What do communications, social media, copywriting, PPC, events, and SEO have in common? 👀
They all fall under your marketing department umbrella—and likely work around the same calendar.
Your marketing team is bigger than you think, and when you consider the cross-functional projects and team members who play a role in the success of your overall strategy, that pool of members gets even bigger.
This is why it’s crucial to keep an updated and detailed marketing calendar for your organization to access at all times. 📅
Marketing calendars provide a clear overview of all campaigns, tasks, deadlines, and projects to keep the department aligned, organized, and most importantly, not overworked. Beyond the members directly involved, marketing calendars are also an asset for stakeholders, VPs, and other higher-ups to grasp the major milestones and track the marketing team’s overall success.
Whether you’re looking to revamp your current marketing calendar or create one from scratch, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we go deep into the details of everything needed to build the marketing calendar of your dreams.
Find breakdowns of key marketing calendar elements, benefits, templates, and a step-by-step guide to help your department hit its marketing goals. 🎯
What is a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is a detailed schedule of all marketing-related activities—no matter how big or small—and reaches into the foreseeable future.
Creating your marketing calendar is no minor task or one-and-done item per quarter. It takes frequent attention, revisiting, and cross-referencing to make sure the calendar stays up-to-date for those working from it day in and day out. Because your calendar is subject to change and it probably will—a lot.
Deadlines, event logistics, campaign-related tasks, and resource management have an ongoing impact on your marketing calendar. To keep it reliable at all times, a good rule of thumb is to check your calendar often and add any updates the moment they pop on your radar, even a year in advance.
The best marketing calendars give you the key information for all happenings at a glance. They also provide the flexibility to zoom in and out for more detailed breakdowns of a specific day or a high-level glimpse at the rest of the year.
Plus, your calendar should integrate with your most-used tools or even exist within the same platform that houses your daily tasks. This helps you manage your to-do’s and deadlines alongside other significant dates conveniently and efficiently.
Your entire org—or at least the entire marketing department—should have access to your marketing calendar as all of the activities on the calendar should be rooted in your organization’s overall marketing goals and long-term strategy.
Still, there are many ways to build a marketing calendar, and we will walk you through some of the best options to get your creativity moving!
Why do you need a marketing calendar?
Marketing calendars keep your activities organized and support effective marketing project management practices. While it can feel time-consuming to flesh out the bones of your marketing calendar each quarter, it’s an incredible asset that’s well worth the work.
Without a marketing calendar, your department runs the risk of:
- Losing track of events
- Missing deadlines
- Jeopardizing partnerships with clients, brands, or vendors
- Overbooking yourself
- Overworking your team
Marketing calendars also help you better manage unexpected activities across your team. It’s not uncommon for last-minute changes or unplanned events to pop up at a moment’s notice, and having an updated calendar will provide the best insight into your team’s bandwidth and available resources to pivot your strategy as quickly as possible.
Digging a little deeper, a designated calendar also helps teams hold themselves accountable for hitting major project milestones and helps individual members understand how their roles fit into the big picture. Since every event on your calendar ties back to your organization’s larger objectives, it ensures your team can properly prioritize their deadlines and use their time in the most beneficial way possible for the org as a whole.
Bonus: AI marketing software
What needs to be included in a marketing calendar?
The type of events on your marketing calendar will span far beyond major marketing campaigns, conferences, and product launches. Social media posts, blog scheduling, webinars, and design deadlines all have a home on your marketing calendar too.
Plus, part of being a good marketer is being privy to current events, major shifts, and opportunities related to your target audience, so it’s a good idea to include global milestones like holidays and cultural events alongside your content deadlines and promos.
5 common marketing calendar examples
While the entire department benefits from having a marketing calendar, different teams may create their own calendars or work off of a variation of the larger calendar using filtering and sorting to isolate the tasks and events that pertain to them.
There are also several types of marketing calendars to cater to the needs and differences of teams within the marketing department and your organization as a whole. Some of the most common marketing calendars include (but aren’t limited to):
Especially if your business regularly posts on your own blog or contributes to others, content calendars can help you set deadlines, manage your content database, and stay on top of everything you publish—from editorial pieces to email marketing campaigns, depending on the scale at which you’re producing!
Maintaining a blog on its own is a huge lift (trust us) and when you’re scaling the number of articles you’re publishing each month, the content calendar can fill up pretty quickly. Especially when you factor in the other necessary tasks besides simply writing the blog itself like peer editing, SEO updates, image designs, and yearly refreshes.
All of these activities should be easily found and scheduled on your content marketing calendar along with any key information including the name of the blog each task is related to, the writer, other necessary team members, and the status of the action item—it’s a lot to keep track of. That’s why we suggest starting with a pre-built content calendar template to guide your scheduling process.
