Marketing Calendar: The Definitive Guide & Templates [2021]

marketing calendar

Isn’t it frustrating to see your marketing efforts don’t get the positive results you want? Maybe you need a bit more organization. If you’re struggling to plan your marketing strategies, do not panic! You’re in the right place.

In this guide, I’ll tell you all about marketing calendars. I’ll not only help you to choose one but to create one of your own. Besides, if you’re already aware of the importance of having a marketing calendar, I’ll share some useful techniques on how to better manage it.

In this post, I’ll cover from the basics to the most advanced tactics as regards marketing calendars. Ready to boost your engagement in 2021?

Let’s get started!

Chapter 1

Marketing Calendar Fundamentals

You must plan and schedule your marketing strategies in advance. Not to mention that you need to set some goals and check whether you achieved them or not in a specific amount of time. A marketing calendar will no doubt help you with this. 

 In this chapter, I’ll explain what a marketing calendar is and why it’s so important for your marketing success these days.

What is a marketing calendar?

A marketing calendar is a written roadmap for marketing activities. It visualizes your planning and when to complete each of your marketing strategies. In other words, it is an actionable tool to achieve your marketing goals in a certain period of time.

A marketing calendar is a plan that comprises all your marketing activities for a year, month by month. Not surprisingly, it will take some time and resources to create a marketing calendar. However, it’ll pay off later. 

Besides, a marketing calendar is vital to avoid missing deadlines. You’ll know who is responsible for completing each task. Not to mention that a marketing calendar is not only useful for managers, it helps team members too.

Thus, having a marketing calendar will help you to ensure your team members are coordinated. You’ll also be able to better manage your budget for the year. But, above all, a marketing calendar is critical to get a big picture.

Having a concrete schedule is mandatory to run your marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to set objectives and check whether you achieved them. A marketing calendar is a must to get an overview of your team’s tasks, deadlines, and achievements. 

If you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?

2021 calendar template

Marketing Calendar Purposes

For marketing success, a marketing calendar should contain the following six purposes:

Plan ahead to meet your goals.

It comes as no surprise that you need to plan your marketing strategies in advance. This will help you to meet deadlines. Besides, each strategy needs to have some goals assigned. Once you’ve put a strategy into place and given it enough time, you must check its effectiveness. 

Use your marketing calendar as your team’s hub for your marketing activities.

If you document everything in your marketing calendar, your team members will be aware of what’s going on. It’ll help them to keep on track and be more productive. A marketing calendar is vital to manage assignments and timing. 

Notify workflows and progress status to get your team on the same page.

Likewise, a marketing calendar is mandatory to know about the project’s progress. Everyone would know who is responsible for what and how it’s going. This allows others to better coordinate and work together. If someone has too much on his/her plate for the week, you can reassign some tasks to another team member much easily. 

Share information for campaigns with your team.

You can also use your marketing calendar to share relevant campaign details with your team members. When people are familiar with what’s going on, they can help you make it happen. 

Track the performance of your marketing actions.

It is thanks to a marketing calendar that you’ll be able to track your marketing efforts. First, you’ll need to establish some goals for each of your marketing campaign strategies. And, then, once you’ve given enough time for them to be fulfilled, you could check what worked and what didn’t and needs improvement. 

Make it easy to develop a strategic plan for the future.

Lastly, but not less important, a marketing calendar is critical to plan ahead. When you are immersed in your day-to-day obligations, you just want to get lots of tasks done for the day. However, it’s vital to know what’s next. Being aware of next month’s assignments or three months ahead tasks is mandatory too. 


Anyway, a marketing calendar provides a clear overview of what and when your plans take place. So you can plan ahead and produce better work and results.

Even when you analyze your performance, it makes it easier because you prepare your metrics in advance.

Why is a marketing calendar important?

A marketing calendar keeps your team stuck and focused on your marketing plans. It has all the information for your strategies, and your team works according to the plans.

You can keep your team informed through the calendar and push projects to completion. It gives you more control over your goals. Also, this helps you to get your marketing activities organized.

Thus, it will save a bunch of your time and bring your goals one step closer to you.

Coschedule share some interesting marketing statistics insights about organizing your marketing activities:

  • Marketers who document their strategies are 313% more likely to succeed.
  • The people who document their process are 252% more likely to succeed.
  • The people who set goals are 376% more likely to succeed (70% of those who do goal settings almost always achieve them).

As you can see, documentation is critical to your success. And a marketing calendar is a perfect way to organize tasks and take action for your goals!

Sounds good?

Then let’s jump into the next chapter.

Chapter 2

How to Choose The Right Marketing Calendar

A marketing calendar assists you to deliver contents as you planned.

But creating an editorial calendar takes a lot of time and that might not work for you.

In this chapter, I’m going to lay out different types of marketing calendars and templates. Then I’ll cover which filter you can include in your marketing calendar to work more efficiently.

Types of Marketing Calendars

A marketing calendar is more than a document with dates and topics. It identifies all the information that your marketing activities need in one place.

