If you’re like most small businesses, it’s likely that your marketing is working on an ad-hoc basis; you do a little of it, whenever you feel you might need a lift, but it’s not at the front of your mind. But if you’re marketing without focus, then you’re more than likely wasting a lot of effort and not getting the results you should be. A Marketing Calendar helps you to organise your marketing efforts and make sure that you have the right content at the right time to get the most out of the work you put into marketing. In today’s post, I go through some tips for setting up and using a marketing calendar.
Set your strategy
Like any other part of a business, marketing works best when it is planned. I’ve discussed some of the elements of setting up a marketing plan before, but before you can put together as marketing calendar, you should at the very least know the basics of what you want to achieve with your marketing, who your audience is, what your budget is, and what platforms you will be targeting with your marketing. With an understanding of how you will be promoting your business, you can then use your marketing calendar to identify exactly when and where you will focus your marketing activity.
Look at your business throughout the year
Consider how, and if, demand for your business changes throughout the year. Some industries will fluctuate through the year, while others will remain mostly consistent. Take an honest look at which seasons are your busiest and when you see a downturn and plan your marketing accordingly. This means making sure that you have content and advertising ready to run in the lead up to your busy periods, to ensure that you stand out against your competitors. If you have seasonal downtime, take advantage of that too – the off season is an ideal time to engage customers with meaningful content marketing to keep your company at the top of their minds.
Ask when your customers make decisions
Some decisions are made far in advance of the customer’s purchase. For big ticket items – especially ones that are seasonally linked such as holiday gifts – it is likely that your customers will be considering their purchases ahead of time. Think about the lead time you might need to build into your marketing to ensure that your message reaches the customer at the right time to begin influencing their decision.
Plan it out
There are numerous content calendar templates available for use online. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of detail that some go into – to begin with, you just need to be able to note down what marketing you plan do throughout the year, and when. You can always expand your calendar into more detail when you identify what information will be of use to you.
Build a library
Once you know when you should be delivering your marketing, you can start to build a library of content. Having the material you will need ready to go ahead of time takes the pressure off you as a marketer, letting you focus more effort on producing the best material you can. A content calendar also means knowing in advance what seasonal opportunities you can take advantage of, meaning that when a holiday or an important date for your customers arrives, you already have material on-hand and ready to take advantage of it. If you want to build a marketing plan that will drive success, JRDM can help. To find out what we can do for you, visit jrdm.com.au today.