must update entries every time, keep track of milestones, and note outcomes. A marketing calendar isn’t only for media planning the efforts of your future marketing; it’s also a record of your past efforts, permitting you to note strategies, which worked or did not work.
At a minimum, every single entry in the calendar will be able to track the following:
- The project’s name
- The date of when the project will go live
- Who is responsible for handling the project
- Any other contractors or employees required to finish the project
- A place for recording any reports or outcomes about the campaign effectiveness
Once you own a calendar that will suit your requirements, fill in events, for example, holidays, financial quarters, and vacations. This is your decorated skeleton on which you’ll be hanging your marketing strategies.
3) Map your strategy in perfect detail
On the basis of the questions you answered above, you might already be having ideal ideas of what, who, when, and how you determine to market. Now is the time to fill in your calendar.
Recurring events, for example, consistent blog posts or e-mail blasts, are the easiest. Ensure to set realistic timelines for generating & distributing routine promotions – in case you turn them out at the last minute, your clients will know.
Determining when to create huge or highly elaborate promotions surely consumes some work. For numerous businesses, the holidays are the most vital sales times. Holiday promotions should always be planned and executed months in advance. For example, it’s not uncommon for those major retailers who start designing Christmas marketing efforts in the first few days of July.
You might not need to go for such high lengths. Just be careful of all the milestones necessary to generate your promotions. Having your content completed early is ideal instead of scrambling.
Aside from organizing the promotional milestones as well s deadlines you have, a calendar will indicate to you the gaps in the coverage of your marketing. Besides that, indicating if there are times where you’re not generating any content will be possible too. You will also see in case there are times in which your all efforts are bunched together.
Obviously, peak times will have higher promotions than slow times. However, ensure that your resources are well spent and shouldn’t be better used elsewhere.
4) Creating Content Your Followers Prefer
The ideal way to create a calendar of content marketing your followers will prefer the most is to see the content to which they react positively and create off of it. In case you’re beginning from square one, a few market research can assist you out.
To take an idea about what sort of content your followers are liking the most and are interested in, try checking out your competitors. We don’t recommend you to plagiarize, obviously, but there is no requirement to reinvent the wheel when you know about an organization with similar target clients already.
Try looking at their content and indicate what’s driving the most engagement. Are their followers reacting best to list-style blog posts? Maybe that’s something which you can include in your own article.
Perhaps they get the highest likes on social media posts with extremely bright colors. That is another simple approach of detail that you can follow & wort into your own content.
Just remember that you want your content to be always unique & original for adding true value to your followers, and try to keep them coming back for more! Don’t have the time to generate truly unique content? Then try out some platforms such as AccuWebTech Marketing, where all content is unique, original, and custom created for your audience.
Some platforms even put everything together as an organized content marketing calendar every month for you to view & approve. In case this sounds like the addition you require the most to your marketing portfolio, find such platforms today!
5) Set a Timetable for Your Content Releases
Surprisingly or maybe not, numerous content marketers aren’t the top planners. We scramble last minute for fulfilling the commitments publishing we have or worse yet and sometimes lag behind and go radio silent on our visitors who read.
As an outcome or poor planning, the strategies for content marketing might become a reactive effort of throwing together, which ultimately becomes a disconnected pile of assets.
Because of this disconnected pile of assets, measuring the efficacy of our program is not possible because it’s not basically a program. So what’s the method of changing that? We planned our editorial calendars perfectly!
First things should always be first. It won’t assist you to jump into making strategies for your editorial calendar without the important inputs. Below is the information checklist that you require before you begin:
- Mission Statement
- Content Topics
- Content Categories
- SEO Keywords
- Imagery Guidelines
- Editorial Guidelines
Begin planning now:
In case you have these six items in your strategy, you’re ready to begin planning. Putting together an editorial calendar needs some different phases of making strategies. Ideally, you must be determined to make your calendar on a monthly, quarterly, and weekly basis, taking different elements into consideration for each.
The very first step in the creation of the content marketing plan you have is setting up a periodical timetable for your content releases.
Relying on the market sector, this can be on a daily, monthly, quarterly, weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-annual basis, or maybe a combination of any of the above mentioned periods or even all of them. The timetable for releasing your marketing content totally depends on a number of aspects, the key factor being the sort of content.
Social media tools are highly powerful marketing platforms and are suitable for almost any business. Content posted on our website, though, tends to be catchy, short, and sparse in details.
The online presence on Facebook and Twitter is going to be the key for short but consistent updates, which can be an everyday affair, for example. Articles, on the other hand, note key areas of interest in the business in a hither in-depth manner in comparison to a Facebook post or a tweet.
That said, blog posts are highly suited for monthly, weekly, and bi-weekly updates, which are deeper in details but limited to a certain area of interest or business sector.