The right marketing calendar makes a positive impact on your marketing performance. Marketers use editorial calendars to organize different marketing campaign strategies.

These are the 4 main types of marketing calendars:

Content marketing calendar

A content marketing calendar is useful for organizing your content marketing plans and strategies. Since multiple people work on content creation, you can use it to inform your team of what to do and when to do it. The bigger the project, the more detailed information you should add to your content calendar to ensure good performance.

Besides, a content calendar is a living document that needs to be frequently updated. It also serves to keep stakeholders informed and organized. You should include future marketing responsibilities but also relevant past accomplishments that can be useful.

content marketing weekly calendar made in google sheets with tasks examples
Content Marketing Calendar – Evinex

What’s more, a content calendar is key to ensure consistency. It’ll help you to plan for regular but varied content creation that matches your audience’s needs. If you consistently provide useful content, you’ll get more loyal customers.

A content calendar is a must to keep a busy but successful publishing schedule. Once it’s done, it’ll save you tons of time and effort. You’re probably quite convinced right now about the importance of a content calendar. Yet, creating one from scratch takes a lot of time. Don’t panic! There exist lots of already made templates.

Content marketing calendar templates

 A content marketing calendar template is a tool you can use to plan and schedule your content. A content marketing calendar template enables you to improve your content planning and publishing.

Instead of having to create your content calendar once and again, a content calendar template is already structured for you. The only thing you have to do is to fill in the details as you wish. There exist many content calendars on the web.

Thus, it might be a bit challenging to choose the one that matches your needs. Some content calendar templates are organized to give you an overall picture, others focus on SEO, others on social media networks, etc.

An example of a content marketing calendar template is Coschedule’s Content Calendar Template, which you can use to map up your content all year long, plan what you’re going to do in the future, meet deadlines, and much more. 

Which template is best for you depends on your content marketing strategy and what you plan to do. If you’re interested in learning more about content marketing calendar templates, you should go to the last chapter, where I’ll explain them in detail. 

Blog calendar

A blog calendar is the best way to manage and keep your efforts on track, particularly for blogging. Depending on your blog style, you can customize your calendar using filters and metrics. This will help you to produce engaging content and entertain your readers.

A blog calendar will help you to develop the consistency you need to get more readers. A blog calendar will help you keep track of what’s working and what doesn’t. It’s vital to build a blogging strategy.

blog marketing calendar made in google sheets with tasks examples
Blog Calendar – Evinex

It’ll no doubt help you to attract new customers and establish a relationship with them. You would be able to keep track of your blogging schedule, blog post ideas, important holidays, etc.

You can even include links, set some time for research, decide what to share on social media, keep record of what you need to do and what you’ve already done. It’s the best way of organizing yourself and making the most out of your time. 

On top of that, a blog calendar is mandatory to keep track of SEO keywords and deadlines. Neglecting your blogging strategy can be negative for your website traffic. So, if you aren’t using a blog calendar is high time you consider doing it. 

Don’t have a clue where to start? Do not panic! I’m about to share some information as regards blog calendar templates below.

Blog calendar templates

A blog calendar template is a tool you can use to help you publish blog content consistently, meet deadlines, record creative ideas, and plan ahead to ensure you do not miss anything important.

A blog calendar template is generally a spreadsheet you can save and customize as you like. Not all enterprises have the same blogging needs. You must adapt your blog calendar template to your own needs. 

Webfx has created a blog calendar template that works for both beginners and experts. They even provide tips and tricks to help you if need be. It’s a worthy resource. Why don’t you give it a try?

Anyway, if you’re interested in templates, you should jump to the last chapter, where I’ll cover templates and software more in detail.

Social media marketing calendar

A social media marketing calendar is a useful tool to plan your posts and organize tasks ahead of time. Mostly when you post several times in a day. It gives you an overview of which posts work well and helps you to improve your content based on its performance.

In other words, a social media marketing calendar consists of a spreadsheet or an app that you can use to plan and schedule your social media posts in advance. Besides, you can also use it to manage your social media campaigns better and meet deadlines. 

social media marketing calendar - met
Social Media Marketing Calendar – MET

There is no one size fits all as regards social media calendars. Some brands will need professional services, while others will do well on their own. Thus, there are social media calendars in paper, spreadsheets, and specialized software services. 

What to use is up to you. I mean, it depends on the volume of posts you have to manage, your budget, the number of social media networks you use, etc. Not to mention that a social media calendar will help you to save time, post consistently and measure your performance. 

Social media marketing calendar templates

A social media marketing calendar template is a tool you can use to manage your social media content creation. It also serves to arrange your publishing schedule, remember important dates and events, make sure your content is fresh, collaborate with team members, etc.

As it happens with other templates, you’ll need to adapt and customize your social media marketing calendar based on your needs. A social media calendar allows you to have all your social media content in one place. This is key to automate your posts and ensure your posting frequency is optimal.

I’ll deal with social media marketing calendar templates and software in depth in the last chapter. Still, if you want to have a look at an example of a social media marketing templates, you should check Hubspot’s. They even explain how to use it to get a higher impact. 

