Making the Most of a Marketing Calendar

Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed in life, I grab a piece of paper and start a list. There’s something about writing it down that makes the unmanageable suddenly seem achievable. Then there’s the satisfaction you get from crossing things off of your list. Marketing is no different. Until you commit yourself by putting pen to paper or fingers to keypad, those brilliant ideas of conveying content to your customers are just unanchored thoughts floating in the space between your ears. There’s a distinct leg up you get from using a calendar to manage the delivery of your marketing messages. You can use your calendar to identify upcoming events and create a strategic approach to covering them … be it the concert on the lawn you’re planning for July or the release of your 2011’s. Drawing out a plan for promoting specific events will help you maximize your impact and reach.

Fasten Your Seatbelts: How to Start Your Calendar

 You might think of the 30-thousand feet approach as a place to start. Imagine looking at your year from the window of an airplane. January through December spread out below like the patchwork farm fields of the Midwest. Try to pick out your big events: harvest time is an obvious event for you to connect with your clients, but what about June weddings? Try to define when your target market is looking for you and when they are not. Now imagine your flight coming in for a landing. As you drift closer to the calendar you can look at each quarter, month, and week to identify the steps needed to work up to those big events.

Don’t forget all of those calendar events that are not necessarily related to your business, but have meaning for many of your customers. Hey, Mother’s Day is coming up, are we doing anything to use the holiday as a springboard to promote our business? At Idea Decanter, we thought a beautifully shot video with a timely and memorable message might get some shares and retweets, raising awareness about who we are and what we do. So ask yourself:

 What’s on my calendar?

What’s coming up on everyone’s calendar?

How can I use those events to create buzz?

When is the best time to start?

Then grab a pen or sit down at your computer and commit to a strategy. In a few months, you can look back over all you’ve accomplished and get a little rush (or maybe that’s just me).