Quarterly or semi-annual content tends to be extensive in both scope and breadth. As such, they prefer newsletters & magazines that contain detailed content that covers different factors and places of interest in the business.
Depending on the business requirements you have, select a timetable that will offer your business optimum exposure while you release periodically.
6) Continuously monitor your results and perfectly optimize your strategy
If you’re setting your editorial calendar completely in stone, in fact, it is a great practice to intimately monitor your content’s results and utilize that information to further optimize your calendar and, accordingly, your content marketing strategy.
For instance, if you’ve tried a given type of downloadable goodie and it did not result in several leads (which, in this instance, would’ve been the main objective), then it’s crucial to try to understand why that exactly happened and what can you do to improve your strategy and content in the upcoming time.
Monitor your results consistently, and also keep in mind your marketing goals. So, make changes to your strategy and marketing calendar accordingly.
7) Learn from your results
Learning from the results is a must in the marketing scene.
Was one particular promotion successful? You can put it on the upcoming year’s calendar. Did another one just fail? Try something out of the box.
Having a complete and in-depth record of your marketing plan brings you tremendous insight. You have to refine your marketing strategy year by year, and that’s how you reach maximum potential customers.
A normal organizational tool, marketing calendars turn unsystematic promotion into comprehensive marketing strategies, and that makes your business more visible and professional.
Our favorite marketing calendars
A rapid Google search will bring a huge number of marketing calendar templates, among which you can choose easily.
However, not every single of them will match your requirements, so we give some context on how our favorite calendars work and how you can reap the best from them.
The perfect marketing plan calendars permit you to focus on what is going to make a difference (positive) to your marketing efforts. Certainly, they’ll be clear and easy to read and understand.
So, your team will instinctively realize what’s happening when – and even more importantly – you’ll use them throughout the year.
They’ll be easy to read, clear, shareable with various people, and perfect for straightforward evaluation.
Here we cover a few best of them.
Search Engine Journal: Best Marketing Calendar
What is it & Who is it for?
If you’re already familiar with Google Sheets and already use Google calendars, Search Engine Journal’s marketing calendar proves to be a very simple way to put your marketing calendar on paper.
This particular marketing calendar has an awesome combination of clear structure and flexibility, making it easy to use for just about anyone who is into marketing.
How does it work?
You just download their example sheet. It includes a guide regarding how to use it. You’ll have to take out their examples and conveniently replace them with your own plans (it’s really easy).
Begin by saving your own kinds of the Google Sheet and cherishing the front sheet ‘how to’ guide.
After you are familiar with the steps Search Engine Journal, you have to outline at the Google Sheet’s top, head to the sheet named ‘marketing calendar.’
You may fall into confusion at first but just stick with it. The colors indicate various elements of a campaign and are properly designed to let you see, at one glance, the dates that a given campaign element will run for.
We’d call that a classic example of a Gantt chart. You can view several activities in a schedule simultaneously. It’s awesome as an overview of activities. However, you’ll prefer to add details in a separate document or sheet.
2. Hubspot – Best Marketing Calendar for content marketers
What is it & Who is it for
Marketing veterans Hubspot are shedding away a free download of their superb Excel-based marketing plan calendar.
As we expect from Hubspot, this calendar has high-end features for content marketers. At the same time, it works well for any marketer in case you add non-content campaign sorts.
How does it work?
You’ll have to give Hubspot your email ID in exchange for downloading this Excel file. Rather than covering the whole year, like several of the other calendars, they provide a one-month template. You can copy for additional months and in separate tabs.
There is no method of creating an overview of your whole marketing campaign on a single sheet. If you desire to do this, you’ll need to do it separately. After that, go to the ‘Monthly Planning Calendar’ and simply plan out your content a single month at a time.
You’ll probably need to use your own color-codes to make sense of the various types of content that you might publish on various platforms.
Content marketers will certainly find the ‘Content Repository’ tab pretty useful. This gives an in-depth look at specific pieces of your content that you’ll be conveniently able to use in joining with your monthly content plan.
3. HootSuite – Best Marketing Calendar for promoting content
What is it & Who is it for?
Talking about Hootsuite’s social media calendar, it’s a content marketing-style calendar (Google Sheets-based ) that focuses on how one can promote your content – primarily via social channels.
Undoubtedly, it’s a specific use case and certainly won’t do a decent job of capturing all the marketing activities you have going on. However, it’s pretty helpful in case you’re searching for a free tool to support you join up your social media and content efforts.
Hootsuite’s calendar is mostly for content marketers and social media marketers that want to align the various content sorts they plan to work on with the various social channels they look forward to promoting that content on.