Email marketing calendar

An email marketing calendar shows when and what you’re going to send to your subscribers. It helps you to improve your email marketing strategies and keep track of your metrics. Email marketing is one of the top ways to retain customers. To improve your email subscribers’ experience, you should create an email marketing calendar.

In other words, an email marketing calendar is critical to plan and execute your email marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be too elaborated to be effective. An email marketing calendar will help you to establish a better relationship with your customers and push your sales. 

If you do not plan your emails in advance, they can end up being ineffective. What’s worse, they can cause you a bad reputation. It comes as no surprise that planning ahead is key to produce better emails.

Besides, an email marketing calendar is crucial to keep your team members informed. Not to mention, it can be as flexible as you wish. I mean, if you realize about a new opportunity, you can exploit it and reschedule other emails for the future. 

Planning ensures you have more control over your goals. An email calendar is vital to check your performance and improve it when necessary. 

Email marketing calendar templates

Email marketing calendar templates will allow you to schedule your emails to get a higher impact.  You can customize them to include holidays and relevant industry events so that you do not miss them.

What I mean is that you can use email marketing templates for many purposes like scheduling email campaigns, informative newsletters, promotions, special announcements, follow-up emails, etc. 

There exist loads of email marketing templates to make your job easier and ensure you send emails at optimal times. Which template to choose depends on your needs. Sounds interesting? Have a look at Hubspot’s email marketing template.

Anyway, if you want to know more about templates, you can jump straight away to the last chapter of this guide. There, I’ll cover templates and software in detail.

Marketing Calendar Formats

Here are the five main types of marketing calendar formats:

Excel / Google Sheets

Excel and Google Sheets share many features. Both are customizable and allow templates to adapt easily, they save content automatically, and you can use them for team collaboration. 

Word / Google Docs 

Likewise, Word and Google Docs share many characteristics. Still, it is unquestionable that Word has more features than Google Docs. But, for basic word processing, the latter might be more than enough. 

PDF

A PDF displays the same content no matter where it is viewed. Besides, you can integrate various types of content. However, PDFs are hard to edit, and it’s difficult to extract information from them. 

Google Calendar

Google Calendar allows you to schedule meetings and events. You can also get reminders of upcoming events. It’s designed for teams. Thus, it’s easy to share information with others. You can even create multiple calendars if you wish. 

Software

Marketing calendar software refers to tools that allow businesses to organize and schedule their marketing campaigns, goals, budget, and content so that they can get optimal results. They help marketers in the planning of content. It is easy to assign tasks to writers, editors, and designers. This software can not only be used for management but also for team collaboration.

One advice for formats:

Choose a customizable calendar. One that you can add information to, multimedia and color labels. You will have many changes as time passes and it’s better to start with a flexible calendar to revise and update yours.

You don’t have time to create your marketing calendar from scratch?

Don’t worry. I have you covered in the last chapter! More about this later.

Now, let’s review the filters that will save you time.

What kind of Filters to Include in Your Marketing Calendar

As you can see in some of the marketing calendar templates, the filters are different. The more information you include, the more likely you can deliver your content as planned. Define what information to include for collaboration, and what metrics to track.

Let me show you the filters I use on my own instagram marketing calendar that help me to organize my work successfully.

Instagram marketing calendar

instagram marketing calendar - evinex

I use the following filters for content creation, tracking performance, and more.

Content Creation
  • Date to publish
  • Status (open, in progress, pending review, scheduled, ready, published)
  • Task
  • Assigned to
  • Theme/Topic
  • Image
  • Image description
  • Text on image
  • Caption
  • Hashtags
Tracking Performance
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Impression
  • Reach/Discovery
  • Message
  • Saved
  • Follows
  • Profile visits
  • Website clicks
  • Email
  • Call
  • From hashtags
Promotion Tracking
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Impression
  • Discovery
  • Message
  • Saved
  • Follows
  • Profile visits
  • Website clicks
  • Email
  • Call
  • Promotion clicks
  • Spent
Notes
  • Weekly review
  • Monthly review
  • Follower growth
  • Engagement growth

Have you already chosen your calendar?

In the next chapter, I’m going to show you how to collect all the information you need for your marketing calendar.

Chapter 3

Plan Your Marketing Calendar Effectively

Now that you have decided which marketing calendar to use. It’s time to identify your goals and how to achieve them with your marketing strategies.

To ensure your marketing efforts pay off, this process is very important for your results.

In this chapter, I’ll show you how to plan a marketing calendar for success.

Review Your Marketing Goals and Strategies

First… Let’s check your annual marketing plan. It makes it easier for you to create a marketing calendar.

Your calendar employs the same strategies as your marketing plan, but it plans out with dates. Review your marketing plan and keep it in mind.

Then, list out your marketing strategies and check if there are specific dates to include. This will help you to plan in advance and deliver your strategies when needed.

Before you get yourself into the nitty-gritty, you must define your goals like gaining new leads, increasing brand exposure, or improving your sales, to name a few. On top of that, your goals must align with your strategies.

