Creating A Marketing Calendar
Your marketing calendar is not your strategy. Once you have defined your strategy, your calendar will be your daily tool to help you implement it without the stress. An effective calendar will help you reach your goals and tell you exactly what you need to do day-to-day.
Before you get into creating a calendar, make sure you've been through our guide on creating your marketing strategy so you know exactly how to market your business effectively.
How To Create A Marketing Strategy
Macro then micro
Think about the bigger 'why' before you start. In your marketing strategy, you should have outlined some big personal and business goals. These are your key focus when laying out the strategy into a calendar.
You'll want to plan out the big macro goals first and then break them out into smaller micro-goals that can be worked towards on a monthly basis.
Macro goal: I want to achieve an income that allows me my dream lifestyle without being overworked
More specifically: I want to be earning £5k a month and only work 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Break this down: I need to work with 3 clients a month every month. Either new or retained.
Monthly micro goal: Sign on or retain 3 clients
Break down your micro goals should be done on a monthly to quarterly basis in order to ensure you are consistently working towards your macro goals
Why is this important?
No strategy is static. You can't figure out a formula that will keep working forever. Platforms change, your consumer changes, and your own needs change. Your macro goal may remain the same, but the micro goals you need to set in order to achieve it may change more frequently.
These micro goals will then set your intentions for the month and shape the way the strategy will play out.
If you need to work with 3 clients a month and you have no current clients, your focus needs to be on recruiting. And so you might spend more time on your outreach that month.
If you already have your 3 clients this month, and they're retained for another few months, you might want to shift your focus to brand building and spend more time on content creation.
You always want to have a play of your whole marketing mix but your priorities will shift and one will weigh heavier than the other depending on your needs.
How To Create A Marketing Mix
Breaking down goals
Here's how breaking down your goals can give you a clear direction in your marketing calendar...
2021: Build brand awareness and position the brand as an essential service
1st Quarter: Increase consumer exposure to brand on their feeds.
2nd Quarter: After seeing the brand appear more, develop the brand story.
January: Share founder story, explain service offerings. Share Q&As
May: Show behind the scenes, vlog the day, host interviews.
If you had just sat down and tried to think about what to post in January, you may have been starting from a blank slate. But by breaking down your goals in this way, you'll never have to second-guess your marketing activities.
Fill out your consumer's calendar
As we visited in our consumer profiling, you should have a clear picture of your consumer's daily life. Set out a blank calendar and fill out your consumer's general monthly activities. This is where you should note key events for them, rather than your suggested 'Thursday evening yoga classes.'
Some examples you might include:
- Monday - Friday workdays
- Saturday family days
- Sunday housework and meal prep days
- Grocery shopping days
Add in your marketing mix and the times your consumer is active at these touchpoints.
Some examples you might include:
- Morning podcast on commute
- Reading blog posts weekday evenings
Your personal and brand events
Now on the same calendar, add in any key events for you or your brand.
- Product launch
- Key industry date
- Networking event
- Day trip
This combination of your and your customer's calendar will serve as the structure to your marketing calendar. You should use the events on the calendar to dictate or influence your content so that it is appropriate for the customer and fits in with your life.
For instance, if 'payday' is a key event for your consumer, you know that they're going to be budgeting in the week leading up to it and then will be doing their shopping in the week after it. You can now tailor your content accordingly to these two different moods and interests.
As you look over the month and the key dates, you can begin to theme the content to suit and fill it out. You should only fill out as much content as you are able to produce to a good standard.
What do you need to say?
As well as understanding what your customer wants to hear, keep into consideration your micro goals for that month. Do you have any specific messaging that you want to share with your audience or a particular campaign you'd like to push? Take a look at when that might serve best for your consumer and fill it out on the calendar.
With this campaign filled out, will it affect the content on the days leading up to it or after? If so, make a note or alter what you have already filled out.
Creating a calendar in this way will ensure that everything you are creating has a purpose and nothing is created for the sake of keeping up with a 'schedule.'
You should now have a calendar full of events, key considerations and content themes. Your goal for each month should outline the type and topics of your content for that month which will be a combination of what you need to convey and what your audience wants to hear.
After you've completed a month on the calendar, you can produce a list of content that needs creating to ensure you can plan out the time to create the content.
Remember that this calendar needs to serve you too. If you've planned time away or just want to take Fridays off, block it out and ensure your content works around it accordingly. Could you get photos on that time away that would be relevant for your brand and serve as content for the next week? Make your strategy work for you.