How Do I Create a Marketing Calendar?
In order for a marketing calendar — from scratch or a template — to be successful, you need to know how to create one. To build a marketing campaign, you will need to follow these 10 steps:
- Determine the period of time your calendar will cover.
- Study your target audience and know their needs.
- Decide which channels you will use and create content for.
- Allow for flexibility throughout your plan.
- Settle on the campaigns you will use and the themes your content will employ.
- Measure the amount of time each campaign needs from beginning to end.
- Assign teams or individuals to each action or section of the project.
- Identify key milestones and goals for your campaign.
- Use keywords to strategize content.
- Adjust content based on customer feedback.
You can use a free content strategy template or a calendar tool to create an official calendar, in which you can designate timelines, assign goals, and keep teams accountable for the creation of projects and campaigns.
What Should a Content Calendar Include?
A content calendar should include the following elements:
- Web content to be created within the designated time frame
- Posts, objectives, and actions for a campaign
- Planned social media posts to support content and campaigns
- Key dates for publications, content deadlines, and other media releases
- Editorial schedules, including approval deadlines
How Do I Organize My Marketing Calendar?
You can organize your calendar using a variety of methods, such as by date, campaign, team, or theme.
Let’s take a closer look at these elements:
- Date: Your marketing calendar can be organized by deadlines and time frames, including when content creation is due, approval deadlines, or by quarter.
- Campaign: If you’re running more than one marketing campaign at once, you may want to organize your calendar by the goals and objectives of each.
- Team: Content created and approved by multiple teams may need to be organized by project owners.
- Theme: Holiday or other themed calendars can be organized by their respective themes.
What Are the Types of Marketing Calendars?
There are five main types of marketing calendars:
- Content calendars
- Blog calendars
- Social media calendars
- Email marketing calendars
- Editorial calendars
The type of marketing calendar you should use depends on the content you wish to create. Additionally, editorial calendars can account for multiple types of content in one campaign.
Editorial Calendar Template
You can use an editorial calendar template to schedule content far in advance, assign ownership for each item, measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, and adjust your content plan based on key metrics.
- Use: This template is best for year-long projects with multiple stages.
- Benefits: This template provides a space for coordinating content with business quarters and budget, holidays, product launches, and company goals.
- Key Elements: The template includes a yearly overview, monthly worksheets, quarterly breakdowns, events, and editorial information — including the type of content, author, target audience, goals, project owner, distribution channels, SEO factors, and deadlines.
Social Media Calendar Template
Each social media channel is different, and social media content calendar templates allow users to map out content for each day and platform. Additionally, specialized calendar templates can help ensure you’re posting on the most effective outlets, have an equal presence across platforms, remember important dates, and don’t end up with holes in your content schedule.
- Use: This template is best for social media campaigns and one-off posts.
- Benefits: Use this template to track click engagements and referrals across campaigns.
- Key Elements: Note launch time, title, copy, images, links, click engagements, and platforms.
Email Marketing Template
Email marketing can be effective and profitable, or it can be the definition of spam. This email marketing calendar template can help you plan and keep track of your contact with newsletter subscribers or other customers in order to build lasting relationships.
- Use: This template is best for email campaigns, both manual and automated.
- Benefits: You can use this template for mail, campaign, and product tracking.
- Key Elements: The template includes space to list the date sent, topic, title, subject line, content, images, links, subscriptions, and notes.
Annual Marketing Calendar Template
This detailed marketing calendar template is designed for annual planning and also includes monthly and quarterly views. Row additions allow for customization in each of the seven sections, and sales goals can be compared to each week’s, month’s, and year’s actual sales.
- Use: This template is best for annual planning.
- Benefits: Use this template to define your goals and track marketing effectiveness data.
- Key Elements: The template includes monthly and quarterly views, national and local marketing, public relations, social media, online content, advertising, and market research.
Weekly Marketing Calendar Template
This marketing calendar template enables you to home in on and track key marketing activities at a weekly view and clearly define tasks for a variety of marketing channels to keep you focused on your short-term campaign objectives.
- Use: This template is best for complex or single tasks.
- Benefits: The template provides an in-depth look into tasks with a variety of steps or short execution periods.
- Key Elements: The template includes marketing research, sales promotions, public relations, advertising, social media, and content.
Monthly Marketing Metrics Calendar Template
Track your progress and build on your successes (or learn from your failures) with this monthly marketing metrics calendar template. Especially for small business owners, this template is a handy tool for tracking goals and monthly performance.
- Use: This template is best for tracking monthly metrics and KPIs.
- Benefits: You can use this template to track data for monthly reports and identify top-producing channels.
