19 Dec ‘18
What Is a Marketing Calendar and Why Do You Need One?
19 Dec ‘18
In: Marketing, / By: Chris Simental
If your business has ever engaged in marketing efforts of any kind, you’ll know how difficult it can be to stick to a strategic, consistent stream of marketing content. Sort of like a New Year’s resolution, marketing campaigns often start out strong and excited but fizzle out after a month or two.
But some businesses – even small ones – manage good, consistent marketing campaigns all year long, even in their busiest seasons! It’s gotta be witchcraft…right?
Well, maybe. We won’t discount this theory just because we never received our own Hogwarts letters. But, more likely than witchcraft, the businesses whose marketing efforts are solid and compelling on a consistent, year-long basis are businesses that are taking advantage of something crucial: A marketing calendar.
A what? How does that even work? Do you really need one? (Short answer: Yep.)
Read on to learn more about marketing calendars and why your marketing efforts absolutely need one.
What’s a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is, quite simply, a strategic plan that’s laid out in advance to help you keep a regular, content-packed, and quality marketing campaign.
A good marketing calendar works on a month-to-month basis to ensure that a business’s marketing platforms are putting out a consistent flow of content like promotions, information, and event content. Most successful marketing calendars are laid out well in advance – even for the entire coming year – and are adjusted as necessary as the company’s goals shift and time moves on.
In the beginning, laying out a marketing calendar requires quite a bit of focus and energy. But when the year gets going and a business enters into its busy seasons, they’ll have nothing to worry about when it comes to marketing – and, perhaps most importantly, their marketing platforms won’t witness a sudden, eerie silence!
A marketing calendar is designed to help a business to stay on track and true to the necessary marketing efforts. It’s built around the company’s calendar of events like sales and promotions and busy seasons. It’s an integral part of any successful marketing campaign.
Not convinced your business needs a marketing calendar? Here’s why it does.
1. Keeps Your Business Relevant
We’ve all followed that business that started out strong and consistent on our timelines, but slowly trickled off from there…and then one day, long after we’d completely forgotten we’d followed them at all – boom! A promotional post!
This is an issue for lots of reasons.
First, an inconsistent, ill-planned marketing strategy allows audiences to forget how much they care about a business. It allows that business to become irrelevant in the minds of an audience they’d previously captured well enough to earn a follow.
Second, when your business fades off the marketing scene but pops up again just in time to push a promotion or sale, it comes off as….well, cheap. Your audience is unlikely to trust in your business now because it’s become clear you don’t care so much about providing them with quality content and entertaining media – all they are to you is a potential sale.
And, among other things, posting irregularly and infrequently shows your audience you’re not willing to put in the energy necessary to hold their attention. What does this say for the amount of energy you’re willing to put into working with them?
2. Keeps Your Content High-Quality
You may be thinking, “Wait. Can’t I post spur-of-the-moment content that’s also high quality…? I’m pretty sure I can…” And sure – maybe you can! But counting on your ability to do so consistently throughout the year is still pretty foolish.
If you’re able to look out at the year ahead and give yourself an outline of the marketing content you’ll put out, you’re giving yourself the necessary time to brainstorm ideas. You’re allowing yourself plenty of wiggle-room and time to refine and improve your ideas – something you’ll be unable to do if your marketing happens on the fly.
It’s unlikely you’ll run an entire marketing campaign without forgetting to post content. It’s unlikely all your unplanned posts will be high-quality.
Planning your posts ahead of time gives plenty of room to ensure that your posts are relevant, thoughtful, and error-free. Planning ahead, and even writing some of your intended posts out well in advance can save you from that last-minute brainstorm session that’s unlikely to produce awesome content.
Oh, and if you think your audience can’t tell the difference in quality between a planned post and a last-minute thing…they can.
3. Keeps Your Team Sane
Creating and continuously updating and adapting your marketing calendar could be one of the most stress-saving practices your business ever adapts.
Even when it comes to elements of marketing which are one step removed from the actual practice (like board meetings, staff meetings, and daily tasks), having a marketing calendar that’s strategic and fleshed out can help.
Having a marketing calendar to fall back on means there’s never any time spent scrambling for content to post. Your marketing calendar can go beyond the actual marketing campaign, as well, and allow your team to see bigger-picture issues and areas for potential expansion in a clearer light.
Although it may take a bit more energy upfront, your team will be glad the entire year they took the time to sit down and draft a marketing calendar to guide them throughout the year. Trust us. You’re welcome for your sanity!
Want More Info on Marketing Calendars and Why You Need One?
A marketing calendar could be just the thing your business needs to set its marketing campaigns on track for the coming year. If you’re not convinced yet that your team needs a marketing calendar – give it a shot. Your team will be better-organized overall, and the return on your efforts will be a major one.
For more information on marketing calendars and why your team needs one (because, seriously, it absolutely does), check out our page and the rest of our awesome content!
Oh – and happy New Year! And happy trails as you draft this year’s marketing calendar.