Running a small business doesn’t leave you with a lot of spare time, and it’s easy to let marketing fall by the wayside. When that happens, though, you’re missing out on a crucial opportunity to attract new customers, keep your regulars coming back, and see your bottom line soar. So yeah, marketing is important, and the simple solution to making sure you don’t neglect it is to create a marketing calendar. Here are five steps to do just that.
Step 1: Write down all the dates you know
Start with the days your business will be closed and days when you know your business hours will be reduced. These occasions warrant a marketing email and a post on your social media channels to let customers know about the changes a few days in advance.
You’ll also want to add in holidays and other events that are critical to your business. Whether you have seasonal products, promotions, or special events planned, you’ll want to announce them with a lot of fanfare, and sticking them on your calendar will be the reminder you need.
If you have a regular marketing email or automated deal schedule, include those send dates on your calendar, too.
Step 2: Backfill the rest of your calendar
With all the concrete dates written on your calendar, you’ll easily be able to identify where the lulls are, and that’s where you’ll want to schedule your other creative marketing efforts—whether they’re deals, contests, or something simple like posting a photo or video on social media.
The idea is to stay top-of-mind with your customers. If they don’t hear from you for weeks, it’s easy for them to forget about why they love your business, and that’s no good for business.
Step 3: Put one person in charge of the calendar
It’s a good practice to put one person in charge of the marketing calendar. They’ll be responsible for updating it, making sure all information is correct, and resolving any scheduling conflicts. If too many people edit your marketing calendar, it can get messy in a hurry.
Step 4: Share the master marketing calendar with your team
Letting everyone see your master marketing calendar will improve communication and keep everyone on the same page. Not only will it ensure your employees are aware of upcoming and ongoing promotions, it very well could inspire creative new ideas. A part-time employee, for example, might see that you're doing a big Valentine’s Day sale and have a great idea to promote it.
Step 5: Stay flexible
Things happen! It’s a given that marketing plans will have to be altered occasionally. Once you set up the master marketing calendar, don’t forget about it. Review it on a monthly or weekly basis to make adjustments and solidify upcoming plans.
The key is to make the marketing calendar part of your routine. Consult it regularly, and marketing becomes part of your normal regular operations, and that is the recipe for newfound success.
Need help devising a marketing strategy for your business? The SpotOn team is here to help. If you’re already one of our merchants, contact the SpotOn Customer Success Team at (877) 814-4102 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not yet a SpotOn merchant, get a free demo today to see how we make marketing easy for you.