- Key Elements: The template includes sections to list conversions, customers, leads, web visits, and growth.
Marketing Calendar Template
This pre-built marketing calendar template is designed to help the marketing manager get organized, effectively implement each component of the marketing strategy, and compare sales goals and actual sales to help pinpoint effective and adjustable campaigns. Plus, calendars with budget elements can help keep managers and teams within their financial plan.
- Use: This template is best for daily, monthly, and quarterly marketing campaigns.
- Benefits: You can use this template to plan and track marketing campaigns, including supporting tasks, role assignments, activity timelines, and marketing milestones.
- Key Elements: The template includes monthly, annual, and quarterly views, sales goals and actuals, national and local marketing, public relations, social media, online content, advertising, and market research.
Marketing Project Calendar Template
This marketing project calendar template breaks down each phase of a project into essential marketing tasks. Track the status of each initiative, assign task ownership, set deadlines, and utilize the color-coded task bars to help prioritize and complete complex campaigns.
- Use: This template is best for complex or time-sensitive marketing campaigns.
- Benefits: Use this template to easily visualize all stages of the project timeline, including marketing milestones.
- Key Elements: The template includes sections for risk status, completion status, task and subtask name, assignee, start and end dates, duration, and comments.
Digital Marketing Template
Use this digital marketing calendar to develop your online marketing strategy and create a plan of action by detailing marketing initiatives according to campaign type, adding project goals, assigning task ownership, and tracking performance.
- Use: This template is best for monthly, quarterly, and yearly online marketing campaigns.
- Benefits: Use this template to compare goals and results month over month to allow for adjustable marketing strategies.
- Key Elements: The template includes sections to note campaign type, assignee, goals, national and local marketing, public relations, content marketing, social media, online content, web, market research, sales campaigns, and corporate branding.
Marketing Campaign Calendar Template
This template is designed to help you organize content around multiple marketing campaigns. Enter the name, description, date, and status for each campaign and track the associated content or marketing strategies.
- Use: This template is best for marketing campaigns.
- Benefits: This template provides an overview of all media and distribution channels — including published and completed campaign items.
- Key Elements: The template includes space to note the date, activity, title, description, author, department, status, CTA, category, metadata, platform, performance data, and comments.
Blog Calendar Template
This editorial calendar template is designed specifically for blogging. This template provides an overview, with important dates and a weekly schedule of blog posts, space for brainstorming ideas, and an area for future planning. Manage your blog and create more consistent, effective content by using a blog calendar template.
- Use: This template is best for blogging brainstorms, planning, and archives.
- Benefits: The template includes four different tabs with detailed information, like author, status, a CTA, keywords, and tags.
- Key Elements: The template includes space for a blogging editorial overview, calendar, a brainstorming sheet, and an archive.
Content Schedule Template
Use this customizable schedule template to develop your content strategy. Plan and organize your content efforts according to content type and buyer lifecycle stage, and then assign writers and set deadlines to drive performance.
- Use: This template is best for content strategies and goals.
- Benefits: Use this template to track the status of content, categories, and marketing goals.
- Key Elements: The template includes day, status, title, content type, author, category, buyer’s stage, goal, and publish date.
Real Estate Marketing Calendar Template
This real estate marketing calendar template enables you to plan out marketing initiatives in personalizable categories in a designated time period.
- Use: This template is best for real estate event scheduling.
- Benefits: Use this template to organize and easily visualize key marketing activities with color coding.
- Key Elements: The template includes a customizable calendar and color-coded categories.
Ecommerce Calendar Template
This customizable ecommerce calendar template is designed for managers to create themed campaigns surrounding specific holidays and events that align with an organization’s business objectives.
- Use: This template is best for ecommerce marketing campaigns.
- Benefits: You can separate this template into monthly tabs for easy viewing, theming, and execution.
- Key Elements: The template includes theme, day, activities, description, assigned to, channel, and comments.
Restaurant Marketing Calendar Template
This pre-built restaurant marketing calendar template enables you to plan and schedule marketing activities based on themes and events being held at a food establishment. The template also includes task and description sections, and you can adjust the deadlines and duration dates.
- Use: This template is best for restaurant marketing management.
- Benefits: The template includes assignable ownership with adjustable task bars.
- Key Elements: The template includes branding and graphics, advertising, social media, sales, and furnishings.
Drive Campaign Results with Smartsheet for Marketing
The best marketing teams know the importance of effective campaign management, consistent creative operations, and powerful event logistics -- and Smartsheet helps you deliver on all three so you can be more effective and achieve more.
The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.
When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time. Try Smartsheet for free, today.
Looking for more