Only then will you be ready to create your calendar. There are lots of strategies you can include. These will differ depending on what you what to achieve. You may have strategies to improve your email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Understand better who is your target audience and influencers

Without knowing your users, it is very difficult to run successful marketing campaigns.

If you know who your audience is and what are their interests, your marketing plan is more likely to work. You can create contents that your audience will like. Also it is easier to make adjustments for your strategies.

Let’s go deep down a bit more to understand your target audience better. It is critical to get social shares and banklinks when you publish contents.

Yet, it won’t happen without audience research.

How do you get more information from your target audience?

That’s easy! I can show you how to get a better understanding of the potential of your contents.

1. How to see how many shares your type of content gets and who shares it

content analyzer - buzzsumo
Content Analyzer – Buzzsumo

Go to Content Research of Buzzsumo. Then, type your keyword in the search of Content Analyzer.

You will see top engagement posts and how many shares on each social network they got. It also shows you who shares the content by clicking the social channels.

2. How to identify who links to your type of contents

serp overview screenshot - ahrefs
SERP Overview – Ahrefs

Check your keyword in Ahrefs Keywords Explorer. In the overview, there’s a “SERP overview” that shows the top 10 search results.

Here you can see how many backlinks each page got and who linked to them. These linkers can be your publishing influencers if you create top quality content!

List out all your channels (How to reach your audience)

To build solid strategies, it is critical to limit your channels.

The use of different channels shapes how you engage with your audience. But each channel performs in different ways and requires different strategies.

Your intended marketing channels can be:

  • Website
  • Email
  • Blog
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • Others

Select your channels depending on your goals and develop your channel strategies accordingly.

Collect important dates

You’re a few steps away from the completion of the planning phase!

The last thing in this chapter is to collect all the key dates for your company.

The followings are some ideas for your data gathering:

  • Federal holidays
  • National holidays
  • Company events
  • Company milestones
  • Industry related events
  • Your product/service launch
  • Deadlines for content
  • Season related campaigns
  • Local events

US Holidays for Your Business

A holiday is a great way to increase your visibility and improve your engagement and CTR rates.

You can also include some fun national holidays as well as major holidays in your marketing calendar. There are many days when you can catch the attention of your audience in a fun way.

Now that you know what to include in your marketing calendar.

The question is:
How do you get started with all the information you collected in this chapter?

Well, that’s what chapter 4 is all about.

Chapter 4

How to Create A Marketing Calendar That Works

In this chapter, I’ll show you how to create a marketing calendar step by step. Some people might feel a bit overwhelmed when they are asked to create a marketing calendar since we all know it’s time-consuming. 

However, once you’ve completed it, you’ll realize it pays off. In the previous chapters, I dealt with the importance of having a marketing calendar. Well, it’s high time you learn how to create your own, don’t you think?

Let’s jump right in!

1: Choose your marketing calendar template/software

Whether it’s a template or software, you should choose the one that works for you. Either way, you need to know what you want to do with your calendar.

For example, if your priority is to collaborate with 20 team members, you need to look for software that allows you to access from 20 different user accounts. Or find an editorial calendar template and create your own calendar.

Then, if you choose a template, you should add filters and metrics that matter to you into the marketing calendar. This way, you will be able to keep your goals in mind and commit to them.

Don’t worry too much! You can add more information later as needed unless you choose PDF format. A PDF calendar is nice to use when you’re brainstorming though.

2: Define who is your marketing calendar team and their roles

Now that you have most of the information, you can dive into creating a marketing calendar. So it’s time to define who will be your team for the marketing calendar.

There are 7 key roles for a marketing calendar.

marketing calendar roles
  • Team lead – The lead participates in from planning to improving and gives final approvals on each phase.
  • Editorial manager – This is the person who oversees marketing calendars and contacts people when your plan isn’t carried out as planned.
  • Content creator – Content creator transforms content ideas to written content and gathers data.
  • Content editor – The editor modifies and improves the pieces content creator produced.
  • Designer – The designer turns the content creators’ work visually appeal to the audience.
  • Developer – This developer visualizes and controls the complete content on the website and software.
  • Analytics manager – The analyst tracks metrics for the content and analyzes for improvements.

Don’t forget to define the roles and duties, especially when you have more than two people in one role. This will prevent double-dealing and boost team productivity.

3: Identify your target audience

As I talked about the importance of understanding your target audience in the previous chapter, it is essential to develop your content and communicate strategies.

Knowing their interests and pain points helps you to create valuable content for them. And that will increase the likelihood of your audience interacting with your content and sharing it on their feed.

So, dig deeper into your target audience and understand their social behavior as well as their interests.

4: Brainstorm your content ideas strategically

When it comes to content marketing, investing time on content creation matters.

If you choose a keyword with low search volume, your content may not drive traffic and engagement.

If your topic is too boring, nobody wants to share or link to you.

It can get even worse:

If you don’t do it properly, you don’t get anything from the efforts. Even though content creation requires lots of time and energy.

