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How to Create a Marketing Calendar to Keep Your Association Organized

Marketing Audra Hopkins

As an association, having a solid marketing strategy is a must. But what are you doing to keep your marketing efforts organized?

With so much of your time and money being put into marketing materials, it’s important that you make sure things get promoted and published at the right time and in the right manner. Without keeping track of marketing, you could be wasting money- and a lot of it (after all, Business 2 Community reports that by next year, the average spending on digital advertising and marketing will skyrocket to $110 billion).

Your association’s marketing should speak for itself and get the job done with no hassle, and with a marketing calendar in your association’s toolbelt, it’s easier than ever before. So, we’d like to teach you how to put together the best marketing calendar to keep your team on track.

If you’re looking for a better way to keep your marketing schedule locked down and attract more attention to your association, we’ve got you covered.

Calendars: Why they work

You may be wondering, why should your association be focused on a calendar? Is this the best way to keep track of projects?

While every organization may find different methods that work for organization, a marketing calendar is a classic strategy that gets the job done. It allows you to keep all projects and tasks in one place, share your calendar with other members on your association’s team, and set due dates for when things need to be finished, released, and double checked.

It also allows you to free up time in your schedule. As an association professional, you’re most likely dealing with a full plate of tasks and meetings each day. But with your marketing materials scheduled and under control, you can use the time you would normally allot for marketing work to other areas of your day, allowing you to better manage your workload.

Need another reason? It’s also a great way to promote team collaboration.

If you’re using an online task managing calendar like Asana or even sharing your Google calendar, you have a great tool in front of you to get your whole team together on the same marketing project and get the job done on time.

Calendars are a tried and true method for ultimate organization and schedule management. And now that we’ve gone over a few great reasons to incorporate a calendar into your marketing work, let’s go over some best practices you can use to make sure your marketing calendar is optimal.

1. Try a template

If this is your first time using a marketing calendar, it may be helpful to look into different templates to use.

By using an excel template, your association has a way to create a highly detailed marketing calendar that covers every task. You can organize any goals and deadlines you have going, share this excel sheet with your team, and have a document that everyone can easily understand and collaborate on. Trying a template can save you the stress of having to create a calendar template of your own.

With templates ranging from simplistic to detail oriented and complex, there are tons of options available for anyone looking to organize their marketing materials online. Smartsheet has a great list of marketing templates for any association looking to get their hands on one.

2. Split your calendar into categories

Odds are, your association has a lot of different marketing campaigns. After all, you’re a jack of all trades- and you have a lot going on for members and audiences to enjoy.

From events, to advertising, to social media and all other campaigns in between, there can be a lot of sides to your association’s marketing “coin”. And if you can split them up into their respective categories, you’ll have a better chance of micro managing each marketing campaign.

Consider making multiple marketing calendar pages for each campaign to keep things separate and tackle each campaign on its own. Or, you can assign marketing team members to different campaigns and have each section create their own calendar to work on. There are multiple ways to divide the organization, so choose the one that works best for your staff.

3. Plan important marketing dates

Be sure your marketing calendar is chock full of the most important dates for your association.

You want to keep track of any milestones, anniversaries, or days to celebrate that could be potentially important to your marketing team. For example, the day your event gets announced, your association’s birthday, content teaser release dates, and anything else that deals with marketing to your audience.

By listing out all important dates, you’ll never be surprised when one sneaks up on you. This way, you’ll have your marketing materials ready to be sent out and enjoyed by all that see them. Lay all of your deadlines and dates on the table and work from there.

With a properly executed marketing calendar, your association can create a much more cohesive and organized marketing strategy while freeing up more time to succeed in other areas.

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