Online Marketing Calendar

Holy Cow! Half the Year’s Over – Are You Ready?

Marie Watkins Marketing StrategicsHard to believe it, but we’re already in the second half of 2011, and then some! Is your marketing ready for the next six months?

If you have a marketing calendar for the year, now’s a good time to review and revise as needed. Did you follow through on planned activities? If so, what kind of results did you get?

If you don’t have a marketing calendar for the year, now is a good time to create one for the next six months and start implementing your online marketing activities. By the way, I’ve prepared one for you. {filelink=2}

And for those of you who say “what the heck is a marketing calendar anyway?” let’s back things up a bit and go into more detail…

What Is A Marketing Calendar?

As the phrase implies, a marketing calendar is a calendar on which you plot out your marketing activities for the year once you’ve mapped out your marketing strategy which supports your sales targets. This tool helps you to visually see which activities you’ll execute and when. This can be for all media and methods, offline and online. However, I’ll be focusing on the online activities with a side trip into the physical world…

Why Create A Marketing Calendar?

Now the “why” is something very important that we should talk about. Actually, that’s the first thing that you should determine before you even start filling in your calendar. Why do this for your business? What are the key objectives of these activities? What’s the pay-off?

Let’s take a look at some plausible examples. Some goals could be:
– Make more sales to existing customers
– Get more new customers
– Attract referrals
– Build brand recognition for your company
– Establish yourself as an authority in your industry
– Build a stronger relationship with your clients

What Format To Use?

I find the easiest tool to use is a simple spreadsheet. Have all 12 months in one sheet, or add tabs for each month of the year. Most activities will repeat, so you can copy one sheet all the way across and modify each one as required. Personally, I like to see the whole year at once, and use tabs for special notes & projects.

I like to use templates as much as possible, why reinvent the wheel? Download your copy now.

What Activities Should I Target?

Here’s a list of online activities that you can execute to build up traffic, get more leads and new customers for your business. This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, you can start with a few activities, and build to more over time. The key is to be consistent and track your results.

– Create and regularly publish an e-mail newsletter
– Post regularly to your onsite blog
– Post to offsite properties
– Write articles and post to article sites
– Comment on other blogs and forums
– Create videos and distribute them through video sharing sites
– Use Social Media to promote your business.

And now for that side trip… One of the activities I highly recommend that you do to complement your online activities is to find speaking opportunities. These can be with Chamber of Commerce groups, community organizations like the Lions and Kiwanis, or special interest groups, etc. This will help to establish you as an industry authority and drive potential clients to your business.

Tracking Results

As you track your results, you’ll be able to spot trends in what works best for you and what doesn’t. Now if something isn’t working well for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be dropped. It may need to be tweaked to work better. Don’t forget to refer back to your online marketing calendar to correlate results to activities. {filelink=2}

Please remember that measuring your results is as important as the activities you’ve executed. If you don’t track, you can’t know for sure what your efforts are yielding.

This Is Work – Do I really Need To Do This?

Well yes, it is work. But it’s not like ditch-digging or roofing in 35 degree heat… It does take a certain level of concentrated effort, however the payoff can be big. Big in terms of new business, repeat customers and raving fans!

Just think of it this way, your Internet marketing efforts act to spread the word about your business 24/7 in the online world exactly where your prospects are looking for the products and services that you sell!

Marie Watkins is Chief Instigator at Marketing Strategics, whose corporate mission is to help business owners harness the power of the Internet to achieve greater sales volume, improved profit margins, and an army of raving customers and fans for their business!

To find out how Marketing Strategics can help your business, e-mail, or call 613.691.1221, extension 101.

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