What is the #1 Marketing Tool for 2014?
This is the time of year to spread some gratitude around and what better way than by giving you something you will undoubtedly need in the
Another crock pot?
Nope. There are way too many crocks pots collecting dust in the world now.
Perhaps a techie wrist watch that counts how many steps you take every day?
Nope. I think it builds mental toughness to count your steps in your head and not on your wrist.
No, I wanted to give something practical and useful – a lot like those itchy knitted socks you used to get from your crazy Aunt Sadie.
Seriously, if you are marketing your business online, (and who isn’t) there are few things more indispensable than a marketing / promotional calendar. It’s the number one marketing tool that will make all the difference in how and what you do online.
This is where you track all of your marketing efforts throughout the year – blog posts, status updates, infographics, research, promotional offers, coupons, ebooks, product development, online and offline advertising. You should also be tracking your results in this document identifying what’s working and what’s not.
I tend to think of my marketing calendar as my day-to-day road map or action plan. It is one of the first items I check before I do email in the day.
It lets me know what I’ve accomplished and what I have yet to do. The hard part – the thinking part – comes first. Then it is just a matter of putting it in the Calendar, implementing your plan and tracking what works.
Everyone has their own way of collecting and tracking data and scheduling their time.
Plus, the online marketing tools you use to market may be very different from mine. So, rather than giving you just one marketing / promotion calendar, I’m giving you many from which to choose.
Go ahead. Shop the various calendar formats below and see which one best suits your needs. Some are specifically designed for WordPress and blogging. But you can and should tailor any of these calendars to fit your needs.
Once you’ve outlined your planned 2014 online marketing efforts, break it down by daily, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually.
Put everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING – in this calendar. This includes:
- your email blasts,
- article submissions,
- referral programs,
- affiliate marketing,
- blogging dates and topics,
- social media updates, advertising (pay-per-click, Facebook, newspaper, etc.),
- in-store promotion,
- video and podcast creation,
- e-book creation,
- press releases,
- partnerships and joint venture activities,
- holiday promotions,
- print material production. and whatever other marketing tools you may use.
The more you have in your calendar, the better. Just keep it organized. You can do this by creating a summary page to keep you on track and creating separate pages for individual initiatives or projects.
THEN…here’s the kicker…USE IT!
But you really do have to follow it!
If you do, you’ll thank me next year this time.
Marketing Tool Options
I scoured the web for the best out there. Here are my top three recommendations. They work for online marketing and can easily be adapted to fit your needs.
- MarketingSavant’s template is a social media content planner that includes a mind mapping section.
- Demand Metric Marketing Calendar – with YouTube video training
- Content Marketing Editorial Calendar from Social Media Today
If you don’t find what you’re looking for in these top 3, here are 8 other options. All but one are free although some require an email optin to access.
- Editorial Calendar a free WordPress Plugin – best for bloggers
- WordPress › Edit Flow – a free WordPress Plugin – best for bloggers
- Free 2014 Marketing Calendar Template from brandeo
- Mymarketingcafe’s Editorial Calendar template
- Free Editorial Calendar Template by Bob Angus
- Hubspot Free Template: Blogging Editorial Calendar – best for bloggers
- Crackerjack – Blog Editorial Calendar Template
- The Social Media Editorial Calendar For WordPress – CoSchedule – This is a premium calendar, $10 a month, however there is a free 14 day trial. The product does integrate with WordPress and has very cool features that may make it worth the money.
With much gratitude, I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!