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Build Your 2020 Digital Marketing Plan

There is one primary workbook we utilize for each client throughout the year: the annual digital marketing workbook. This masterpiece of collected information not only helps us prepare for the coming year, it transitions seamlessly in to our blog and social media planning workbook once the new year begins!

This post is going to take you behind the scenes on how we prepare for the new year for each one of our clients, and we’ll even share with you the exact template we use so you can try it out for your business.

The Workbook Template

Our templates are built on Google Drive to allow for easy access and collaboration for both our team and our clients. We do this for four reasons:

  1. It works for both PC and Mac users.

  2. Not everyone has Microsoft Office products installed directly on their computer, or available through Microsoft Onedrive.

  3. Google access is free, so it works for all budget sizes and has no limit to the number of users our clients can have collaborating on our shared projects.

  4. Multiple users can be working in the same document or workbook at the same time.

Tip: Don’t want to use your personal email for work stuff on Google Drive? Create a free Google account using your work email! You’ll get all of the great Google products, minus the Gmail inbox.

Interested in learning about G Suite, Google’s business solution? Check out the information on our Resources page!

Ready to check out our template? Click here! Be sure to follow the instructions to create your own copy, or you won’t be able to edit it.

This marketer's favorite design joke.

Getting Started

The workbook has seven worksheets, or tabs, for you to navigate. You’ll find them just above the bottom of your browser window.

Start Here:

This worksheet includes step-by-step instructions on how to create a copy of this template. The worksheets within this template are all protected to avoid any accidental changes or alterations, so you will need to create your own copy before you can start using it.

Annual Overview:

This becomes the basis for our annual plan, and it’s reusable! Add your business’s top holidays and key dates for the year, and copy this worksheet’s contents for future plans so you have everything all in one place!

Information to include:

  • Monthly Themes - Jot down some ideas for monthly themes that coincide with your sales and promotional trends for the year. These can help direct your email marketing and blog content calendars, and will help you target applicable “marketing holidays” to boost your social media calendar.

  • Major Holidays - Here you can capture mainstream holidays that your country (and your business) recognize year after year. For us in the US this usually includes holidays like New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, etc. Religious holidays like Easter, Hanukkah and Christmas should be included, if your business publicly celebrates them.

Tip: By just listing the holiday and not the specific date, you don’t have to worry about the information being incorrect for future years if the calendar date of the holiday moves from year to year, like Easter, Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • Minor Holidays - Here you can capture special events that your business celebrates like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, your business’s anniversary, etc.

  • Notes - Draft key notes and operations information here such as special holiday hours or planned closures so they can be included in your communications plan for the year.

Blog 2020:

Most businesses don’t blog daily, but our blog tab includes the full year so you can customize as appropriate. Only posting once a week or twice a month? Pick your publish dates and remove the rest for a clean and easy worksheet to plan from.

Then start drafting content ideas based on your monthly themes, so when it comes time to write the posts you already have a general idea on the topic!

Tip: The Occasion column (Column B) is the same for the Blog, Facebook and Instagram tabs. We recommend filling in your major and minor holidays from the Annual Overview tab, along with any marketing holidays you want to capture, on one of these sheets and then copying and pasting this column in to the other two worksheets before removing any rows. Do the work once and benefit from it thrice!

Facebook & Instagram 2020:

These worksheets are designed for advanced social media planning, where one or more members are drafting posts that get approved by another party. It works equally well for a solo user who likes to be organized, too!

By batching your social media posts - doing multiple at once - you don’t have to disrupt your schedule each day to craft a daily social media post, or worry about large gaps between posts because you get busy with other things. Unless a time sensitive topic comes up, we are usually able to plan posts for a brand 1-2 weeks out in a single session. This includes researching the pages or profiles we want to tag within each post, and the relevant hashtags to use for Instagram.

By drafting posts here in advance and adding the planned links or visuals directly to the spreadsheet, it makes it easy to:

  • Collaborate on your post schedule,

  • See how the flow of your content will go,

  • Allows you to easily reuse content and concepts, and

  • Helps you remember key holidays and other upcoming events that you want to include in your conversation.

Plus, once all are drafted you can simply copy and paste the copy into your favorite social media scheduler! We’ve written about our favorites here, and did an overview of Facebook’s Creator Studio here.

Tip: When dropping the photos you will use into the worksheets, be sure to insert them “in to the cell” and not “over the cell” - and only place one photo per cell. The difference? If you place them “in the cell”, when you hide rows the images will be hidden as well. If you put them “over the cell”, when you hide rows all of your images end up clustered at the top of the spreadsheet. We made this mistake so you don’t have to!

Then when a new month begins, hide the rows of the old month so you don’t have to scroll down to find the current content. At the end of the year you have a comprehensive collection of your social media posts for the year!


This is a simple worksheet for drop-down menu options. We started with the Status options for the blog and social media tabs, but you can easily add others that you want to incorporate in your customized workbook!

Here are some helpful resources to help you get started with customizing your 2020 digital marketing plan:

  • National Day Calendar - Our favorite go-to resource for random social media marketing holidays! They have a printed calendar that you can order for your office that made our list for unique gifts, or you can peruse their diverse collection of holidays to find ones that are a good fit for your business.

  • - They have a comprehensive list of US holidays for 2020. View it here, or find your country’s list of holidays here.

  • Monthly Themes - There are two different resources you can use for monthly theme inspiration. One is National Day Calendar, found here. Select the month you are interested in, and choose to view “National Month Observances. A second resource is by Dummies, and has some awesome monthly content ideas for inspiration in an easy-to-view format.

We hope you enjoyed coming behind the scenes and seeing how we prep for the new year with our partners. Have any ideas on how we can improve for the 2021 planning session? Let us know!


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