Marketing such as radio ads, billboard artwork, television commercials are driven by deadlines that you can’t avoid. You’ve committed to a schedule and are highly motivated to have everything organised by the due date.
With social media, the deadlines are more rubbery – easier to slip, and so often important posts are delayed because of competing cut-off dates from other advertising. Similarly, with articles and PR pieces that are driven by you – they need to have firm delivery dates.
Spending the time to develop a detailed marketing schedule will help you drive a clear marketing message that hits your targets and grows your business.
- Lack of long term planning. What events are coming up that need publicising? What needs to be posted on social media and when? Is there a new product that needs a media release?
- Scattered information. You may have a team of highly creative people, but if all their ideas and tasks are across 20 or so emails, things will drop through the cracks.
- Last minute tasks. Unplanned opportunities to promote your brand or products pop up all the time and you need to grab them. Also, circumstances beyond your control might mean last minute changes are need for a campaign you thought you had put to bed.
- Under resourced. You have a big campaign to run but you don’t have the people or skills to design it, book it, nurture it and report on its results.
- You haven’t automated. Everything is taking longer than it should, gobbling up your resources.
- Develop a strong marketing calendar. Plan your key events and lock in dates when they are occurring over the next six to 12 months. You need to be regularly reaching out through your communications channels – if you don’t have enough events, schedule engaging posts – weekly is ideal. Review the calendar regularly.
- Planning both a start date and deliverable date. Don’t rely on just having when things need to go out; build a buffer into each deadline to ensure you are giving your team the time to develop content, as well as to have the time to assess what is working at the end of each campaign.
- Use themes to build a cohesive message across all the different points of information that you are putting out there.
- Utilise online systems. like social media schedulers, to post in advance – that way you can hit feeds on the day and at the time that suits you.
- Cross-post across multiple platforms instead of one. Facebook has deep integration with Instagram that makes posting across both platforms fast and simple.
A well-planned marketing schedule, with realistic deadlines, accountability and scope for flexibility will ensure expectations are met, while providing valuable exposure for your brand and growth for your business.