Whether it’s for a seasonal campaign or a years-long rebranding initiative, a marketing campaign works best when there’s diligent, intentional, and thorough planning involved.
Marketing planning is an essential and multistep process that an organization must undertake if it wants its initiatives to succeed. Getting the necessary people, resources, money, and software in line to promote the right messages at the right time is what marketing is all about — and this alignment doesn’t happen by accident.
The process can be overwhelming, given that there are so many moving parts. That’s why many companies rely on marketing planning templates to help them get the job done. These templates provide a unified approach to planning a marketing project so that nothing’s left unconsidered.
Benefits of marketing planning templates
- They’re customizable. The best marketing templates allow for easy changes and adjustments so that you can use them to benefit your organization.
- They’re repeatable. Once you perfect the functionality of a template, you can simply duplicate it and start a new project from scratch with a proven planning framework.
- They’re thought-provoking. When working with a professionally made template, you might be prompted to think of an aspect of the project you hadn’t considered before.
- They’re universal. Marketing planning templates can be used for nearly every initiative imaginable in marketing — from email planning, to social media planning, to planning a website or a brand redesign.
With these factors in mind, here are five marketing planning templates you can start using today.
5 types of marketing planning templates
1. Marketing plan template
It all starts here. The central marketing plan is the foundation for all other marketing activities. Plus, it has a proven track record, as marketers who document their strategies are 538 percent more successful than those who don’t. A good marketing plan template should prompt you to think through every part of the project your campaign is focusing on, including
- Goals and purpose
- Team and responsible stakeholders
- Creative assets
- Timeline for deliverables
- Budget considerations
- Projected ROI
Example: HubSpot’s marketing plan template
HubSpot’s marketing plan template is a downloadable, customizable Google Doc. The template is full of tables, section prompts, and examples to help you build an all-encompassing marketing playbook for your business.
Example: Jotform’s marketing plan template
As one of the tools in the Jotform Tables feature set, this template helps you outline your time-sensitive projects in an itemized way while highlighting responsible team members, status updates for each task, and due dates.
2. Social media calendar template
Balancing the content that goes out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more — and ensuring each message is targeted to each platform — involves a clear understanding of your audience. Naturally, it also involves a ton of planning, particularly as you try to balance promoting company news with more socially engaging content.
Enter the social media calendar template. This template helps your social media team plan weeks or even months ahead of time for the right mix of product announcements, self-published content, or sharing of timely content on your company’s social media pages.
Example: HubSpot’s social media content calendar template
HubSpot’s social media calendar template provides a month-by-month view for the user, as well as a day-by-day view for each channel that you utilize for social media. You can use these tabs to note the time, copy, links, and even images you want to share with your audiences. This calendar also syncs with HubSpot so that you can automatically upload your scheduled social media posts to your social sharing platform.
Example: Jotform social media calendar template
Jotform’s social media calendar template is a great collaboration tool for a team with multiple social media employees. It includes an “events and celebrations” tab where you can reference any major upcoming events on your social channels. Finally, you can upload any visuals for social to the “content details” tab to ensure you’re publishing the right content.
3. Editorial content calendar template
Your company likely produces blog posts, e-books, webinars, and other types of content regularly. However, less than half of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy.
One of the quickest ways to plan your content is with an editorial content calendar template. Usable for any type of content, this template helps your team plan content campaigns and blog posts far enough in advance to make sure the research, copywriting, and design are of the highest quality.
You can also use a content calendar to tie any supporting content to a larger company initiative. For example, if your company is launching a new product line, you might use your calendar template to plan for a series of blog posts and an e-book about the importance of that product.
Example: Jotform content calendar template
Jotform’s content calendar template helps you sort your content by headline, publish date, link, and even social media captions, with the option to add more columns to fit your needs. You can also use this template when working with freelance writers, and update the status of their hours and payment.
Example: HubSpot editorial calendar template
HubSpot’s editorial calendar template is an Excel-based template that outlines your content’s due date, publish date, author, title, keyword, persona, CTA, and more. It’s easy to share and scan, simplifying your content team’s process and information flow.
4. PR tracking template
A PR tracking template keeps your branding and media teams organized.
As your company scales, you’ll need to keep track of your outreach, placements, and mentions for major publications. Otherwise, you can quickly become disorganized, which can not only disrupt your team’s efficiency but also damage your company’s name with many of these outlets.
Using this template helps you put your best foot forward when working with external PR professionals.
Example: Jotform PR tracking template
Jotform’s PR template allows you to keep track of your placements — specifically, the status of your outreach, the visibility of your placements, key contacts at different publications, and important links. It’s a helpful tool for your PR department to rely on as a universal reference point for your outreach.
5. Email marketing planning template
Email is still one of the most powerful marketing channels out there — and for good reason. Companies use email to engage their contacts and nurture them into paying customers when the time is right. However, there are multiple considerations when it comes to effective email marketing, including
- Email recipient list segmentation
- Email type (subscription, promotional, etc.)
- Email engagement metrics (open rate, CTR, etc.)
- Email send time and date
Tracking and analyzing these pieces of data will empower email marketing managers to send the right content to the right contacts at the right time. That’s why an email marketing planning template is so important.
Example: HubSpot email marketing planning template
The benefits of HubSpot’s email marketing planning template are two-fold. First, it’s a proactive template that helps you schedule emails for specific personas and campaigns, create the best copy, and ensure the right recipients are targeted. Second, it includes sections for success metrics like open rate, click rate, and CTR to help inform your email strategy moving forward.
Staying ahead of the curve
These examples are just a few use cases for digital marketing planning templates in your business — but regardless of the platform or channel, the point remains the same. Marketing planning templates offer immense benefits in terms of strategy, resourcing, timing, and team alignment, so take the time to download and customize a planning template for your next marketing initiative.