I’m going to show how to develop your content ideas to have a great impact on your online visibility.

Keyword Research

Creating content with well-researched keywords spreads your marketing messages efficiently. Without keyword research, it is difficult to deploy an engaging marketing strategy.

Here are my quick keyword research tactics you can use:

1. Seek what topics your audience likes to search

Start researching your best keywords. You have two easiest ways using Google suggestions. First, enter your keyword in Google search box, and you’ll see the 10 exact matching long-tail keywords. Second, after searching your keyword on Google, the related search keywords will appear at the bottom of SERPs.

2. Check the keywords that you’re already ranking on search engines

Go to your analytics and find the organic keywords you’re ranking. These keywords are good for you to dig deeper. You can refresh or upgrade the existing contents that worked. Or create different types of contents with the keyword.

3. Spy on your competitor’s organic keywords

Another way to stay ahead of the competition is to find out your competitor’s strategies. You can get the content ideas that are performing well from competitor research. Then develop better content so that they cannot defeat you.

4. Pick keywords that have high search volume and low keyword difficulty

If you want to rank in search volume, you need to pick your keywords strategically. The key is to find a keyword with a high volume search and low keyword difficulty.

5. Use keyword research tools

There are many keyword research tools that help you to find the best keywords for you. The following are my favorite tools that work great:

If you’re looking for advanced keyword research techniques, you’ll love this video.

Advanced Keyword Research Tutorial (5-Step Blueprint)
by Brian Dean

Expand your content idea

Then, it’s time to combine those keywords with a content type.

These are 14 types of content for your content creation:

  • How-to (tutorial)
  • List
  • Checklist
  • Resource (data-driven)
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Case study
  • Interview
  • Round-up
  • News
  • Review
  • Controversial topic
  • Podcast
  • Guest post

5: Determine what metrics to track

Before adding data to your calendar, you should choose the right metrics that determine your success.

Make sure that your key metrics help you to achieve your goals. If your chosen KPIs are not the right metrics for your goals, you will track the performance aligning with other things.

For example, if you want to generate leads but you’re monitoring reach and followers, those KPI somehow drive leads but they are not directly related. In this case, you should calculate the click-through rate and the conversion rate.

6: Calendarize your contents with enough preparation time

Now that you have planned your content into your marketing calendar, it’s starting to look more like a calendar.

calendarize your contents

When you schedule your content, you need to set aside enough time for content creation. Don’t forget about your capability to complete the tasks and plan ahead with enough time to be prepared. To do so, you can prioritize your tasks, be prepared for any changes, and make adjustments.

Also, when you input your status on marketing calendar, make it as specific and clear as possible. That helps your team understand the workflow better and work on the next step.

Remember to update your status every time you progress your tasks.

7: Execute your marketing strategies

It’s time to test your marketing strategies. By identifying what works the most, you’ll come up with better ways to go. These ideas help you to improve your marketing and analyze it deeply.

Keep records and feedback as much as possible. And be always clear about your goals and strive for the best.

8: Analyze your marketing strategies

This is the last step and the most important part of your marketing calendar. Analyzing how your marketing strategies are working is crucial to improve your performance.

analyze your marketing strategies

Give your team these questions after execution:

  1. Was there anything your marketing calendar missed (functionally)?
  2. Did any of your team members miss deadlines? And why?
  3. Did the communication system with your marketing calendar work?
  4. Does your team have any complaints about your marketing calendar?
  5. Any suggestions for improvements?

My advice on this step is to set up your valuation periods like monthly or quarterly. It is key to keep your marketing calendar records as much as possible for the future. Those notes will be helpful for leading your marketing strategies to success!

9: Upgrade your strategies and editorial calendar

The data-driven approach helps you to classify what needs to be optimized and what is unnecessary in your strategy. So, all you need to do here is to improve your strategies and update the calendar for future use.

If you leverage the data you got from analytics, it could all be resolved. Don’t waste the opportunity to update your strategies and editorial calendar to the next level!

Chapter 5

How to Use Your Marketing Calendar Successfully

Creating a marketing calendar shouldn’t be your final goal.

If you want people to engage with your content, you need to optimize for SEO,  improve your website’s content, check your content’s performance, develop a great publishing strategy and a content promotion one, among many other things.

In this chapter, I’ll share some actionable tips and strategies as to how to use your marketing calendar. Ready?

Content Creation

Content creation is vital for your business to reach and engage your target audience. And this will be the core of your marketing calendar fuel.

However, most businesses struggle to drive people to their web pages and grow.

Today I’m going to show you how to effectively create contents that catch attention online.

SEO Content

When it comes to online contents, you cannot neglect the power of SEO.

If you miss optimizing your contents for SEO, how can your audience find you?

Top 10 On Page SEO Techniques (Backed by Data)
by Ahrefs

This is a very important topic in content creation, so I will explain what you have to do for engaging SEO contents.

There are 6 elements you should take a careful look for on-page SEO:

Title

This is one of the most important elements for your SEO performance.

A title tag displays your page title in SERPs and triggers searchers to consume the contents.

