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How to Create a Marketing Calendar in 5 Steps

Discover how a marketing calendar can help you ensure your marketing strategy is impactful and implemented according to plan.

Motion Blog
at Motion
Jun 14, 2023
Table of contents

A well-planned marketing strategy can make all the difference in your growing business. It has the potential to drive more brand awareness, loyalty, and sales.

The problem is you have to manage multiple marketing channels and campaigns and ensure they all work together to achieve tangible results.

So where do you start?

Fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel — developing a marketing calendar is one of the simplest ways to bring structure, organization, and consistency to your marketing efforts.

In this article, we’ll explore how a marketing calendar can benefit your business. We’ll also walk you through five simple steps to build a marketing calendar tailored to your business needs.

So let’s get planning!

What is a marketing calendar?

Multiple projects, new campaigns, backed-up social media posts, and endless to-do lists can make it feel like you’re drowning in chaos. But this is exactly where a marketing calendar comes to the rescue.

marketing calendar is a tool used to plan and organize a business’s marketing activities and campaigns over a specific period.

It’s your secret weapon for bringing order and structure to your marketing efforts, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. With a marketing calendar in place, you can stay on top of deadlines, align your team, and make sure every plan falls into place.

Why you should use a marketing calendar

According to a recent trend report, marketers who plan and organize their marketing plans are 674% more likely to succeed. Now that’s a number that demands attention.

But how can a marketing calendar help your business succeed? Here are the four main ways this simple but effective tool can propel your marketing efforts to new heights:

Stay organized

Unsure of the next marketing step? Well, a marketing calendar can help you make sense of the puzzle.

Marketing calendars help businesses stay organized by providing a centralized place to plan and track their marketing activities. With a centralized location, it becomes easier for you to manage and prioritize tasks and always know what to do next.

Keep track of dates and deadlines

Don’t let important dates and deadlines slip through the cracks. A marketing calendar is the key to keeping track and staying on top of crucial milestones, product launches, promotions, and events.

‎With a marketing calendar, you gain a clear overview of your marketing activities. This enables you to effectively plan your tasks and achieve your goals. By using visual calendars like a Kanban board, you can take planning a step further and visually map out your workflow, streamline processes, and ensure efficient task management.

Align your team

Aligned marketing teams are the driving force behind remarkable achievements. In fact, 3x Organizational Alignment Research revealed that highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable.

A marketing calendar helps everyone on your team stay in sync, follow a plan, and meet shared goals. A structured organization and scheduling system helps grow teamwork, enhance coordination, and maximize the collective efforts of your entire team.

A big-picture view

Imagine standing on a mountaintop and taking in the panoramic view. That’s what having a marketing calendar is like, as it allows you to see all of your marketing plans in one big picture. This view helps you easily identify content gaps or overlaps and make the necessary adjustments.

‎A digital tool like Motion’s calendar app can further streamline and simplify your marketing operations. By centralizing all your marketing activities in one place, it removes the hassle of juggling multiple spreadsheets or systems. So instead of getting lost in the details, you can focus on optimizing your marketing efforts and achieving your goals swiftly.

5 types of marketing calendars

A marketing calendar comes in many shapes and forms. We’ve narrowed them down to a list of five types of marketing calendars you can choose from to fit your marketing needs.

1. Content calendar

Take your content creation game to the next level with a content marketing calendar, also known as an editorial calendar. This powerful organization tool helps you plan and organize the creation and distribution of blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more.

You’ll stay ahead of the game by mapping out your ideas and making sure you deliver high-quality content that perfectly aligns with your marketing strategy. With a content calendar in hand, you can captivate your audience with a consistent flow of valuable content that keeps them coming back for more.

2. Social media calendar

Imagine juggling multiple social media platforms and an audience hungry for more content. Enter the social media calendar — a planner that helps you organize, schedule, and publish your posts without hiccups.

A social media calendar with different social platforms

‎A social media calendar is the key to maintaining a consistent and engaging online presence. By eliminating last-minute scrambling, it empowers you to cultivate a well-organized social media strategy that drives engagement, builds connections, and amplifies your efforts.