This Content Calendar Template by ClickUp is both thorough and beginner-friendly. This customizable List is equipped with five custom statuses to track every stage a draft passes through before its published, in addition to seven Custom Fields and five different views to keep all updates organized and easily accessible.
Promotional or campaign calendar
Whether you’re planning upcoming events, special offers, product launches, or public relations initiatives, all related updates can be found on your promotional calendar or marketing campaign calendar.
Like content calendars, the frequency at which you plan these activities will have some impact on what ultimately makes it onto your promo calendar. For example, if you’re part of an event planning agency, then your calendar structure will probably look pretty different than a business that’s centered around a product.
But if the team only attends or plans one major conference per year, then it’s possible those tasks will fall alongside action items for PR, promos, or advertising.
The Campaign Calendar Template by ClickUp is a great resource for getting your promotional calendar up and running. Five customizable views including Calendar, List, and Timeline help managers oversee the progress of multiple marketing campaigns at a time without losing track of their planned schedule.
Plus, Custom Fields adds key information to every task including the target market, budget, goals, and duration to facilitate smooth marketing campaign management.
Social media calendar
Your events, blogs, and promotional offers will likely have social media posts to help spread awareness and reach your target audience, but there’s a lot more behind your organization’s social media strategy than meets the eye.
Your org posts a lot.
Probably a lot more than you think! These activities need a specific social media marketing calendar not only to keep track of the posts that help promote other marketing campaigns but those that simply spread engagement and awareness for your brand.
Not to mention, the number of social media platforms alone can be overwhelming. And while your team likely doesn’t prioritize each platform in the same way, it’s important to properly plan and organize a variety of posts for each channel including photos, videos, threads, or even articles.
Resources like the Social Media Posting Template by ClickUp help teams save time and work faster while establishing a social media presence. This customizable List dives into the details with a pre-built Calendar for all social media activities.
It’s a thorough to-do list to keep track of assignees, approvals, and assets, plus, an interactive Kanban board to manage content for each platform.
Email marketing calendar
Email newsletters and campaigns are cost-effective, measurable, and targeted—a major win for companies looking to grow their customer base without over-extending the budget! Especially if you’re running multiple campaigns at a time, having a designated email marketing calendar can help you track the progress and success of your campaigns from the planning stage through execution.
While many campaigns are planned well in advance, it’s easy for new email campaigns in particular to pop up at the last minute, and having a thorough calendar will help you manage your team and resources as efficiently as possible.
Similar to your social media and content calendars, make sure that you’re adding the proper time and tasks to your email marketing calendar. This should be done for each draft to get the proper amount of peer reviews and proofreading done before hitting send.
Unlike other posts, once you send an email, you’ve lost the opportunity to edit again. That means one minor spelling error or missing section will be set in stone—and no one wants that.
Like blog posts, ads require additional work after the marketing campaign is live. Advertising calendars are a great way to ensure you’re covering your bases before, during, and after the campaign launch.
Even the smallest campaigns must be research-based and tested before they see the light of day, and the proper calendar will help your team stay on track by creating a realistic timeline, setting up analytics well in advance, testing different marketing campaign versions, and more.
With so many moving parts to manage, use the Marketing Ads Schedule Template by ClickUp to itemize and streamline your advertising needs. Oversee the upcoming tasks in your workflow using the pre-built List, visualize your campaigns with ClickUp’s Calendar view, or track the progress of every ad in your pipeline on a customizable Kanban board.
Additionally, you say goodbye to the time-consuming setup. Plug in your campaign information and watch your advertising calendar take shape in ClickUp!
How to Create a Marketing Calendar for Your Team
When you’re starting from scratch with larger tasks, it can be easier to start with your high-level objectives and work down the ladder.
Step 1: Solidify your marketing strategy
First, look at your organization’s existing marketing strategy and consider your larger goals. Are you looking to reduce churn? Reach new customers? Spread awareness for a major re-brand? Maybe all three! Your events, blogs, and campaign cadence should be scheduled in a way that supports those needs.
Step 2: Determine major dates
Once you’ve isolated your big events and milestones to work around, you can then start fleshing out a realistic schedule. Be realistic about your deadlines and try to consider which tasks or projects might be dependent on others being completed first. And of course, don’t forget your people. 💜
Step 3: Identify your key players
Identify the members involved with each activity and bear in mind that the marketing team is big. Your department may consist of writers, video producers, social media managers, event planners, designers, editors, and even contributors from other departments!
Once your team is aligned on your marketing strategy, major events, projects, and key players—it’s time to add it to your marketing calendar app.
Step 4: Choose your marketing calendar tool
Using a dynamic marketing project management software designed to sync your work into fewer channels is hands down the most productive use of your time. This is especially true if you’re wanting to create the marketing calendar of your dreams.
Having your calendar app completely separate from the platforms where your work actually happens makes checking the calendar a serious time suck. And if you’re not able to conveniently cross reference your marketing calendar, the odds that it falls out of date are much higher.