To craft a perfect SEO title, you need to keep several things in mind:

  • Include your keyword
  • Start with your keyword
  • Most search engine cut meta title to 70 characters
  • Make sure your title tag uses H1 tag
Meta Description

Meta description can be your brief summary of a webpage.

Search engines show it of up to 155 characters in SERPs. Write marketing messages that match your content.

Remember to contain your keyword in meta description.

URL (Slug)

Shorter URL improves your ranking on Google.

Keep it SEO friendly and don’t forget to contain your keyword.

Media (visual contents)

Visual contents keep your audience engaged to your messages.

You can provide multiple-media experience like images, charts and videos.

These media improves time on page and reduces your bounce rates.

Be sure to add alt text with your keyword onto your media.

Body

A body of your contents will influence the visibility of your content. It helps you to engage better with your audience. Write as much detail as possible until it makes sense.

The following are key elements you should include:

  • Keyword – An introduction is a great part to get attention. Add your keyword in the introduction to show you’ll deliver what they want to read. It applies to the last paragraph too. Add your keyword in your conclusion. Make sure that you haven’t used the keyword previously.
  • LSI keywords – LSI keywords help search engines figure out what your page is about. Add them into the entire content.
  • Subheadings – Heading structure entertains search engines and your audience. Use them with H tags and make them stand out.
  • Outbound links – Outbound links help search engines to understand the relevancy relationship. Make sure the link has higher authority.
  • Internal links – Adding internal links can boost your SEO. But don’t forget they show your website architecture.
  • Readability – For content success, improving readability is a must. Use bullet points and make your contents scannable.
Website optimization

If you don’t have great contents, you don’t drive traffic. And if your website doesn’t perform well, people won’t stay on your website. Thus, you need to optimize not only the contents but also the website.

To improve your website, you should consider:

  • Develop a responsive design for mobiles and tablets
  • Speed up your webpages
  • Make social sharing easier for your audience
  • Provide user experience
  • Improve accessibility
  • Include call-to-action

You can also improve your website usability for user experience.

Content marketing strategies checklist

Here’re my top 15 content marketing strategies that you can apply today:

  1. Insert your killer CTA that leads the audience to your goal
  2. Develop contents that make your target audience want to share
  3. Spy on your competitors for their traffic sources and strategies
  4. Do your content audit to see what kind of content pages works for you
  5. Conduct enough research for your contents
  6. Add statistics and proof resources to your contents
  7. Add more supporting images and graphs
  8. Use subheadings wisely for readability
  9. Make sharing options easy for your audience
  10. Include lead magnets like cheat sheets and video training
  11. A/B test your headline that converts
  12. Offer multimedia experience
  13. Proofread after giving some time away
  14. Redefine your strategies if needed
  15. Think about mobile users for the length of a paragraph

Publishing Strategy

To publish contents successfully, you need to know when is the best time to publish. This is when your audience is active in your target channel.

Use analytics tools to see when they interact and engage with you. These results should have a great impact on your publishing schedule and performance.

Also, consistent publishing is key to influence your traffic and SEO. Without frequent posting, you will never know what day of the week works. Even your analytics tell you the optimal time to post, many times it works average.

Consistent scheduling helps you to understand what types of contents work and when.

Content Promotion Strategy

How to Promote Your Blog Without Paid Ads | 5 Sneaky Ways to Explode Your Blog Traffic!
by ​Neil Patel

Let’s face this:

Even if your contents reach the right audience, if they don’t engage with your content, your hard work won’t pay off. That’s why you need a strategic content promotion strategy.

When it comes to content promotion, there are many ways to advertise your contents.

  • Social media
  • Your Subscribers
  • Direct Message to influencers
  • Blogger Outreach
  • Contact people who share similar contents on social media
  • Podcast
  • Forum
  • Submit to content share communities
  • Guest blogging
  • Digital Advertising (paid ads)
  • Content
  • Transformation to target other audience
  • Inbound links
  • Search Engines by SEO

In fact, all the strategies above work great if you execute them properly. Try all at once and focus on what’s working for you!

Now that you know how to use your marketing calendar to maximize your marketing efforts. Let’s move on to optimize more your calendar after publishing your contents.

Chapter 6

Optimize Your Marketing Calendar

Publishing contents is not a finish line. It’s time to turn your marketing calendar into your marketing fuels.

In this chapter, let me show you more advanced tips on tracking, improving traffic, etc.

Tracking Marketing Campaigns

Let’s check what’s working or not for you!

Marketing metrics are very important factors for the success of your business. You can measure your performance and develop better marketing strategies with these metrics.

