You plan your workouts. You plan your meals. You plan your meetings, your phone calls, your tasks.
Do you plan your marketing?
If you don’t, you should! A marketing calendar helps you create intentional marketing pieces and messages and can help you track what is working and what isn’t. It also helps you stay consistent, and reduces the stress that comes with the never ending question “what do I post today!”
Creating a marketing content calendar can seem daunting, however, its not a whole lot different than creating a plan or calendar for anything else. You need to set a foundation, determine a few things before hand, and then get out that trusty pen (or app, or word doc, or spreadsheet) and writing down what types of marketing you’ll do on which days.
This is part one of a series we are doing on creating a marketing calendar. We actually wrote part 2 a while ago, and you can check it out here. Okay, lets get started!
Determine which channels you want to be active on.
You do not have to be active everywhere. We recommend being consistently present in 2-3 channels at minimum. Here are some things to consider when deciding which channels to use:
- Where is your target audience and what type of marketing do they generally respond to?
- What channels can you afford to use?
- What channels have generated income for you in the past?
- What channels do you enjoy using?
Determine what kind of content you want to create.
What will you create yourself? What will you ask others to create? And what kind of content will you simply pass on. Make this determination based on your time, ability, interest and budget.
You decide to create your own videos because you enjoy being on camera and are able to shoot them fairly fast and easy. You also enjoy writing blog posts, so you decide to keep that on your plate as well. You decide that weekly emails and monthly direct mail postcards are also important, but you don’t have the ability to create and send those. So you hire a person or agency to tackle that for you, and instruct them to use your blog posts and videos as content.
Set a goal for how much content you will create every week/month.
Be as realistic as possible and err on the side of too little instead of too much. If your goal is too high, you are likely to get discouraged and quit altogether. If your goal is too low, you’ll easily be able to adjust it to something higher. Also, remember that content can often be reused and repurposed across channels and platforms, especially if they are closely related.
Monthly – 1 blog article
Monthly – 1 direct mail pieces that uses content from the blog post
Weekly – 1 video post to social media and/or YouTube
Weekly – 1 eblast that uses blog article and video for content
Weekly – 2 non video social media posts. Could be photos, links to your website, text, etc.
Get it on the calendar
You can use a project management app like Monday.com, find a free online template, or keep it old school and print out a paper calendar. Do an entire month or an entire quarter at once. Do NOT do this week by week, it is entirely too stressful and time consuming. Be very specific on this calendar, noting the type of content you are creating, the topic you are covering, when and where it will be published. Don’t be too intimidated by this step, creating a marketing calendar is similar to any other types of business planning. The important thing is that you get a plan on paper and commit to it. That will help you stay consistent and effective.
Check out part one of this series How To Create A Content Calendar for more detailed instructions on filling out the calendar.