Managing your social media activity can be a time consuming and time wasting activity. However, an organised social media campaign is a powerful marketing tool. Media calendars have always been successfully used by the media and by PR companies to plan content and marketing but there is no reason that you can’t create one that works for your business. Your media calendar should take into account your web content, press releases, blogs, social media outlets, your email marketing and other on and offline marketing and publicity techniques.
Organising it in one document (I use a spreadsheet) gives you a great overview and helps you use all the promotional channels more effectively to gain new business.
A marketing calendar helps you bring together content, themes and ideas for the year ahead.
You need to include:
· Web Content/Web Pages
· Press Releases (if you do them)
· Blog Content
· Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, +Google, Pinterest,
· Email Marketing
· Events that you plan to attend
· Video (You Tube)
· Special Offers/Competitions that you might run
· Pay Per Click Marketing such as Google Adwords
· Offline Marketing Activity such as adverts in local press or magazines
Where To Start...
I started ours by doing some research and creating a list of topics, events/trade shows/holidays & trends relevant to our business and industry – just get a blank sheet of paper and start scribbling as you find things and get inspiration. Then decide what topic you are going to cover in each time frame (ours is monthly). Once you have decided on your (monthly) topics you can start creating relevant content for each of the media outlets you will be using and tying it into your business.
Create a list of media outlets that are relevant to your business/industry/business goals/target audience and incorporate their publishing schedules in your plan (again you can do this easily using an Excel spreadsheet, for example).
What To Use...
We use a simple spreadsheet so that we can have an easy-to-read overview. You should make sure that you make it visible to remind you what you want to do and that you update it regularly.
http://www.yearahead.com - Year Ahead is the essential forward planning resource, containing launches, events and campaigns across a wide range of categories and event types. It’s expensive but good!
http://projectbritain.com/year - a useful FREE website that contains UK themes, traditions and anniversaries of important dates by month. Very handy to get your planner started.
http://www.visitlondon.com/events/special/- whilst London focussed this is a useful website for checking out their event calendar and the monthly/seasonal themes they use.
http://www.corporatehospitality.com/corporate-events-calendar- provides a list of corporate events that are taking place throughout the UK.
https://www.awarenessdays.co.uk/ - this is a great resource at a reasonable price so you can keep informed about Awareness Days and Events and add any relevant ones to your media calendar ready for creating blog and/or social media content. They also provide a template calendar in with the package. Current cost is £39.99 per year for the basic account and that’s what I’m now using.