For example, if you want to drive traffic to your website in a marketing campaign. You may want to track the following marketing metrics:

1. Website Analytics

Traffic sources
  • Organic search
  • Direct search
  • Social search
  • Referral search
  • Paid search
  • Email
  • Others
Traffic sources
  • # of sessions
  • Av. of serssions per user
  • Av. session duration
  • Pageviews
  • Unique pageviews
  • Av. of pages per session
  • Bounce rate
  • Exit pages
Behavior flow users
  • User types:
    • New users
    • Returning users
  • Demographics
    • Age
    • Gender
  • Interests
  • Geographics
    • Languages
    • Locations
  • Devices
    • Desktop
    • Mobile
    • Tablet

2. SEO Analytics

Organic search traffic

Organic Keywords

Ranking Position

Click through rate (CTR)

Authority
  • Domain rates
  • URL rates
Sessions
  • # of sessions
  • Av. of serssions per user
  • Av. session duration
  • Pageviews
  • Unique pageviews
  • Av. of pages per session
  • Bounce rate
  • Exit pages

Conversion rates

Page indexed

Crawl
  • Page crawling
  • Crawl errors

Backlinks

Local visibility

Desktop vs Mobile

3. Social Media Analytics

Social Traffic
  • Social networks
Brand awareness
  • Follower growth rate
  • Reach
    • Post reach
    • Potential reach
  • Social share of coice (SSOV)
Engagement
  • Av. engagement rate
    • # of followers
    • # of likes, shares and comments
  • Amplification rate
    •  # of followers
    • # of a post’s shares
  • Virality rate
    • Impressions
    • # of a post’s shares

Social return on investment (ROI)

Conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Click trhough rate (CTR)
  • Bounce rate
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Conversation rate
    • # of followers
    • # of a post’s comments
Hashtag
  • Volume of hashtag mentions
  • Volume of interactions that a hashtag accumulates
  • Social media reach of mentions with a hashtag
  • The most influential users
  • The mos interactive users
  • # of users who reached to a post from a hashtag

4. Email Analytics

Email traffic

Spam %

Engagement
  • Email delivery
  • Open rates
  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Action rate over time
  • Bounce rate
  • Complaint rate
Subscriber
  • Subscriber growth
  • # of unsubscribers
  • Unsubscribe rate

5. Paid Advertising Analytics

Traffic
  • Paid search
  • Impressions
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

Page value

Engagement
  • Clicks
  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Bounce rate
Conversions
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion (CPC)
  • Av. cost per acquisition (CPA)
Lifetime value (LTV)
  • Goal completions per user
  • Pageviews per user
  • Revenue per user
  • Session duration per user
  • Sessions per user
  • Transactions per user

Return of advertising spend (ROAS)

Marketing Campaign Analysis

This will take all your marketing efforts to the next level. If you skip this step, you are losing the opportunities to perform your best.

Marketing analysis is essential to identify problems and opportunities for your marketing. Make sure that you analyze the data as much as possible and improve it if you can.

Those findings will upgrade your future campaigns.

Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

Above all, this is the most important step that improves your marketing efforts.

You might be wondering:
How do you improve your marketing campaigns?

To make it easy for you, here is a checklist for marketing campaign improvement that you can take right away.

  1. Make any adjustments whenever and wherever possible
  2. Conduct alternative strategies for the one that isn’t bringing results
  3. Experiment and switch to other new techniques
  4. Analyze competitors deeply
  5. Target the right audience
  6. Focus on the top performed channels
  7. Add clear call-to-action
  8. Create a landing page
  9. A/B test to find the best headlines
  10. Use Digital Advertising to get the most out of your marketing
  11. Optimize your conversion path (improve your bounce rates and CTR)
  12. Leverage and test hashtags
  13. Maintain a consistent posting schedule
  14. Provide quality (value) contents over quantity
  15. Upgrade your customer services

In fact:

There are many marketing tools that automate those tasks and improve your campaign.

Chapter 7

Marketing Calendar Templates and Software

Now that you know what’s a marketing calendar, how to create one, and how to use it to get optimal results, it’s time I share some useful marketing calendar templates and software to make your job way easier. 

Everybody knows creating your own calendar from scratch takes loads of time. Yet, there are tools at your disposal that can help you save time and improve your outcomes. What are you waiting for to have a look at them?

Free Marketing Calendar Templates

If you don’t have a marketing calendar, you can consider free marketing calendar templates.

Most of the marketing calendar templates are in Excel sheets or Google Sheets formats. They are easy to customize and you can make your own calendar based on them.

Here are my 5 favorite free marketing calendar templates in 2021:

1. Hubspot

Hubspot marketing calendar templates are 3 types of editorial calendars. To get them, you need to fill out your name, email, phone number, website URL, company name, and # of employees.

These templates enable you to customize and add detailed information to make them insightful. So if you’re working as a team, they will help you to improve your content marketing performance.

  • Blog editorial calendar templates (excel, Google calendar, and Google sheets)
  • Social media calendar templates (excel)
  • Editorial content calendar templates (excel)

Hubspot Editorial Calendar Templates

2. CoSchedule

These free marketing calendar templates are in Excel and PDF formats. It requires your name, work-email address, company name, and website. Then you will have extra questions about your company that you need to answer to get their templates.

These templates help you to see in one place everything you’re working on for content marketing. Moreover, CoSchedule has software that gives full visibility and helps to keep projects on track! I’ll give you more details about its software later.

