If you’re like me, what drives my day is my calendar. If something is on it, I’m pretty good about showing up for it – even if it’s time I’ve blocked for me to work, like write my weekly blog.
I’ve written about how to plan for a 4th Quarter no one expected and this is the next step: it’s why a marketing calendar is so important – as it drives a lot of your marketing success. Here’s why.
- You avoid one-offs
One of the main reasons that marketing activities don’t work is that businesses decide to “try something” and then see if it works. I’m all about testing, but doing something just once is a recipe for failure.
Here’s an example: you decide to post something once on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, to see if people like it. You check on it later in the day, or the next day, look at the post, and notice that very few people saw it, or liked it, or shared it. So you decide that it “didn’t work.”
One of the reasons why it didn’t work may have been that your target audience didn’t see it. Or they scrolled by it and didn’t notice it. The way to avoid this is to post the same post a number of times – the rule-of-thumb is six or seven times – because then your audience may actually notice it.
How do you post that many times without spending your day doing it? Put it on the marketing calendar. If you’re doing the posting, that means you’ll need to do it every time it’s scheduled. But the best way to do this is to use a tool that allows you to load up the posts well in advance and then let the software do the work.
Decide, on your marketing calendar, when you want the posts to fall, and then just set them up. This method of posting regularly – and this goes for sending emails and newsletters regularly, also – ensures that you don’t make the “one-off” mistake.
2) You plan out your campaigns – and reporting
Instead of deciding in a haphazard way what you’ll be marketing next, planning out your campaigns means that you’re taking a bigger picture view of your marketing. Even planning out the month can help be more strategic in your marketing activities.
While there’s a lot that’s unknown, and it’s difficult to plan in a COVID-19 world, there are still some certainties. The timing of the weather is still the same, as are the holidays throughout the year. If your business is at all seasonal, you need to plan in advice for these dates.
Also, planning out in advance with a marketing calendar ensures that you give yourself enough lead time – and follow up time. You can also put reporting into the calendar so you’re sure to review the results of the campaigns. This empowers you to use the learnings from your activities to map out on the calendar what you’ll do to follow up.
3) You won’t feel like you’re running all the time, trying to catch up
Perhaps the best result of using a marketing calendar is the ability to allocate time for planning, brainstorming, and creative work. Marking out when you’ll do your strategy and when you’ll do your implementation frees you from the ongoing “fires” that occur when you do marketing on the fly. It allows you to be strategic throughout the season or the year. And it ensures you have the right amount of time to plan and execute, rather than performing fire drills daily or weekly to get marketing created, approved, or placed.
Do you find yourself trapped in any of these activities or patterns, which are all created by not having a marketing calendar? If so, contact me and let’s talk.