Luckily there are plenty of flexible and intuitive calendar apps available for every budget! The right tool will ultimately come down to the size of your team and the complexity of your marketing strategy, but some of the most used and valuable marketing calendar features include:
- Multiple assignees and watchers to keep everyone involved informed
- Custom statuses to visually and thoroughly convey progress on any task, campaign, or project
- Dashboards and reporting to manage your team’s workload and keep track of your marketing KPIs
- Multiple views (yes, more than just a calendar!) to organize and visualize your workflows in a list, Kanban board, Gantt chart, and more
- Filtering and sorting to quickly find key dates, customize the type of activities you see at any given time, and de-clutter your calendar
- Automations to eliminate the busywork involved in everyday tasks and keep projects moving forward, even if the team works asynchronously
- Multiple integrations with common work tools like Zoom, Google Calendar, Slack, and Excel to sync your calendar with your tech stack or embed important information directly into your calendar for more context
After you’ve chosen the best software to house your activities, always start with a marketing calendar template. This makes sure you’re covering your bases with the right features to build out your campaign timelines, set deadlines, assign tasks, communicate with the team, and link everything back to your trackable goals.
Plus, if you’re using the tool for the first time, juggling several complex campaigns, or trying to teach your team as you go, a marketing calendar template will expedite the process in the most efficient way possible. I.e, using its features correctly and adding as little stress as possible. 🙂
We’ve already given you a ton of templates for different types of marketing calendars, but if you’re looking for one to lay the foundation for creating your marketing strategy and organizing major projects, look for one that is both easy to learn and able to scale as your objectives grow.
Our suggestion is the Marketing Calendar Template by ClickUp for its ease of use, detailed Help Doc, and thorough organizational features.
Apply this List to your Workspace and use the six customizable views to build out your marketing process, organize projects, visualize timelines, and break down your budget. Plus, its six color-coded custom statuses will clearly convey the progress of each task at a glance.
3 Marketing Calendar Templates You Need to Try
Still looking for the perfect template?
Believe it or not, there are even more styles of marketing calendars than those mentioned thus far. And since marketing teams and departments can be structured so differently, finding the right marketing calendar template for your preferred style can be a bit of a challenge.
But you’re in luck! We have three more customizable marketing calendar templates for you to download directly from this article and try for free. 🤩
1. Event Marketing Template by ClickUp
Events of any size are tough to manage. Between vendors, ticket sales, attendees, guest speakers, and budget, it’s important to have a reliable way to organize your event progress in one place. The Event Marketing Template by ClickUp applies a pre-built Folder to your workspace to fulfill this exact need!
Custom statuses and five project views will help you manage team documents, individual events, meeting updates, and your event calendar, but where this template really shines is in the 12 Custom Fields including:
- Attendance Type
- Bills and Receipts
- Primary Marketing Goal
- Leads Goal
2. Blog Editorial Calendar Template by ClickUp
Consistency is key when it comes to publishing new content but getting a blog over the finish line takes a lot more than just writing the draft. Keyword research, peer reviews, graphics, and performance tracking also play a major role in your editorial calendar.
The Blog Editorial Calendar Template by ClickUp organizes all of these tasks on its Kanban-like Board view to help you develop and maintain your content strategy. Plus, three additional views including Calendar, Docs, and List help managers and members stay on top of their workload at all times.
3. Podcast Calendar Template by ClickUp
We’ve leaned heavily into content, email, and product marketing, but for those looking to spread their industry knowledge through podcasts, YouTube videos, and webinars, try the Podcast Calendar Template by ClickUp to organize your research, production, episodes, and more.
Everyone loves the idea of launching a podcast for their brand, but it requires some hefty planning and collaboration to do it well! The seven project views in this template are excellent for breaking down everything from upcoming guests to your show notes, while the 18 Custom Fields add key context to every task.
Still not seeing your perfect template? No problem.
ClickUp’s vast and ever-growing Template Library is packed with customizable templates for any use case. Even if you’re new to the platform, find hundreds of beginner-friendly but detailed templates with guided Help Docs to get your marketing calendar off the ground in no time.
The Secret Behind the Top Marketing Calendars
It’s no secret that we’re huge proponents of investing in the right software to streamline and scale your marketing processes—but not all apps share the same features, ease of use, and flexibility to help your team reach its goals.
For that reason, we suggest using ClickUp to manage your marketing calendars, campaigns, tasks, and analytics tracking.
ClickUp is the only productivity platform designed to power company-wide productivity and centralize all of your work across apps into one collaborative workspace. And it’s as intuitive as it is powerful! With over 15 customizable views to help you oversee your marketing calendar from every angle.
Start from scratch or with one of ClickUp’s many templates to access its rich set of features, 1,000 integrations, and more when you try ClickUp for free today. 🏆
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