January is filled with a lot of optimism and excitement for the new year. Businesses are planning how to have an even better year than last. If you’re in marketing, now is the perfect time to plan out your year with all your marketing campaigns. So grab your calendar, and let’s get to work.
First, you will want a general marketing calendar for all your internal and external marketing campaigns. Look at events and campaigns you did last year. Which ones were successful? Any special events or business anniversaries coming up this year? Mark those dates and the dates you need to start advertising and planning for them on your calendar. If you can plan all 12 months in advance, great! Not all dates are going to be set in stone, but having a general idea of when events or campaigns are going to take place will make your life easier than not planning at all. Plus, if you have a set marketing budget to work with each quarter or year, planning out your year will help you spend strategically. Here’s an extra tip…at the end of this month while everything is still fresh in your mind, evaluate the marketing campaigns you just did (what could we improve on, what was our ROI, etc.), and plan out next year’s January. Repeat this for each month, then you’ll have a big head start for next year.
A necessary marketing practice is to measure results. Your boss is going to want to know what the Return On Investment is, so get in the habit of tracking everything. Plus, this will also help you to determine what campaigns works well, what needs to be adjusted, and what needs to stop. You can do this on your calendar or by making a simple Schedule of Events document in Excel. Here is an example of what one looks like:
Social Media Posting Calendar
Next, you or your social media manager need to plan a monthly calendar specifically for your social media posts. To be successful on social media requires setting goals, planning, and tracking results, just like any other marketing campaign. Trust me, planning out your daily post will save you a lot of time and help you reach your goals. Consistently posting engaging content is what works, not just posting random stuff every once in a while. Save some time but scheduling your posts in advance, which you can do through Facebook and other tools like Hootsuite. Remember to track your results using social media’s insights and analytics and see what posts are performing best, how many new followers did your page gain, when is your audience on social media, etc. Try to post at least 3-7 times a week. At the end of each month, track your results and plan out next month’s posts.
Using calendars and sticking to them will keep you organized throughout the year. Remember to measure results to determine what campaigns work best. Your marketing will just get better year to year. Now go be the marketing rockstar that you are.
I'd like to hear what you think. Have you used these strategies? What tools have you found to be helpful when planning out your marketing campaigns?