Their calendar certainly isn’t for marketers searching for a place they can conveniently host an overall view of their whole basket of marketing activities. This calendar is more operational than that.
How does it work?
Hootsuite’s calendar provides you the opportunity to align sorts of content with social media channels. Besides that, you can add the copy for every single social post you have planned in case you desire to go into that level of detail.
Hootsuite recommends that you should edit your personal calendar whilst following the accompanying blog post. Besides that, they point out that in case you want it to be interactive, posting content according to your schedule, you’ll have to use Hootsuite’s full version.
After that, you go ahead and populate every separate section of this sheet.
Hootsuite suggests various sorts of content as appropriate for various social media platforms. Alternatively, you may look forward to adding more content for given channels. You need to consider what you actually want these categories to be before starting to populate this calendar.
This calendar doesn’t assign who is responsible for various content.
4) CoSchedule – Best Marketing Calendar for social media
What is it & Who is it for?
CoSchedule offers an Excel spreadsheet-based content marketing calendar, which you can customize.
Just like the example from Hootsuite, this calendar is also created specifically for social media & content marketers. We think that those looking to put together an entire strategy might struggle with this content-specific manner.
How does it work?
From the link, you simply have to download the Excel sheet. The template is basically a simple spreadsheet format that assists you in identifying the sequence of your content campaigns as well as put them into action.
Typically, CoSchedule’s Excel template begins by encouraging you to take a look at the overview of the year by assigning themes to each month.
Just after you establish your themes and after that, you can begin populating the core template. You finish a new sheet for every month.
Here’s the area on which you might want to look away if content marketing is a new topic for you.
A lot of the preparation for the campaigns you have is considered here. The template from GoSchedule goes into some detail and asks for funnel stages, keywords, and publish dates, which wouldn’t be relevant to those who work outside of content.
Not similar to Hootsuite’s calendar, you’ll also determine whose responsibility each element is.
Besides that, it’s not clear what distinctive channels you could use. For instance, you’d post something different on your Facebook page than your Linkedin page/profile, and that’s just the difference, which isn’t captured here.
What is it?
Convince and Convert provides a completely free marketing calendar, which you can use for planning your strategy for the upcoming months & years. As with some of the recent calendars, this calendar is totally concentrated more on content initiatives. However, adding non-content campaigns in their area is fairly simple here.
Who is it for and How does it work?
This calendar is specially built for content marketers, particularly for those working outside of their social media channels. If you own several other content channels, for example, podcasts and TV, then this marketing calendar could be ideal for you.
Downloading the marketing calendar is possible in Excel and PDF formats. However, we’d suggest using the Excel sheet, which permits more functionality. You’ll want to follow this blog by Convert and Convince when you use the calendar. As to be honest, the download like the standalone template isn’t making much sense.
This template is too simple to populate.
You must understand what ‘shows’ actually mean to Convince and Convert. These aren’t basically the shows in regards to something which you can watch. That’s just an analogy that the blog is making between different content sorts and how we like to use them.
So this platform’s regularly-scheduled shows would incorporate social media, and on the other hand, one-time shows will normally be a white paper, for example. Never hesitate to move away from the focus of the calendar’s pure content and add campaigns & channels, which aren’t related to the content, for example, paid search.
6. [ContentCal] (https://auth.contentcal.io/)
What is ContentCal & how does it work?
ContentCal is basically a social media & content marketing calendar, which brings your team together in a similar area to plan, approve as well as publish content.
After you sign up, you’ll get a free 14-day trial automatically. Build a new calendar, add your group, and begin adding dates.
Start by building a new calendar. We’d suggest starting with one calendar. However, you can add further calendars in case you have more campaigns or clients.
A wizard is there, which will walk you through every single aspect of the calendar, incorporating adding your social profiles (in case using it to publish content directly from the calendar you have is your plan).
Those essential questions regarding Marketing Calendar!
What is a content marketing calendar exactly?
A content marketing calendar is basically a tool to assist you in planning and executing your content marketing plans in an efficient & timely way.
It is a calendar-based strategy for your content that offers you a view of how the content will be laid out within a specified course of time. Consider it as a guide for what content you need to publish and in what manner.
Content, obviously, incorporates anything from articles on your organization’s website to the posts of social media. Whether you have a blog of your company or even just a slightly active social media presence, still, quality content marketing calendar is surely gonna help you get organized and produce results in your strategy of content marketing.
How far in advance do I need to plan my content?
In the content marketing world, the more advance you plan ahead, the better the outcomes will be. Generally speaking, obviously. We suggest planning your content at least a month in advance.
That way creating a complete month’s content marketing calendar will be possible at a time. On the basis of how consistently you publish content, you may also want to determine quarterly, weekly, or bi-monthly content calendars instead. However, monthly calendars are normally ideal.
