How to Create a Marketing Calendar
Plan ahead for optimal conversion
Being prepared for short to mid term marketing activity is essential for generating the best possible ROI from your multi-channel campaigns. It creates breathing space for your team to be able to:
Assess the right advertising channels or platforms.
Define the desired targeting options like demographics, location, date, event, keywords and interests.
Check the user journey from first click/view through to the desired end action.
Agree and track all key metrics to determine ROI and if certain campaigns are worth repeating.
Ensure overall campaign consistency (design, tone of voice, copy, etc) syncs up with your brand.
Having to rush around and push campaigns live at the last minute is never going to give you the optimal execution. Opportunities will be missed and mistakes will be made which can adversely impact an otherwise potentially successful campaign.
No need for overkill
Now, we’re not advocating you create an air-tight, future-proof (that phrase gives me the heebe-geebees), 100-page document that makes you feel good but no one reads and it ends up becoming a computer stand monument to all the trees killed printing it. Quite the opposite, actually. Your marketing plan needs to be concise, fluid and easily communicated. This means focusing on the ‘why’ and extracting accurate measurements of success versus a wall of noise and subjective reasoning that, in the digital age becomes obsolete in three months.
Having a clear strategy allows you to adapt faster
Not all plans will come to fruition – this is simply a fact of business life. But having a robust vision actually allows you to adapt faster when unforeseen issues arise because an overall strategy is in place and decisions can be made quickly.
It also allows the business to jump on potential opportunities that arise in real-time because you can identify opportunities which align with your overall marketing calendar.
So where do you start?
There are a few steps that you should do before you start to build out your marketing calendar:
Define your key market locations.
Define your audience.
Define what events you want your brand to be associated with (and to avoid).
Define what events present an opportunity to create relevant promotions around.
Set up how you’re going to measure the success of your campaign. Whether it’s content you’re publishing or a search campaign, you need to know what works so you can repeat its success.
Leveraging the power of events in your marketing calendar
Building your marketing calendar around events which impact your business is a great way of timing your targeted campaigns when demand is likely to increase, thus taking advantage of this increase more effectively than your competitors, and in turn take a large slice of the additional business.
But it’s not only about the direct events that impact your business. Leveraging events that your brand has some form of association or synergy with can also create useful conversion triggers when communicating new promotions. For example, while International Hug Your Cat Day might not be directly responsible for making people buy pet products, it can be used as an associated trigger to advertise a special promotion or offer.
Finding events relevant to your business
When it comes to finding events that could impact your business, ditch manual, inaccurate, inefficient and confusing solutions usually employed such as searching Google, capturing the various events in a spreadsheet, then inputting them into a calendar. Your spreadsheet will become out-of-date at the snap of your fingers, plus it doesn’t take into consideration real-time events.
That’s one of the reasons why we created PredictHQ: to eliminate the above and create a more seamless, relevant and global event discovery system that allows for collaboration with outcomes.
With PredictHQ you can find events in a number of ways:
Event search – search by event category, location, PHQ rank (we enrich events with additional data, then rank them), date or search term.
Map search – find a location of interest or search by event category, location, PHQ rank, date or search term.
Calendar search – find a day on week, month or year view and filter the results by event category, location, PHQ rank or search term. There is even a calendar heatmap which lets you see which days have the most events happening on them.
You can also use our event Signals feature to discover what events could impact your business the most, effectively letting us suggest which events you should be focusing on and building a marketing strategy around.
Capturing the projects & tasks to be completed
Finding the events is one thing, but then you need a place where you can create projects and associated tasks for these events. When you find the events you want, simply create a project and list out the tasks you and your team need to do for it. Add others into your project and assign tasks to the right people so your team has visibility of what to do and who’s looking after what. Set due dates for your projects and tasks so everyone knows the deadlines and will be notified accordingly. These due dates will appear in your PredictHQ calendar too.
Successful? Do it all over again
The beautiful thing about PredictHQ is that if you want to repeat your success all over again next week, month or year, simply create a project repeat reminder. When the timing is right we’ll automatically remind you and your team about how awesome that campaign was last time you did it, and how it’s coming up again soon. So fear not: if you get super busy with releasing a new product, or if people leave your team and take all that campaign IP with them, PredictHQ has your back.
So breath in, breath out, and relax. Let us take care of continuing to deliver an exceptional and well-organized marketing calendar which keeps you ahead of the curve and those pesky competitors.
The power of event visibility
Just remember, event visibility plays a huge role in developing a fluid, and well-planned marketing calendar for your team.