Most small business owners find marketing and other promotional activities quite overwhelming. Aside from creating social media profiles and sending welcome message on your email marketing, you need to ensure that you market your product well. As your business rushes to success, you may be too busy to populate your social networks or reach out to your audience for your upcoming sale. Fortunately, not all hope is lost when you implement an effective marketing calendar.
While implementing a marketing plan is the most challenging element of your business process, it can be a straightforward strategy in making your business thrive in 2021. Your actual effort begins before you begin when you define objectives and priorities. The earlier you start preparing each approach on your marketing calendar, the fewer complications you will encounter as you move forward.
What Is A Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is a detailed plan for your marketing activities. It depicts your promotional tactics and the timeline for completing each of your strategies. In other words, a marketing calendar is a tool that you may use to reach your marketing objectives in a specific time frame.
It is an approach that includes all of your marketing actions for the entire year, month by month. Creating a marketing calendar will, predictably, take some time and resources. However, it will pay off in the long run.
Why Marketing Calendar Matters?
Here are some of the reasons why you should not fall behind in making your marketing calendar for your small business.
1. Organize Your Brand Message
One of the advantages of having this sort of calendar is your business’s brand messages’ control and visibility. If your content marketing calendar is detailed, it is easier for you and the entire team to stay on track. It can also improve productivity by tracking trends in the marketplace and what can be implemented in each marketing channel.
Moreover, do not get rid of old marketing calendars. It will be helpful to look back on previous campaigns, methods, and timing as you plan the next part of your promotional journey. Looking back on the last marketing activity might help you determine the optimal times to promote certain items and messages.
2. Map Your Strategy
With a marketing calendar, you can plan who, when, and how you want to implement your strategies. By tracking your calendar, you will have a better understanding of how your promotional efforts are progressing. The most straightforward are recurring events, such as frequent blog postings or email blasts. Set realistic deadlines for developing and sending regular promotions.
It may take some effort to plan when to develop more extensive or more intricate promotions. For many businesses, the holidays are the busiest times of year for sales. So, to avoid panic brought by the holiday rush, prepare and develop your calendar months in advance. It will give you the overall projection of your marketing coverage as you managing your promotional milestones.
3. Identify Gaps In Your Yearly Campaign
Checking your campaign calendar will allow you to observe whether you are not creating enough or any materials at all. You will also notice whether there are instances when all of your efforts are going downfall or are not in sync with one another.
Promotions will be more prevalent at peak periods than during dull times. With a content calendar, you are sure that your resources are being used wisely and that they would not be better spent elsewhere.
Without a template for your promotional activities, you will not be able to see if you have gaps in your campaign. You will not be able to tweak or adjust your upcoming campaigns when your existing activities are not meeting your business goals. Having a populated marketing calendar will let you know whether you still need to exert more effort or you are already on the right path.
4. Monitor Your Expenses
The majority of marketing budgets are set early in the year. Preparing it alongside your promotional plans can help you become cost-conscious. You might wish to put your budget in a separate column from the actual content specifications in your content marketing calendar. While your marketing calendar is not a budget spreadsheet, it may be helpful to record the expenditures and resource time allotted for each marketing activity. It will allow you to track your budget vs. expense immediately.
Providing the visibility of your company’s marketing budget keeps team members from slipping into classic budgeting pitfalls. Your team will not randomly underspend throughout the year, which could lead to a heated spend down come planning season. As you assign a marketing budget to each activity, there will be clarity on the nature of your expenses to know which you can cut down in the future.
5. Set Expectations Whole Year Round
Planning and tracking future marketing endeavors is the most apparent benefit of having an active marketing calendar. There is no opportunity for surprises when responsibilities and deadlines are assigned to a particular team member. It makes it much easy to carry out any marketing strategy.
You may plan blog posts and articles a month or more in advance, giving thought leaders in your organization enough time to create content despite competing demands. They can write what needs to be written and submit it on schedule with precise deadlines and expectations.
A consolidated content marketing calendar serves as a resource for you as you propel your marketing strategy ahead. It ties your marketing plan into an actual execution schedule, outlining who does what and when deadlines will be met. It also allows you to identify what themes will be addressed and the expected outcomes. Lack of implementation should be the last thing that kills your marketing plan if you have a marketing calendar in place.