Al Lautenslager wrote about Developing Your Marketing Calendar over at Entrepreneur, explaining that it’s not too late to prepare your marketing calendar for this year. The best time, he explains in this and other articles, is before now, and the next best time is now. If you have a marketing calendar, your online marketing should also be on that calendar.
You can list the promotions your company plans and then note before they arise that you’ll want to blog, tweet, and otherwise share the news about them. You can schedule out your online press releases and linkbuilding pushes. You can even draft and preschedule posts you know you’ll want to make.
There are two really important parts here. The first is to plan ahead so you won’t be announcing your sale too late for your customers to make it — or too late for others to retweet it. Tweeting is very immediate, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with tweeting as an event takes place.
But it’s also good to help people get things on their calendars. You know that you need to talk about things a number of times before you can expect people to take action. Starting early and planning it out lets you talk about your promotion, initiative, or announcements the optimum number of times without squishing all the mentions together into an obnoxious overkill blast.
The second big thing a marketing calendar does for your online marketing is to help keep it happening on a routine basis. Clients often assure us that they blog regularly or tweet frequently when it has been several months. This is because life keeps going on even when you’re too busy to get your press releases or blog posts done. You put it off till things get a bit quieter, and before you know it you have an inactive account.
Having announcements in Outlook reminding you that you had planned to do an Adwords campaign or a newsletter, an alarm on your phone reminding you to blog, or a reminder from your CRM that you need to check what people are saying about you at Twitter can keep you on track painlessly.