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How to Start a Marketing Calendar

It can be daunting to start planning out marketing content, especially when you consider social media and how some brands are seemingly posting 24/7. But there are tips and tools available to you to help make this task manageable and ensure that your content is as useful and relevant as possible!

We will be hosting a Marketing Webinar: How to Create a Marketing Calendar on 18th March which will cover everything in this blog post and more, so be sure to attend.

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Below we’ve covered four top items to think about when starting a marketing calendar:

Plan by starting big and narrowing down

A common trap to fall into is to get distracted and overwhelmed by focusing on the details of your calendar too soon. To avoid this, think about what your dive shop’s business and marketing goals are for the year, and keep them in mind when starting the calendar.

Then assign each month of the year with a theme. So, for example, if your dive shop is in the UK, you would know that by May the weather is improving and people are starting to think about getting back into the water locally. Using this knowledge you could then assign the month of April the theme of ‘Getting back into the water’. Assign a theme to all months of the year at the beginning of the year.

Now, you’ll want to think about your individual marketing campaigns (which you may find naturally align with your monthly themes). Start highlighting weeks when you will be running specific campaigns.

Going even narrower now think about assigning a prompt for each day of the week. This could be something like:

Day Prompt
Monday Highlight an activity / event / course happening during the week
Tuesday Talk about the local marine life
Wednesday Highlight a course
Thursday Skill test / How to
Friday Did you know? Fact about diving, your shop history, marine life
Saturday Share something from a related organisation
Sunday Share some feedback / User Generated Content

You don’t have to stick to this like glue, but having a prompt and theme will help you to get inspired.

Decide how often you are able to send marketing comms

One thing we would suggest doing before starting a marketing calendar is work on a marketing strategy (you can find our recent blog post on how to create a marketing strategy here), this will help you to understand where your audience is and which marketing channels to focus your schedule on. It will also help you to understand what resources you have available to create the schedule.

Other things to be aware of when creating your schedule include how much time you have available, make sure your strategy is realistic and achievable. For example, if you know you can’t post to social media every day then plan for this.

You also have to think about your customer’s expectations in relation to the platform you’re using. Customers don’t expect, and in some cases actually object to receiving a daily email newsletter from a brand, but conversely posting to Facebook only once a month will see your engagement dwindle.

Make sure to attend the Marketing Webinar: How to Create a Social Schedule to find out our ‘rule of thumb’ guide to how often you should share content across different marketing channels. Sign up here.

Take inspiration from the outside world

It’s tempting to focus inwards when creating a marketing schedule, but remember that the outside world will influence your marketing just as much as it does your customers. When narrowing down your initial schedule be sure to think about:

  • Special diving events throughout the year, such as PADI Women’s Dive Day and AWARE Week.
  • Local festivals and events
  • Holidays, school term dates, peak seasons etc.
  • Days of the year. A quick Google will throw up some surprising ones! Did you know 1st – 7th June is volunteers Week in the UK?

Putting these events or days into your calendar will help you to prepare any marketing communications you need and means you’re not caught off guard scrabbling around to try and find some last-minute content. It also helps you to stay on trend and talking about relevant topics.

Having a marketing schedule can also help you to react to new events that happen more easily, we talk more about this in our blog post ‘Why Should Dive Shops Have a Marketing Strategy?’.

Use tools and platforms already available

Hopefully everything above has started to plant seeds of ideas for future marketing content, but how to organise it all?

Our key tips here would be not to reinvent the wheel, whilst there are great tools out there to organise marketing calendars you can also just as easily use Excel. There are also freemium tools such as airtable and Monday.

Some people like to organise things using pen and paper and some people like to use more digital formats, think about how you organise your diary (or how you’d like to organise it), and start experimenting with systems you already know work for you.

We’d also recommend watch the How to Create a Marketing Schedule webinar where we’ll share a couple of calendar templates you can download and start using.

Sign Up Now

Check out our RHQ Marketing Hubs for EMEA, AP, and PAM, to see our Marketing Toolkits which offer you a range of marketing tools that you can use for your marketing strategies. If you have any questions, please contact your regional marketing team at:

AP: [email protected]

EMEA: [email protected]

PAP: [email protected] 

The post How to Start a Marketing Calendar appeared first on PADI Pros.

Marketing & Social Media, Email Marketing, Marketing schedule, Social MediaPADI Pros

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