Marketing is by far one of the biggest hurdles that startups and businesses must face. You’ll be generating leads, connecting with the right audience, and determining which channels to use for marketing.

You can use calendar software and become a better marketer.

Remember all of this can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s not even taking into account the time and money it’s going to take to spread the word about your business.

The good news is that is doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg to market your business.

Email, blogging, and social media are all effective ways to market your business without spending a fortune. The problem, however, is organizing all of these marketing efforts.

That’s where a calendar comes into play.

Whether you’re using an online calendar like Google Calendar or a specific marketing calendar tool like Co-schedule — using a calendar will make you a much better marketer.

What is a marketing calendar?

A marketing calendar is simply a plan that outlines all of your marketing activities for a specific amount of time.

Like the calendar you currently use to plan out your day, a marketing calendar will not only keep you organized, it will also ensure in helping you get more. Calendars establish routines — prioritize tasks — and block out time for efficiency. You can also your calendar to set reminders for important deadlines and events.

If you want your marketing efforts to be more effective, then you need to start using a calendar. Here are five ways that marketers can properly use a calendar.

Establish and Organize Your Entire Marketing Process

Let’s say that you just went to IKEA and purchased a new desk. When it’s time for you to put the desk together — you don’t just throw all the parts on the ground. You would look at the directions and follow them step-by-step. This way the desk will be properly put together.

Step by step you will learn how to apply strategy to your marketing efforts.

Before you start filling your calendar with content ideas, take the time to develop your marketing calendar.

Thinking about marketing will help you reach the goals you’ve set for your business. What specific goals do you want your marketing efforts to achieve. In other words, be clear on what business objectives your marketing will help you accomplish.

Now it’s time to outline your strategy. This should include:

  • How frequently you want to promote your business.
  • Determining buyer cycles and peak demands.
  • Knowing which type of media to target. Besides email and social media, consider blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, videos, and even attending conferences.
  • Knowing exactly who were audience is you know which type of content to create.
  • Being aware of the resources you already possess.

Outlining your marketing strategy gives you a better understanding of how, when, and where to market your business.

For example, if you sell backpacks. You would want to start by targeting parents and kids before the new school year starts. This means in your calendar — months like July and August  — would be extra busy.

On your calendar you would put where all your blog posts and social media campaigns will be.

You calendar what the content will be. You will calendar the strategy that you will be reminding parents to purchase new backpacks for their children.

Now it’s time to create your marketing calendar.

It doesn’t have to be too complicated. It should just be a calendar that includes the following information:

  • The name of the project.
  • The date when the project goes live.
  • Who is responsible for managing the project.
  • Any other individuals, such as other department team members or freelancers, needed to complete the project. For example, for blog posts the author and the social media manager should be listed. The author writes the content, while the social media manager promotes it.
  • A place to record the results of the campaign.

With all of this information addressed — you can fill in your calendar. Start with recurring events, such as blog posts and emails.

Next — focus on target promotions. These include the holiday seasons.

You will be considering all kinds of holidays — not just the ones you personally go in for. This not only ensures that you know when and where your marketing efforts will take place, it also allows you to set deadlines.

Additionally, when you view your marketing calendar — you can see if there any gaps where there isn’t any marketing activity. Your calendar can let you know if you’re doing too much marketing during slower times of the year.

Helps Execute Marketing Tactics

Now it’s time to execute. However, this can vary depending on your business.

Larger businesses with entire marketing teams usually map out a large annual calendar. Then they permit each team member to manage their own responsibilities.

Consider other marketing teams.

Other marketing teams may have one large shared calendar where everyone updates and works against it. This calendar is usually managed by the sales and marketing manager.

The calendar software is assisting you and your team with project management, communication, and workflow.

Keep in mind that as you’re mapping out your marketing plan — you’ll be prioritizing the channels and content that will help you reach your goals. These goals are based on buyer intent.

Next, you’ll map out your content  against deadlines and make sure that all key members of your team know which elements they’re responsible for.

Your calendar software is the perfect tool for this — since it can be shared with others via email or with an embedded link.

Calendars keep you organized as you coordinate and update everything from blog posts to newsletters. You can even keep up-to-date with the in-person events and the traditional paid advertising .

You and your team have one master calendar and everyone involved with marketing your business. All members of your team will be ready and accountable to execute your marketing campaign.

Your calendar also keeps everyone on the same page while working toward a cohesive goal.

Eliminate Tedious Processes

Have you previously used a spreadsheet to manage your marketing efforts? It can be difficult to make changes — such as the due dates.

Thankfully, your calendar is much easier to update.

There are some calendars that allow you to move an entire project from one day to another with just a click of a mouse. Because you’re using the same calendar — your entire team will be aware of changes. You don’t have to contact your team separately.

Your team are all checking in with the main calendar for updates. And you — as the sales and marketing manager can check the check-in. You’ll know that everyone is on the same page.

Some calendars also let you create templates. With a template you can use them over and over again instead of constantly creating new documents.

You’ll just put in your new dates on similar and recurring campaigns.

For example, you can create a project list for recurring projects like blog posts, landing pages, and social media campaigns. Simply update the due date and team member assigned to each task during the start of new marketing campaign.

As an added perk– each team member will receive a notification when their assignment is due.

You can also use a project management system with your calendar so that you can track the progress of assigned tasks. Project management systems can also eliminate those time-consuming status update meetings. You can see where each team member is at any point along the way — throughout the marketing campaign.

Your calendar may also be able to automate several processes. For instance, Calendar uses machine learning to make smart suggestions.

You will have suggestion about when, where, and what type of meetings to schedule. This means Calendar can automatically schedule future brainstorming sessions for your next marketing campaign.

This takes out the guess work of what you need to be doing. This is especially valuable with a startup business.

Also, some tools like Coschedule come with features like Social Queue. This will help you create social messages and schedule social messages in advance so that you can focus on more important tasks.

Facilitate Collaboration.

You can also use a calendar to facilitate collaboration from content ideas to execution. Take Google Calendar. You can use “Keep” to jot down ideas on your phone and then add it to your calendar. You can then assign a team member to convert those ideas into actionable items.

You can also set reminders so that team members know exactly when the assigned task is due.

You can add notes to your calendar eliminating those lengthy email threads. All of your notes, ideas, and progression are one convenient location.

Learn From Your Results.

Was there a particular promotion that was super-successful? If so, you may want to repeat those results by putting it on next year’s calendar. The same is true of a particularly bad campaign. If a campaign didn’t have the results you were hoping for — then you know that you need to try something different.

Maybe the lousy campaign was launched during a slower time of the year. Next year — you may want to launch the campaign during a higher buyer cycle.

By using a calendar — you can have a solid record of your marketing plan that will assist you in refining your marketing strategy year-after-year.