[Template] Top 8 Must-Haves for Your Marketing Calendar

Alexandra

Alexandra

CONTENT WRITER

Marketing tasks, projects, deadlines, business meetings… What do they all have in common? They are taking up time from your daily work schedule. 

With so many things going on at the same time, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.

The chaos of the everyday marketing agenda gets amplified by a lack of planning. Luckily, there are ways to cope with such challenges, such as developing a social media marketing plan and creating a marketing calendar.

However, in today’s article, we are going to focus on the marketing calendar concept.

You will not only learn how to create a marketing calendar, but you will also receive a free template that gives your marketing strategy a clear structure.

But enough with the introduction, let’s get into today’s topic.

What Is a Marketing Calendar?

Before you start using our marketing calendar template, you need to understand the process behind it.

So, let’s start by answering the following question: What is a marketing calendar?

A marketing calendar is a document that organizes all the future activities your marketing team plans to do in a specific time frame. It provides an overview of the marketing strategy, including details such as the responsibilities of each team member and the progress made with each passing day.

Furthermore, marketing calendars can be made in an electronic or print format. However, we advise you to go for an electronic calendar, as it’s easier to access and update by your whole team, even remotely.

A marketing calendar is a document that provides directions for everyone involved in the marketing strategy. Moreover, it gives you time to think and premeditate all the promotional activities, so you can boost your marketing results. 

With everything planned months ahead, all you have to do is focus on all your marketing activities and make the most out of them. You and your team will not have to think about what you should do next, because everything is already settled and documented in the marketing plan calendar. 

Marketing calendars contain the following information:

  1. Upcoming marketing projects; from social media campaigns to product launches and events.
  2. Specific roles and responsibilities for each team member.
  3. Deadlines for all the planned marketing activities. 

The Benefits of a Marketing Calendar

marketing calendar benefits

Such a calendar makes you think about your marketing strategy from a different perspective because it allows you to consider all the opportunities you have throughout the year to promote your products and services. 

You can identify holidays, company anniversaries, and even organize events to celebrate these occasions. Also, marketing calendars help you prepare for busy times of the year with special sales or promotions.  

If you are still not sold on the idea of such a calendar, here are more benefits that it could bring to your marketing team:

  • It provides accountability A calendar helps you assign clear roles within your team, while also enabling you to oversee if their tasks are finished on time.
  • It helps you achieve business goals By following through with your marketing plans, you are able to come closer to achieving your goals. After all, every project from your calendar is tied to a business goal or a desired result. Besides, a marketing calendar constantly reminds you to focus on your strategy.
  • It allows you to stay on budget – Planning all your projects ahead of time will help you allocate your resources wisely, without going over your budget.
  • It offers clear directions – A well-written calendar will provide clear directions for all the team members about: upcoming projects, responsibilities, deadlines. Therefore, your team members will be organized and ready for action because they have all the necessary details to start working.

Top 8 Must-Haves for Your Marketing Calendar

Marketing calendar must-haves

If setting up a marketing calendar sounds like a good idea for you, we made the creation process a little easier by breaking it down to eight must-have elements.

Keep reading to learn what you need in order to create an effective calendar for your marketing strategy.

1. A Calendar Tool

Before you create your calendar, you have to choose a tool that will allow you to organize all your projects and activities.

There are no rules in choosing a calendar format, whatever works best for your team is the best choice. You can go for a printed marketing calendar or an electronic one made in spreadsheets or Google Calendar.

google calendar

Make sure to consult with your team before you decide. After all, they will work the most with the calendar.

2. A Great Understanding of Your Target Audience

At the center of any marketing initiative stands the customer. And for a good reason. 

So, before you learn how to create a marketing calendar, you first need to get to know your clients.

Ultimately, what any business wants to achieve is to get their target audience to find out about their products and services, convince them to make a purchase, and maintain them as regular customers.

While planning your marketing projects for an extended period of time, you must find ways to reach your target audience. This can be done through multiple methods such as developing a social media content strategy, running ads, organizing different promotions, and more.

If you get this first step right, you will set yourself up for success. It’s very important to consider your target audience first because it allows you to get both the timing and the marketing message right.