  • 2021 annual content marketing editorial calendar template (excel)
  • 2021 social media editorial marketing calendar template (excel)
  • Annual calendar template (PDF)
  • Idea worksheet template (PDF)
  • Monthly calendar template (PDF)

CoSchedule Anual Content Calendar Templates

3. Bob Angus

Bob Angus provides 4 ungated templates in both excel and Google sheets formats. You can track key activities and check deliverables and status for each piece of content.

Also, you have a content idea tracking template and a list of your best-performed contents. So, it is easier for you to control all the content creation process and improve.

  • Editorial roadmap (excel and Google sheets)
  • Editorial calendar (excel and Google sheets)
  • Idea Tracker (excel and Google sheets)
  • Completed / Published content (excel and Google sheets)

Bob Angus Free Editorial Calendar Templates

4. Vertical Measures

Vertical Measures gives you 3 different types of marketing calendar excel templates. To get them, you need to fill out a simple form – at least you need to provide your name and email address.

These templates allow you to identify who’s responsible for the content and expand your content ideas. You will be able to prepare valuable contents to succeed according to your roadmap.

  • Content roadmap (excel)
  • Ideation (excel)
  • Calendar (excel)

Vertical Measures Content Editorial Calendar Templates

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet offers 9 ungated marketing calendars in excel formats. Depending on what marketing calendar you want to use, you can choose the one that fits your needs better. Since they are all easy to customize, you can manage your activities in an effective way.

  • Simple marketing calendar template (excel)
  • Annual marketing calendar template (excel)
  • Marketing editorial calendar template (excel)
  • Social media marketing calendar template (excel)
  • Blogging editorial calendar template (excel)
  • Email marketing calendar template (excel)
  • Marketing campaign calendar template (excel)
  • Monthly marketing metrics calendar template (excel)
  • Marketing plan calendar with the budget tracker (excel)

Smartsheet Free Marketing Calendar Templates

Marketing Calendar Software

Marketing calendar software saves time for collaboration work and the workflow tracking.

coschedule marketing calendar
CoSchedule Marketing Calendar

I’ll show you 7 marketing calendar software:

1. Airtable

This is a cloud-based collaboration software that organizes projects the way you like. It keeps your team involved and tracks workflow from content creation to publication. So, you can get some help and assign new tasks to writers according to the status. Besides, this tool integrates with most of the apps you use.

Price
  • Freemium
Official Website

2. CoSchedule

CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing platform that organizes all your marketing activities. You can share weekly schedules with your entire team and ensure who’s working on each task. Also, it creates cross-functional calendars and shows you the progress of each task. So, you can set realistic goals and approach the problems to complete on time.

Price
  • Freemium
  • Business/Agency plan starts $80~ per month
Official Website

3. Kapost

Kapost is a content marketing platform that organizes contents by sorting and filtering. Also, it visualizes your content strategies and tracks the workflow. So, you can always execute effectively content marketing. Above all, Kapost integrates with many apps. Thus, you can share these detailed works and communicate with your team in one place.

Price
  • $3,500~ per month
Official Website

4. DivvyHQ

DivvyHQ is a content marketing tool that streamlines your process and improves content collaboration. It allows customized calendar configurations and communication through comments and attachments. It tracks both team and content performance in one place. So that you can increase the productivity of your team and create better contents with teams.

Price
  • $30~ per month
Official Website

5. Markodojo

Markodojo is a marketing management software that increases your team’s productivity. It creates marketing calendars with an easy interface and visualizes the tasks. Also, it allows you to annotate documents and share them with the team. So you can highlight specific modifications and improve them with your team.

Price
  • Freemium
Official Website

6. Trello + Slack

This combination is one of my favorite ways to keep organized and tracked my daily work. If you have already used these apps, why not using them for a marketing calendar use? You can use Trello to map and track your workflows and Slack to share with your team.

Price
  • Freemium
Official Website

Conclusion

That’s it for this Marketing Calendar guide. I just hope you’ve found it useful! 

In this guide, you’ve learned about the importance of using a marketing calendar. What format you use is up to you. Well, it depends on your needs, goals, strategies, etc.

What’s unquestionable is that you can significantly improve your marketing effort if you use a marketing calendar. Since creating a calendar from scratch is feasible but time-consuming, there exist software and templates you can use to make your job easier. 

Now I’d like to hear from you:

What are you doing to manage all your marketing activities?

Are you already using a marketing calendar? What for?

Which strategies from this guide are you going to apply first?

Have you got any questions about this post?

Leave a comment below to let us know!

7 thoughts on “Marketing Calendar: The Definitive Guide & Templates [2021]”

  1. Great article! Surely it will help marketing professionals a lot. I have downloaded Coschedule for content time management. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dominika Buckova

    Hi! Nice article, I wonder if you could share the calendars that you presented in this article like the ”Content Marketing Calendar – Evinex” and the ”Blog Calendar – Evinex”? Thanks

    1. Hi Dominika! I added both calendar templates to the free resources of this article and I have sent you an email with the information 🙂

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