What’s the key to a successful marketing calendar? Planning!
If you don’t have your 2023 marketing calendar set and ready to execute, there’s no time like the present to get it started.
Not sure how? That’s okay.
Today we’ll tell you all about creating a successful marketing calendar for the year, inclusive of holidays, special days, and events to remember.
What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar, among other things, is any marketing strategy’s saving grace. It should cover all of your marketing plans for the year. They range in complexity depending on your needs. You can purchase marketing calendars, find tools to help you create one, or use a basic spreadsheet.
Whatever your format, you should always have included things like:
- Advertising campaigns
- Holidays and important dates
- Company and industry events or trade shows
- Social media campaigns
- Email campaigns or email blasts
- Product launches
- Blog posts
- Lead magnets
- Social media ads
- Other events
Basically, your marketing calendar will display your marketing strategy for the whole year.
Not only does it detail what your marketing activities are, but it should also provide:
- Name of the project
- Go-live date
- Assignees or parties responsible for each step
- Where your deliverables are in the production stream
- All holidays, vacations, events, and financial quarters
- The results of each marketing effort upon completion
When you know that something will be relevant to your audience at a particular time of the year, you can plan accordingly.
Some examples include:
- Writing a blog post about a new product
- Sending out an email about an event
- Scheduling Facebook ads around a promo
Having the ability to look at a calendar and see exactly what’s going on in your company or industry or throughout the nation will alleviate missing out on golden opportunities.
Not sure what’s going on each month? At the bottom of this post, we’ve included holidays and observations to help you plan out your calendar.
What to think about before you create your marketing calendar
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty, ask yourself a few questions about your audience to ensure you’re providing the best possible content for them, your brand, and the search engines.
- What does my target audience (buyer persona) want, need, and like?
- What are my target audience’s interests?
- Where is my audience, and when are they there?
- How do I want my audience to interact with my content?
- What time of the year do I get the most engagement or replies to my CTA?
Understanding your audience is a key element to creating a successful marketing calendar.
Kinds of marketing calendars
What kind of marketing calendar you utilize is just as important as what goes on it. If you’re new to this, you may want to consider trying the free calendars or making one on your own, then upgrade if needed.
Here are a few to choose from:
- PDFs or printouts – these are great to help you start brainstorming out ideas to get you going, but keeping a digital version is much easier to update and keep others in the loop on changes
- Excel Spreadsheets
- Google Docs
- Google Calendars
- Outlook Calendars
- Grab a copy of our Marketing Calendar with Holidays and Hashtags
Creating your marketing calendar
Now that you have the bare bones, you can start filling it in with your company’s content schedule.
If you write weekly blog posts, fill that information in. If you have a monthly newsletter, add it.
Maybe you have quarterly email blasts? Daily social media posts? That should all be delineated. You get the idea.
Next, think about your promotions.
Do you run campaigns during the holidays? Perhaps you have VIP customers you promote to a few times a year.
Plan your strategy, and always be sure to provide enough time for proper management. No one wants to feel rushed through the marketing process. It’s stressful, and your audience may notice.
One of the best things about this process is that you’ll be able to see where gaps in your content are. This is such a great way to come up with opportunities for growth. Have a brainstorming session with your team and figure out how you can fill in those gaps with quality marketing campaigns.
How a marketing calendar helps
Yes, we’ve covered what it is and what you should have on it, but your marketing calendar does a lot for you.
Here are some of its benefits:
- Keeps you organized
- Saves you time
- Helps you maintain consistency with posting
- Keeps you on top of your deadlines
- Provides time for proper review and editing
- Keeps everybody informed of where the content is at any given time
- Shows you what’s happening during that time so you can be relevant with your content
- Allows for think-tanks or brainstorming sessions that up your content game
- Allows for better quality of content
- Allows easy access to how your content is relating to the audience or how the content performed
Depending on how you use your marketing calendar, the benefits are really limitless.
Where to start when creating your own marketing calendar
If you’re into DIY, creating your own marketing calendar that caters to all your needs may be all you need.
You won’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the paid-for calendars provide, but if you don’t need those things, why pay for them?
Grab yourself your free marketing calendar, grab your team, and do this:
- Identify your audience, and where and when to meet them with content they’ll respond to the way you intend (this may take some trial and error, as all SEO does, learning what works and what doesn’t is an ongoing process)
- Invite all parts of your marketing team to give advice, ask them what they want to see on your calendar
- We suggest leaving a space for keywords, making it a no-brainer when your team starts to create the content
- Think about repurposing content and creating evergreen content, and create a home for those items on your calendar
- Prepare to put some time and thought into this in the beginning, but know that it will pay off in the end
Planning for a year of marketing may sound intimidating at first, and we’re not here to minimize that, but once you do it, every year will get easier.
Don’t over-complicate things.
Bend the calendar to your goals, and you’ll be on top of your content all year long.
Before we part, check out the 2023 list below for all the dates you definitely want on your calendar and their hashtags.
2023 National & Global Holiday Calendar Dates with #Hashtags
This isn’t a complete list, but it does include some of the most popular holidays and hashtags.