3. Advertising calendar

An advertising calendar is your roadmap to optimizing advertising efforts and ad spend. It serves as a central hub where you can organize all types of ads and track their results, from new campaigns to past performance.

A clear view of your advertising initiatives and performance can help you make better, data-backed decisions, tailor your messaging, and maximize your advertising impact.

4. Email marketing calendar

An email marketing calendar is the ultimate tool for maintaining well-coordinated and impactful email campaigns. It allows you to plan and organize your email marketing campaigns in a consistent and compelling way.

From scheduling email blasts to mapping out recurring emails, this calendar keeps you in full control so you can deliver attention-grabbing content and persuasive calls to action, as well as achieve better results.

5. Events calendar

An events calendar should be your go-to for managing and organizing important online and offline events. Whether it’s a trade show, webinar, or product launch, this calendar keeps track of crucial dates and details so you don’t miss a thing.

A checklist

‎Planning events beforehand in an events calendar helps you and your team practice good time management and gives you enough time to secure venues and coordinate with vendors — creating a flawless event experience.

How do you build an effective marketing calendar?

Now let’s dive into how to create a marketing calendar that works. Follow the five steps below to build an effective calendar that brings structure, organization, and consistency to your marketing strategy.

Step 1: Identify your milestones and goals

To build an effective marketing calendar, start by clearly identifying your business milestones and marketing goals. Consider what you want to achieve, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, or any other specific objectives relevant to your business.

By understanding your milestones and goals, you can align your marketing activities with these targets and create a blueprint for success. This step sets the foundation for a strategic and focused marketing calendar that’ll guide your efforts toward achieving tangible results.

Step 2: Determine a suitable period of time

The next step is to figure out the period of time your marketing calendar will cover. Depending on the nature of your business and marketing timeline, you should decide whether you are planning for a year, a quarter, or a month.

An annual planning template divided into four quarters

‎A helpful tip is to start with your annual goals and break them down into quarterly and monthly objectives. That way, you can stay more focused, roll with the punches, and adjust your plans as needed to make sure your marketing schedule stays in sync with your changing business priorities.

Step 3: Pick your winning campaigns

Choose the marketing campaigns that’ll resonate the most with your target audience and help you achieve the goals you identified in Step 1. Here are a couple of campaign ideas to spice up your marketing initiatives:

  • Run giveaways and contests
  • Announce holiday promotions
  • Do a live stream
  • Partner with another brand
  • Host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session

Choosing the right campaigns will help create a buzz, generate interest, and drive meaningful engagement between you and your audience.

Step 4: Delegate the workload

Allocate tasks to your team members, and keep everyone in the loop by updating their schedules with their assigned responsibilities to the team calendar. This step strengthens the collaborative effort and clarifies who is accountable for what.

‎Delegation can be tedious and time-consuming. With Motion’s task manager, which automatically assigns tasks among different team members, you can have an efficient task allocation process that frees up your time for high-priority activities.

Step 5: Incorporate flexibility

Always embrace the need for adjustments and changes in your marketing calendar. Whether it's feedback from stakeholders, performance metrics indicating the need for a shift in strategy, or unexpected events that require immediate attention, it's important to stay adaptable.

Being flexible in the face of countless surprises that can disrupt your marketing schedule can be challenging. But Motion's intelligent calendar makes those sudden changes a breeze to handle by automatically re-prioritizing tasks based on updated schedules. With this feature, you can confidently focus on the most important tasks and always know what comes next in your marketing journey.

Maximize your marketing strategies with Motion’s automated marketing calendar

We know marketing can be a lot to handle.

Fortunately, you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategies with less stress and effort using Motion's automated marketing calendar.

Our intelligent calendar provides a centralized platform where you can plan, track, and manage all your marketing activities so that you never miss a beat. With features like task management, prioritization, and automatic scheduling, Motion boosts your efficiency and simplifies your workflow.

Supercharge your marketing efforts and achieve your business goals with Motion today.

Motion Blog
Written by Motion Blog