At least once a year, every business should take a look at their marketing efforts to find out what is working and, more importantly, what can be improved upon in the year ahead. As businesses grow, change direction, or go through rebranding efforts, their marketing needs and expectations will evolve.

But building a marketing strategy a year in advance is complicated. Even after all of the projected marketing initiatives and activities are plotted, there’s still the task of actually implementing them and remaining consistent throughout the year. One of the most effective ways to stay on top of marketing strategies week after week is to use a marketing calendar. With a marketing calendar in place, companies can concentrate their growth efforts, keep organized, and make changes to initiatives without facing major time setbacks.

Be Realistic

A marketing calendar’s worth is not judged by how full it is. You will need to honestly gauge the work required to run your business and strike the right balance with whatever marketing strategies you decide to implement. Remember, it is infinitely better to plan a few activities that you can fulfill completely rather than dozens of strategies that won’t get the attention needed to be effective.

So, whether you want to publish consistently fresh content to engage your readers and grow a new audience or launch social media campaigns to create buzz around a new product’s launch, make sure your marketing calendar has ideas in place that you can actually manage.

Creating Your Calendar

A marketing calendar doesn’t need to be complicated or even fancy to be effective. The use of a simple spreadsheet can work if it helps keep track of marketing plans throughout the year. For those businesses looking to manage teams, projects, and workflow, calendar marketing software is often the easiest solution since it allows multiple team members to track, change, and create tasks all within one central spot.

Benefits of Planning Ahead

Whether you choose calendar marketing software to collaborate with a team or a simple monthly calendar to keep track of events, planning marketing initiatives in advance offers a number of benefits for businesses like being able to organize activities and prioritize them based on need.

A marketing calendar also allows you to see, at a glance, whether you have too many events or, conversely, lapses in activity in any given month. If you use calendar marketing software, you can spread out, ramp up, or reassign campaigns and other initiatives in just a few clicks.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of calendar marketing is the ability to go back and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns and plans implemented every month. You can manually do this by creating your own rating system based on how well an activity worked or, if you use calendar marketing software, you will be able to track results and see valuable insights from individual campaigns. This information can be used to reinstitute the things that worked and phase out those that didn’t.

The best part of calendar marketing is its flexibility. You can choose a platform that makes sense for you and your business and make changes anytime as you see fit. If you want to plan your marketing quarterly rather than annually, that’s fine too. When you find what works, stick with it. Consistency, regardless of which marketing calendar plan you pick, is the key to seeing results with your marketing calendar.