January 1: New Year’s Day #NewYearsDay
January 4: National Trivia Day #NationalTriviaDay
January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #MLKDay
January 19: Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
January 20: Cheese Lovers Day #CheeseLoversDay
January 24: National Compliment Day #NationalComplimentDay
January 25: Opposite Day #OppositeDay
February 2: Groundhog Day #GroundhogDay
February 4: World Cancer Day #WorldCancerDay
February 9: National Pizza Day #NationalPizzaDay
February 12: Super Bowl #SuperBowl
February 14: Valentine’s Day #ValentinesDay
February 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay
February 20: Love Your Pet Day #LoveYourPetDay
February 21: Mardi Gras #MardiGras
March 3: National Employee Appreciation Day #EmployeeAppreciationDay
March 8: International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange
March 9: Popcorn Lover’s Day #PopcornLoversDay
March 12: Daylight Savings #DaylightSavings
March 13: National Napping Day #NationalNappingDay
March 14: Pi Day #PiDay
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day #StPatricksDay
March 23: National Puppy Day #NationalPuppyDay
March 30: Doctor’s Day #NationalDoctorsDay
April 1: April Fools Day #AprilFools
April 6: National Walking Day #NationalWalkingDay
April 7: World Health Day #LetsTalk
April 11: National Pet Day #NationalPetDay
April 15: National Tax Day #TaxDay
April 16: National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day #PJDay
April 22: Earth Day #EarthDay2023
April 23: World Book Day #WorldBookDay
May 4: Star Wars Day #StarWarsDay & #Maythe4thBeWithYou
May 4: International Firefighters Day #InternationalFirefightersDay
May 5: Cinco de Mayo #CincoDeMayo
May 14: Mother’s Day #MothersDay
May 16: Love a Tree Day #LoveATreeDay
May 24: National Scavenger Hunt Day #NationalScavengerHuntDay
May 28: Hamburger Day #NationalHamburgerDay
May 29: Memorial Day #MemorialDay #MDW
June 2: National Donut Day #NationalDonutDay
June 5: World Environment Day #WorldEnvironmentDay
June 6: Higher Education Day #HigherEducationDay
June 14: World Blood Donor Day #GiveBlood
June 14: National Flag Day #FlagDay
June 18: Father’s Day #FathersDay
June 19: Juneteenth #Juneteenth
June 21: First Day of Summer #FirstDayofSummer
June 23: Take Your Dog to Work Day #TakeYourDogToWorkDay
June 30: Social Media Day #SMDay
July 2: World UFO Day #WorldUFODay
July 4: Independence Day #4thOfJuly
July 7: World Chocolate Day #WorldChocolateDay
July 15: Give Something Away Day #GiveSomethingAwayDay
July 17: World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay
July 30: International Day of Friendship #DayOfFriendship
August 8: International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay
August 9: National Book Lovers Day #NationalBookLoversDay
August 10: National Lazy Day #LazyDay
August 12: International Youth Day #YouthDay
August 16: National Tell a Joke Day #NationalTellAJokeDay
August 19: World Photo Day #WorldPhotoDay
August 26: National Dog Day #NationalDogDay
August 26: National Women’s Equality Day #WomensEqualityDay
September 4: Labor Day (First Monday of September) #LaborDay
September 5: International Day of Charity #CharityDay
September 6: Read a Book Day #ReadABookDay
September 10: National Grandparents Day #NationalGrandparentsDay
September 11: National Day of Service and Remembrance #911Day
September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day #TalkLikeAPirateDay
September 21: International Day of Peace #PeaceDay
September 23: First Day of Fall #FirstDayofFall
September 26: National Pancake Day #NationalPancakeDay
September 27: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day #FitnessDay
September 30: International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay
October 1: International Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay
October 4: National Taco Day #NationalTacoDay
October 5: World Teachers Day #WorldTeachersDay
October 10: World Mental Health Day #WorldMentalHeathDay
October 14: National Dessert Day #DessertDay
October 16: Bosses Day #BossesDay
October 31: Halloween #Halloween
November 1: National Stress Awareness Day #StressAwarenessDay
November 3: National Sandwich Day #NationalSandwichDay
November 4: National Candy Day #NationalCandyDay
November 5: Daylight Saving Time Ends #DaylightSavings
November 11: Veterans Day #VeteransDay
November 13: World Kindness Day #WKD
November 15: America Recycles Day #BeRecycled
November 23: Thanksgiving Day #Thanksgiving
November 25: National Entrepreneurs Day #EntrepreneursDay
November 26: Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall
December 4: National Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay
December 7: First day of Hanukkah #Hanukkah
December 10: Human Rights Day #HumanRightsDay
December 21: First Day of Winter #WinterSolstice
December 24: Christmas Eve #ChristmasEve
December 25: Christmas #Christmas
December 27: No Interruptions Day #NoInterruptionsDay
December 31: New Year’s Eve #NYE
The marketing calendar takeaway
Starting this organizational habit for your marketing efforts is a huge win. It gives you information that will serve you throughout the year. It does take some time to create, and that can be deterring. Don’t let it be! Once you get one or two under your belt, the sky’s the limit for your marketing strategy.
Check out Propel’s 2023 Marketing Calendar so you can make this year your company’s best marketing year to date.