Here’s a harsh truth: if you’re doing any kind of online marketing and not utilising a marketing calendar, you’re not getting the most out of the content you create.

So, before I get into the crux of this article, let’s get the definitions out of the way…

What exactly is a marketing calendar?

FREE: The Ultimate 2023 Marketing Calendar

A marketing calendar is a planning tool that helps you to organise all of your marketing content. 

It’s the place where all of your social media posts, blogs, email newsletters, videos, podcasts and graphics strategically come together to help to grow your business.

By using a marketing calendar, you can plan out your entire content strategy in advance, so that you don’t have any setbacks during your campaign/s. Not to mention, it will also help you in making decisions about where to invest your time, money and resources.

If you’re reading this, I’m willing to hedge a bet that you don’t currently have a system in place that allows you to organise and repurpose your content just yet. 

This means it’s time that you created a marketing calendar.

By this stage, I’m sure you know all too well that creating marketing content takes time. If you’re not squeezing your content for all that it’s got, you’re missing out on a lot of engagement, traffic and leads.

Now, imagine what it would be like if you could plan every single piece of content that will be published online for your business… this is what you can achieve with a marketing calendar.

Using a marketing calendar allows you to have a birds-eye view of your content, so you can see what’s coming down the pipeline and get super strategic with the pieces that you publish and leverage your content to attract more engagement, encourage more website traffic and increase your leads.

It’s a win-win, right?

Your marketing calendar is the foundation piece of what should be your marketing content system. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the process of how to design the perfect marketing calendar for your business.

Planning the Perfect Marketing Calendar

The main purpose of a marketing calendar is to help marketers plan their campaigns and measure success. There are three main components of a marketing calendar: the campaign, the timeline, and the measurement.

A campaign can be anything from an email blast or social media post to an event or product launch. A timeline lists when each component of the campaign will happen as well as when it will end. The measurement section includes how you will track your success for each component of your campaign – for example, how many people clicked on your email blast or how many people attended your event.

Now that you’ve got the main points down pat, the next thing you need to do is start planning.

One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners and marketers make is…

Neglecting to take a step back and look at your annual promotional calendar. 

By this, I mean looking at when you’ll be launching a particular product/course/service, how much lead time do you need for advertising a new product/course/service, do you need to be focusing on building your email list so that you can promote a product/course/service… you get the idea.

Why is this important?

Well, because, the whole point of utilising content marketing is to market your stuff.

The number 1 goal in creating content should be to deepen relationships with your audience, and encourage them to move to the next stage in your customer journey.

When you start planning your content around your promotional calendar and monthly/quarterly goals, it becomes much easier to reverse-engineer your content so that everything you publish works in unison to help you achieve your business goals.

Step 1: The Campaign

Next, you want to choose your traffic vehicles

No, I don’t mean what type of car you want to drive (although, in case anyone is wondering, I’ll take a Mercedes S-Class in black thanks). 

What I actually mean by this is think about what content platforms you want to publish your content to in order to drive traffic back to your website.

I always recommend starting with one item of long-form content and then repurposing that across other, smaller content pieces. What platforms you choose will be entirely dependent on where your ideal customers spend their time.

Step 2: The Timeline

How often should I be publishing my content?

Determining the perfect frequency differs for every brand and platform. However, as a general rule of thumb, I would recommend the following:

  • Long form content: Commit to publishing 1 x item of long-form content per week
  • LinkedIn: 3 – 4 times per week
  • Instagram + Facebook: 4 – 7 times per week
  • Twitter: 6 – 10 times per day
  • Pinterest: 3 – 10 times per day
  • YouTube: Minimum of once per week

If you’re new to publishing content online and are unsure as to what frequency works best for you and your audience, I’d recommend experimenting with time, quantity and type until you find what works best for you.

Schedule your content

Now that you’ve got a content calendar together for planning, creating and publishing content, it’s time to start scheduling it all!

I’ll recommend scheduling your content in advance using a scheduling tool for social media, and the scheduling tools within email marketing and content management system platforms. 

Utilising a scheduling tool for your content is great, as not only does it save you time, they also tend to include analytics. So, you can monitor all of your content interactions and engagements.

Download my list of recommended social media scheduling tools

Step 3: The Measurement

Measuring your marketing efforts

Ok, if you’re going to the effort of planning, creating and publishing regular pieces of content, it’s absolutely crucial that you measure the effect it’s making! This is such an important step that I see so many business owners neglecting way too often.

Learning how to read digital marketing analytics is key in turning your business objectives into measurable outcomes that support your bottom line. While having all of these great ideas on how to drive traffic, build brand awareness and grow your customer base is great, it’s crucial that you know how you’ll track progress, so that you can adjust your plan based on what gets the best reaction.

When many people hear the term ‘analytics’, when related to business efforts, most people tend to think of website based metrics first. Which is great, however, this is really only just the tip of the marketing insights iceberg. Yes, website analytics provides you with details on how your website performs. Digital marketing analytics, on the other hand, provides you with a much more comprehensive view of what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to your marketing efforts.

What are the metrics that I need to know?

Digital marketing metrics are those statistical measures that determine the success of your marketing efforts in relation to your overall campaign goals and industry standards.

Now, before I get into explaining metrics per platform, I wanted to get what I call ‘vanity metrics’ out of the way first. As the name suggests, vanity metrics are those which look good; they’re pretty, but they really don’t offer any value beyond that. These are the surface level numbers that will tease you into believing your efforts are working, but are in actual fact, more fluff than fact. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, looking only at the number of ‘likes’ a post may get on social media, or follower count. These metrics definitely look nice, and yeah, they might make you feel good, but, they really offer very little in the way of business value and your bottom line.

In order to get a clearer picture of your campaign’s impact, you need to take a step back and take a much wider look at the variety of actionable metrics available to you.

Here’s what I recommend measuring as a minimum:

  • Website analytics
  • Email Marketing analytics
  • Social media marketing analytics

Why Every Company Needs A Well-Designed Marketing Calendar

So that pretty well covers it! Hopefully you can understand now why absolutely every company absolutely needs a well-designed marketing calendar!

I can’t wait to hear how you go in setting your own marketing calendar up – be sure to let me know how you go in the comments section below.

Steal the marketing calendar I use every year – download the Ultimate 2023 Marketing Calendar for FREE!

FREE: The Ultimate 2023 Marketing Calendar