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The most successful eCommerce businesses make a name for the company and attract loyal customers, in part, because of a well-established brand. Building a brand can be more difficult than most business owners think. You want to make your company more than just a business providing products or services — a brand should encompass a lifestyle that resonates with your target demographic.

To fully flesh out your brand identity and make it as comprehensive as possible, it helps to develop and implement a marketing calendar. Follow these expert eCommerce marketing tips to begin planning your marketing campaigns in 2019.

What Is a Marketing Calendar?

A marketing calendar is essentially an all-inclusive plan for how to market your business, which may include running promotions, introducing new products or simply spreading brand awareness. Your marketing calendar can include many things, like launch dates for upcoming products, social media post schedules and content guidelines.

Most business owners create their marketing calendar in a spreadsheet with columns for every aspect of a marketing campaign. On your spreadsheet, you should include specific dates — for example, the start and end date for a sale or the date on which you plan to post to social media.

Why Do You Need a Marketing Calendar?

Creating a marketing calendar lays a foundation for how to run your eCommerce business and keeps you on track to identify and reach specific goals. It may also assist you to recognize weak points in your current marketing strategies. Utilizing a marketing calendar makes it much easier to track the success of your business and highlight areas of improvement.

Steps for Launching a Marketing Campaign

Establish Clear Goals

Before creating your marketing calendar, spend time writing down specific goals for your marketing campaigns. Are you hoping to bring in new customers? Retain current ones? Maybe your goal is to improve overall revenue or increase sales in a specific product line.

Determine which of these you’re aiming for (feel free to create multiple goals) and write them down. Then, build your calendar off this information, only including actions that will help to reach the desired results.

Identify Your Target Market

Now that you have determined the goals of your marketing campaigns, it’s time to focus on your target audience. First, consider what types of products your eCommerce business is selling and who might be attracted to these items. Then, delve into your analytics and learn more about where your customers live and their average age.

This will give you a better idea of your most profitable demographics. Most companies have several audiences, which you can group together by location, age or interests. Understanding your customers is essential because it will help you determine the best methods of reaching them online. For example, if your business attracts younger people, then you may want to consider putting more time, energy and money into your social media marketing campaigns.

Plan in Advance

In order to run a truly successful marketing campaign, you need to give yourself plenty of time to plan. Typically, one to three months is a reasonable amount of time to research and organize a campaign, depending on the breadth and purpose.

Because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are such huge shopping events and can bring in a large chunk of your annual sales, you want to give yourself more time to develop these marketing campaigns. In 2018, Cyber Monday shattered all records by bringing in $7.9 billion in revenue, while Black Friday raced to a close second with $6.22 billion. Industry experts only expect those figures to keep rising in 2019.

For other shopping events, like back-to-school shopping, you can usually develop a strategy in less time, but don’t try to create and implement a plan the week before the target date. Give yourself several weeks to determine goals and carefully think through advertising methods and platforms.

Select Platforms for Your Marketing Campaigns

Choosing where to advertise your marketing campaign is an essential eCommerce marketing tip. As mentioned, younger shoppers tend to use specific social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, more so than other generations. If this is the audience your marketing campaign is targeting, then you’ll want to look into which platforms would be more beneficial to reach the most people to maximize revenue.

Email marketing is another vital aspect to your marketing calendar. You should plan how often you want to send emails, determine the exact date the emails will be sent and outline the content for each campaign. You may even want to identify smaller, specific goals for each message you send.

Include Regular Accountability Touchpoints

Once you’ve created your marketing calendar, you need to track the results to understand if your plan is effective. If you notice that you’re not meeting your goals as expected, you can tweak your campaign to generate better results.

A marketing touchpoint is defined as any opportunity for a business to connect directly with a consumer, whether that be through email, social media, face-to-face interaction or other forms of advertisements. In the case of eCommerce companies, most of these touchpoints will be from online advertising.

Using analytical programs, you can determine how consumers are interacting with your campaigns. Your key metrics will help you measure whether you are creating a memorable customer experience through your marketing touchpoints.

If you would like help leveraging your marketing efforts in the New Year, schedule a full demonstration with the Springbot experts. We are happy to harness the power of our eCommerce marketing platform to help give your business an edge over the competition.