When working on any brand big or small, there are often many different marketing initiatives and projects in place or ones you hope to use at some point. Developing a marketing calendar can help you make the most out of your content, allowing you to think big and plan for the future. It will take some time to set up properly, but the benefits are worth the work. This applies whether your brand’s marketing content is shared through an advertisement, website update, social media post, or otherwise.
With a marketing calendar established, your content is planned in advance. Ideally, the content is created before it is assigned a place in the calendar. If not, the general idea is at least recorded so the content can be created at any time. When content is created or planned in advance of the date it is made available to the public, it gives the brand more time to think about what should be done. This can allow time to make pre-recorded videos, take photographs, write copy, and create graphic design elements. More time gives more opportunity to review the content and refine it, making any changes as needed. If content is created moments before the go live date, there is a higher potential for error that is not caught in time.
Having content already created for your marketing calendar, you can take the time before going live to research what is happening within your industry and related audience. Maybe the content you have prepared is very similar to what your competitors are using and yours will get lost in the conversation. You can switch content out with something else planned for the future and have yours stand out amongst the crowd. It can also act as an early warning system, if something is occurring in your industry that is disliked by their audience, you can ensure your brand doesn’t follow the same path. Using the time wisely helps you become more aware of what is occurring in the circles around your brand, gaining insight into target audience members and industry leaders.
When you think of your brand’s advertising and marketing content as a book, does it tell one single story across chapters? Identifying whether or not your brand’s messaging is consistent is crucial to knowing how well you connect with your desired audience. Even if your brand covers multiple different topics, your overall message should be consistent. Having a plain laid out in front of you will help you see what is relevant, what may not fit, and what needs updating.
If your brand is one that sells products and your content is only featuring some of them, a pre-planned marketing calendar will highlight those missing pieces. Depending on the content that your brand produces, you may have something missing from the rotation. Consider you normally share pictures, videos, and blog links across your social media accounts. If you are creating content on the spot, you may not notice you’ve missed pictures the last few weeks. This could leave one of your social media accounts quiet, resulting in your audience members forgetting about your brand.
As every brand grows, there is the potential to bring on new individuals to distribute the workload. Having a marketing calendar established by brand veterans makes it easy for a new team member to come on board and understand what your brand is all about. They have the opportunity to see what you have established as important to your brand, and what things they should ensure to carry forward in their work. Knowing how your brand will handle certain promotions compared to others gives them more building blocks to create a seamless transition when they begin planning the calendar themselves.
The exception to this is depending on your brand’s level of “personal” feel and interaction with your audience, you may have content that is created and posted on social media spontaneously. This has a time and a place for different brands, and may or may not work for you. Consider planning a calendar for the things that can be predefined, such as major events or promotions. Whether you’re an independent creator or a large corporation, giving your brand a sense of structure will help keep your message consistent.