For example, if you own a flower shop, you will identify holidays like Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day, Mother’s Day in your calendar and create social media and ad campaigns to target a specific audience, in this case, mostly men.

Here are some questions you need to answer about your target audience before creating your content marketing calendar:

  • What are their main needs and desires?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • Where can I find them online and offline?
  • What are their challenges and pain points?

Download the Marketing Calendar Template!

Download the template below and create your marketing calendar today.

3. Relevant Dates and Events 

A marketing calendar is a great tool that helps you make the most out of key moments throughout the year.

So, to plan events, promotions, and content for these opportunities, you first must identify them and write them down on your calendar. Similarly, you can look online for holidays and international celebration days

international days

Image source

You should also go through your analytics from past years to discover the most profitable and unprofitable time frames, so you can plan marketing initiatives to boost your sales.

4. Established Roles for Each Team Member

If you want to utilize your calendar to organize your team, you need to assign roles within the document. As a result, your team will be able to prepare for the following projects ahead of time while also managing their tasks more effectively.

Besides, this way, you will not have to keep assigning roles for each upcoming activity. Therefore, for each section of your calendar, you should have a column dedicated to the team members responsible for the task.

5. Details about Marketing Campaigns

Your yearly marketing plan should be divided into several marketing campaigns, each with its own marketing goals.

Maybe during a specific month, you want to promote a certain line of products and services and sell more of them as a result. Similarly, other marketing campaigns could focus on increasing brand awareness, launching a new product or service, or even rebranding your business.

It all depends on what you want to achieve through your marketing efforts. Knowing what your business objectives are will allow you to create marketing campaigns that will provide desired results.

In this section of your marketing plan, you should include:

  • The name of the marketing campaign
  • The time frame in which it will take place
  • The marketing goals of each campaign
  • The main communication platforms
  • The activities and people involved in the process

6. A Blog Content Schedule

SocialBee blog

Having a blog will also require a content strategy, time, and personnel. So, considering the necessary resources, it’s a good idea to include your blog in your marketing calendar.

Here you should include: the article titles, the date they should be posted on your blog, the article link, and the name of the assigned content writers.

You can also go a step further and create a content marketing calendar, especially for your blog posts. This will help you keep your blog content separate and easy to follow.

Keep in mind that including all the details of your marketing plan in the calendar will end up looking chaotic and unorganized — the opposite of what you want to achieve.

7. A Social Media Strategy

Social media is a big part of a marketing strategy. It involves several communication channels, each with its own set of guidelines. 

Also, maintaining an effective social media presence requires creating quality content, keeping a constant posting schedule, and interacting with online audiences.

Since this is a marketing calendar and not a social media calendar, you should add the following information:

  • The social media platform
  • The topic of the social media posts
  • The link to the social media content
  • The names of the social media specialists

Although these details are great to include in a marketing calendar, you should also craft a social media plan if you want to develop a comprehensive online strategy. 

Besides the information presented above, a social media calendar also contains details about future post topics or ideas, the copy text, visuals, and more.

SocialBee calendar

Once you have your content figured out, you can use a social media management tool like SocialBee to streamline your posting system. Save time and effort by creating, editing, and posting content directly to your social media accounts from one dashboard.

8. An Ad Plan

Depending on your marketing budget and on the products and services that you want to promote, you can create ad campaigns to boost your business profit. Advertising is an essential part of a marketing strategy, so you should definitely include your ad campaigns in your marketing calendar.

Before doing this, however, you should think about what you want to achieve through advertising and the best time to run the ads. 

For example, if you sell school supplies, the best time to run ads would be a couple of weeks before the school year starts.

Here are the details you should add to the calendar:

marketing calendar steps

Start Planning

Now that you know what a marketing calendar is and why it’s a valuable addition to your workflow, you have to make a decision. 

Are you ready to include a marketing calendar into your strategy?

If you said yes, then in today’s article, you will find all the information you need. 

And to add the cherry on top of the marketing cake, here is the marketing calendar template. All you have to do is make a copy of our marketing calendar template and edit it based on your needs to make it your own.

So, what are you waiting for? Start creating a complete marketing calendar that will not only help you make the most out of your marketing efforts but will also improve the way your team collaborates.

Download the Marketing Calendar Template!

Download the template below and create your marketing calendar today.

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