If you have a plan too far ahead, you might have to make adjustments when strategies change. Likewise, if you don’t determine far enough ahead of time, you might end up scrambling to generate quality content in a timely manner. No one requires that stress!
Making a plan ahead also offers you the flexibility of time to review content and proofread. The very very last step you must know is to rush through content and, in last, publishing something with a mistake that’s embarrassing. Trust us, and your clients will surely take notice.
What should I include in a marketing calendar?
Dates matter the most when there are numerous moving aspects. And marketers also work cross-functionally with most teams in the company and the team of products for new product launches, the training material sales team, the team for customer support for documentation, and so on.
An ideal calendar will assist you in:
- Visualizing the upcoming due dates & activities
- Defining which of your team members are responsible for
- Arranging deliverables in a logical manner for supporting key initiatives
- Offering visibility to other teams regarding what’s going on and when
A marketing calendar full of activities that are not driven by the competitive strategy will be ineffectual. Obviously, if you do not incorporate the ideal information – or include a lot of details and then calendars become unwieldy too.
Elements that make a calendar actionable and usable
Let’s look through some elements that make a calendar actionable and usable. Some of these major building blocks are also incorporated below.
- Time frame: Weekly, monthly, daily, and yearly — designate a view of the timeline that matches the level of info that you need.
- Goal: Offer a shorthand approach to indicate the broader destination or initiative, which the work serves.
- Campaign: Incorporate the campaign, or you can also launch, which the deliverable is part of.
- Persona: Assist your team in understanding the target customer for every marketing activity.
- Begin and end dates: Try to include internal start as well as end dates for your work & a go-live date.
- Type: Try specifying deliverables by format or team. For example, use distinctive labels for the content team vs. the team of product marketing for case studies vs. blog posts.
- Channel: Always tag deliverables through marketing channels (e.g., email, website, social media, search engine marketing).
- Status: Incorporate status labels (e.g., “in progress,” “not started,” and “scheduled”), which makes it easy to spot progress.
There are numerous ways of customizing this information. However, ensure to balance the level of detail required with the effort it consumes for maintaining the calendar. Never feel like you have to incorporate everything, just try to locate what works ideal for your team and your marketing destinations.
The huge benefits of the marketing calendar
Measuring your team efforts
Yes, with the help of a marketing calendar measuring all your marketing weapons will be possible that you can use for attracting new clients. This is offered with columns about the outcomes of your marketing activities. In other words, you should put a number that will indicate to you what number of prospects are transformed into real purchasers or customers.
Your marketing expenses
In the marketing calendar, you have, inserting a column that will indicate your expenses about every marketing activity is a must-have. That said, you’ll use your marketing calendar in a highly effective manner.
It’s simple. You will not just manage all your marketing efforts effectively, but also getting help related to your marketing budget will be possible too.
At the year’s end or period of time, which you cover in the marketing calendar, you can easily measure all the marketing activities. Not only measuring them in terms of cash will be easily possible, but also in terms of your outcomes. It’s an ideal manner for calculating ratios.
For instance, let’s say $1000 is what you have spent on some local newspaper ads. In your ad, you’ve incorporated a discount card, so you know exactly what number of customers come from that certain ad.
If you got lucky and drive 500 customers with a similar discount coupon from that ad, which spent nearly $100 in your business, then surely your income from that ad will be around $50.000.
Now, just imagine if your profit margin is 5%, then also your profit is going to be $2.500. So, you know that undoubtedly this is a fantastic marketing activity, as you cover the entire expenses of the ad and still earned $1.500.
Marketing Calendar Enhances your marketing efforts and staying concentrated
If we have just 100 customers who are going to spend $100, then we will be getting $10.000 in income. With a profit margin of 5%, $500 will be your profit.
So, you can exclude quickly that ad from your marketing calendar for the upcoming years. Using this process, improving your marketing efforts continually will be possible. You will always be required to find such approaches and the process of measuring your marketing efforts.
A marketing calendar is undoubtedly a useful tool you can easily use to assist you in charting your organization’s marketing efforts. Not just that, but also the outcomes in your business so you will stay concentrated on all planned marketing activities every year. In this manner, a marketing calendar is just the ideal way and will help you in implementing out your marketing plan.
Let’s conclude How to Create a Marketing Calendar Review
Content marketing is undoubtedly a very time-consuming process, but you can’t deny that it’s a highly effective tool when done right. In order to produce ideal results from content marketing, try planing your editorial calendar every time in advance, particularly by concentrating on your marketing goals.
This will not just enhance your productivity and save a lot of your time, but the editorial calendar will also help in improving your ROI as you’re concentrated solely on content that gives you better results. Besides that, optimizing your plans as you go along to keep upgrading your strategy & ROI.