According to Holiday Insights, last week was “Get organized week” which, in our minds, makes October the perfect time to plan out your 2019 marketing strategy and think about how you can stay organized with your marketing initiatives all year.
Think about your marketing tasks in groups that you can knock out either daily, monthly, quarterly or annually. This way, you can keep up with the planning but mitigate that feeling of being overwhelmed to have to do it all.
Below, I break down how to organize your marketing throughout the year based on tasks and when you can expect to work on them.
Annual marketing tasks
Develop your marketing budget
Your marketing budget is the first thing you need to start with. Understanding how much money you can afford to spend on print, digital, advertising or tradeshows/ events will benefit you while creating your marketing plan.
Create your marketing plan
Your marketing plan is the next step after creating your marketing budget. To create this marketing plan, you will need to take the time to sit down and think strategically about the entire year’s business goals. By doing so, this will help you plan for which tactics you will use to achieve these goals.
Creating this overarching plan will help you plan for your quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily marketing efforts. This marketing plan will also layout which marketing tactics you will use and why you will use them. By planning these tactics out, you know that all your efforts will not fall short of your vision.
Put your marketing plan into timeline format
After defining your marketing budget and creating your marketing plan, it is time to plan out exactly when you will implement your tactics stated. Marketing timelines can be a massive beast to conquer, so starting with the high-level dates often works best. Start with recurring tasks for each month such as social media and blog content calendars, monthly e-newsletters and statistics. These tasks often have the same due dates each month.
For Allee, we always pull statistics on the first of the month if it lands on a weekday, we create and edit the e-newsletters within the first two weeks and our content calendars are ready for review by the 20th of every month.
Once you have those recurring tasks set you can get into the nitty gritty. Understand though, this document is meant to be a living, breathing thing. You will want to update it daily as you complete tasks or as new tasks arise.
Quarterly marketing tasks
Having set themes for your marketing strategy will help you create content. For instance, we know that here at Allee that we gain the majority of our new clients in Q1 and that many people plan their next year’s marketing strategy in Q4. So, those are the themes of those quarters. You could even use the seasons as a theme, Q1 is often seen as the time for fresh starts whereas Q4 is seen as the holiday season. Planning your theme out at the beginning of the quarter will help all your specific marketing efforts including marketing campaigns and all your content.
Once you have decided on a quarterly theme, your marketing campaigns for that quarter will be easier to plan. Now, you don’t necessarily have to run a campaign every quarter however it is a great way to raise brand awareness. Marketing campaigns can include:
- Demand generation: Google display or text ads which can be coupled with other forms of paid content on your social media accounts.
- Social media campaigns: Using Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Snapchat for paid and/or sponsored content.
- Print campaigns: Direct mail, postcards or brochures sent direct to prospects.
Think about the types of messaging you want throughout the year—product launch? Membership campaign? Brand awareness? Revenue push? The goals you established in your marketing plan will help to set these campaigns up for success.
Pulling statistics quarterly is a great way to check in on how things are going. Whether it is pulling stats on sales or marketing campaigns, this is a good time to look back to your marketing plan. These statistics will help you understand if you are on track or if the marketing plans needs to be tweaked a bit for the coming quarters. Need ideas on what to look for? Here are a few stats we think your boss will surely want to know.
Inventory of current materials
Don’t forget to take stock of what you have on hand for print (and assess your digital channels, too). Quarterly is a great time to check the number of brochures, one sheets, service guides, etc. that you have on hand. These are great pieces of information on your company that are handy to have ready to go in case of a last-minute event. This is also a good time to update them if anything has changed.
Monthly marketing tasks
If you’re familiar with our blog or have heard our CEO speak, you know how much we love our content calendars. Content calendars are documents where we plan for an entire month’s worth of social media content and blog post content. At Allee, we use trusty spreadsheets to create these however there are plenty of online resources if that’s more your style. Don’t discount real-time listening and posting, however. While content calendars are nice, they do not take the place of true engagement online.
Another way to keep your content organized and consistently answering your target audience’s pain points is through the use of personas. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of personas right now, so check out our blog post explaining why they’re a must!
Keeping the most relevant information updated on your website is extremely important. That’s why it is a great idea to have a recurring task every month to do a website sweep. Especially if you have an events page, nothing can be more frustrating when you find an Eventbrite page with an event and then you go to that company’s website and you can’t find more information on that event.
An event can be one where you’re speaking somewhere, sponsoring or an industry-related event that you’ll be attending. By providing these events to your audience, you are shown as a thought leader by your desire to continue to learn industry related information. General rule of thumb, if you have anything new going on with your company, update your website.
Weekly marketing tasks
General business tasks
Planning your week out on Monday will help save you from stressful time crunching situations. On Monday’s, a great habit to get into is to look at your entire week. Check your calendar for meetings and commitments and look at all your tasks you have to do. This allows you to plan ahead on tasks that are more time consuming.
Weekly meetings are a great way to check in with your team or clients on their marketing related items. This keeps everyone on the same page and avoids any misunderstandings. Pro tip: these meetings are even more enjoyable if you take turns bringing food.
Daily marketing tasks
Make a list
Project management tools are great for day to day activities however, taking it a step further than just using these online tools can help you tackle your entire list. Personally, I throw it back to the good old pen and paper. As soon as I get into the office I pull up my project management tool (Asana), see which tasks I have for the day and write a list organized by priority. If every task is equally time sensitive, I put my heavier content pieces first. These include blogs or content calendars. I also plan for social media breaks, so I can check on my client’s social media accounts.
Although you have your content planned and scheduled for social media, you will want to monitor your accounts daily. Having real-time conversations with your audience will increase your account’s engagement and your company’s brand awareness. While starting your day, plan out when you will monitor your social media and set a time. We all know how addicting scrolling can be, so setting parameters on when and how long you will scroll on Twitter will help you stay focused and on task.
Apart from social media, you will want to set up Google alerts to understand when and where people are talking about you. To help you engage in digital listening, using social listening tools such as SproutSocial or Spredfast can be very beneficial. These tools allow you to set notifications for keywords, so you can jump in digital conversations that are related to your business. Website automation is a task that helps you understand the performance of your website. This is important because if your website isn’t performing properly or efficiently, you may not see the desired traffic. Another good habit to get into, is to check on contact forms that may come in. If you have a contact form for any reason on your website, monitoring and following up with these daily is a must.
Don’t forget to give your eyes a break, whether this is getting up and taking a walk or just taking a break from looking at a screen. Breaks are proven to be beneficial to your work day.
How do you stay organized throughout the year? Share with us in the comments below! Feeling overwhelmed with the ideas and lists above? Not to worry! That’s what we’re here for. Give us a shout and see how we can help you with some of your marketing tasks throughout the year.