16 Jun Authentic Marketing Calendars
We all want our marketing efforts to look, sound, and feel authentic. Every brand has an ideal client, and authentic marketing makes those sales more likely. However, there seems to be an inherent tradeoff in planning and authenticity. If you plan out your content, how will it seem like you’re speaking from the heart? Planning out your marketing doesn’t always seem authentic, which is why so many people fall into the trap of not planning at all.
Yes, we said trap on purpose.
Not planning or coordinating your content across social media, email, and advertisements leads to disconnects for your audience. If a potential client sees one thing on social media and something completely unrelated on your website, the messaging you worked so hard to create isn’t reinforced. Your potential client becomes confused by unfocused messaging, then exits your website. Worse, if they’re still looking for the same product or service, they may end up purchasing from a competitor. While we believe there’s enough to go around for everyone in small business, why not make your time and effort work for you?
What is a marketing calendar and why do you need it
A marketing calendar is a tool that allows you to see your marketing activities at a glance. You can plan out social media giveaways, your monthly blog posts, email newsletters, and advertising campaigns. For most small businesses, this seems like a lot of work. But if you don’t have a plan for the day / week / month, how will you measure if your marketing is working?
Marketing calendars can be built in spreadsheets, Microsoft Word, Google Calendar, or project management tools like Asana and Trello. Our recommendation? Keep it as simple as possible, and use whatever tool you’re currently using in your business. For example, you can create a new calendar named “Marketing” in your Google Calendar and add your to-dos there. That way, when you open your daily calendar to view appointments, you also get reminders to complete marketing tasks.
Your calendar will also help you explain successes (to replicate) and failures (to avoid). If you see a spike in sales on a particular day, your marketing calendar will help you explain why. If you see a sales slump, it’s a good indication that something about your marketing didn’t work… or maybe that you need to put out content every day to maintain sales.
How to create a marketing calendar that feels authentic
The goal of creating an authentic marketing calendar is to drive sales. If what you’re currently doing isn’t working, or isn’t working consistently, it’s time to try something new. When you combine organization with your own voice, authentic marketing can also be smart marketing.
If you organize your year around particular sales seasons, like e-commerce storefronts for example, you have a head start in deciding what kind of content to put out and when. For other businesses, think about your primary services and develop a month of content for social media, blogs, and email newsletters around each service area. When the month comes up, you’ll have an idea of what you should be posting about, but still have flexibility to change up the exact words and write what feels like your true brand voice.
Overwhelmed? Start by planning just next month. Plan out when you’re going to post, and what topic you’ll be covering. The day of the post, let yourself write what comes to mind. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to compare your website analytics and sales data to your marketing calendar to see what content was most effective. And if you don’t have analytics software installed on your website, get (free) Google Analytics installed today.
Marketing strategy is easier to map out when it’s visual
We recommend marketing calendars because they make it easy to see what’s coming up at a glance. Like the saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Map out your marketing in a visual way to stay committed to strategy. And if you’re still feeling stuck, we can help.
One of the major takeaways from our marketing strategy sessions is the need for – and lack of – planning in small businesses. If you’re ready to be more strategic and less haphazard about your marketing, schedule a marketing strategy session for personalized recommendations and a visualization of your business model.