How we keep our clients (and ourselves) organized with this important marketing tool.
We’re asked all the time about our best marketing tips and tricks. Usually, when we tell people that we consider the marketing calendar one of the most valuable tools in our arsenal, they’re a bit surprised, but it’s true! At the core of any good marketing strategy is a detailed, organized marketing calendar.
A marketing calendar is a tool that outlines every marketing effort you’ll be undertaking within a particular time frame (often monthly, quarterly, or annually), from blogs, newsletters, and graphic design, to social media, special events and beyond. It includes dates and details, and acts as a marketing road map, ensuring that everyone involved arrives at the same final destination: marketing success.
We create marketing calendars for (and in conjunction with) every client we work with, and of course, to support Victory’s own marketing efforts. The marketing calendars we create are based on a combination of client goals, industry research, and past successes (and failures too!). They don’t require any fancy tools or subscription services—we use Google Sheets for planning, and Basecamp 3 to schedule and assign relevant tasks—but whatever you use to create this tool should be easily shared and accessed by anyone involved in your ongoing efforts.
When used properly, we firmly believe the marketing calendar improves the efficiency, organization, and success of our marketing efforts. If you’re thinking of implementing this useful tool, here are some benefits you can expect to see.
Successful marketing is not an on-the-fly endeavour. The most valuable benefit of a marketing calendar (in our humble opinion) is the luxury of time. Knowing what’s upcoming gives you time to adequately research, prepare, and execute your best possible work. It also provides you with a really useful overview of how each of your projects will come together and support one another.
We make a point to regularly connect with our clients to discuss their upcoming goals. These goals become the foundation for their marketing calendars, and help to define the scope of every project. If you think of a great idea, it’s good practice to take a peek at your marketing calendar to determine whether or not it supports your current efforts and goals, and whether you have time to properly execute. Maybe your spontaneous idea is something to consider for the next quarter instead.
I don’t know about you, but over here at Victory most of our projects are a team effort involving every department, from content creation and SEO to graphic design, social media and beyond. Our marketing calendars are an essential tool for keeping everyone in the know and on the same page. That’s why it’s so important that your calendar is easily accessible and shared across all departments to make collaboration easy.
In marketing, as in life, consistency is key. When you’re sending clear, consistent messages to your clients, customers, and followers for months and years, that’s when you’ll begin to see real results. That includes staying consistent in your specific efforts. For example, if you know that you want to send a monthly newsletter, post a blog bi-weekly, and plan an event every quarter – include these items in your marketing calendar, and you can be sure you won’t miss a beat!
Keep in mind that your marketing calendar is a dynamic, living document that can change over time. If something comes up and the schedule needs to be adjusted, no problem! The document isn’t set in stone, it’s simply a useful guideline to keep you on track, organized, and efficient.
Because you’re using your marketing goals as a guide in crafting your calendar, it’s easier to evaluate whether these goals were achieved. At the end of every quarter, or every year (depending on your preference, and on the goals set), take a look back and evaluate whether you were able to follow your plan and achieve the goals you had in mind. Use any successes or lessons learned as a starting point for your next calendar!
You know what they say… a goal without a plan is just a wish. If you wish you had a marketing calendar in place, but you just don’t know where to start, send us a message, our team would be happy to help!