It’s that time of year again when we take time to reflect on the past year, and are usually left pondering some areas where we came up short. It’s the perfect time to make some New Years Resolutions. Setting goals should be something we do year round, but New Years Resolutions seem to yield an unusually strong power or influence over us. So why not tap into that. Instead of falling back on the same old resolutions you always make, why not make some resolutions for 2016 that will up your marketing game and put more dollars in your pocket?
- Re-examine your audience
Most business people think they know their customers really well, but be careful not to make assumptions. Before launching into your strategy for the New Year, it’s important that you take the time to carefully examine your audience. It’s critical that you understand who your prospective clients are and hone in on exactly what motivates them. Otherwise you may think your marketing is speaking to them, but you may be missing the boat entirely.
- Develop a content strategy
Ever wonder what separates the best marketers from the rest of the pack? Is it their creativity, intelligence or years of experience? Actually, it’s simpler than you think. The most effective marketers have a plan. They don’t just mindlessly create and share content. They come up with a well thought out content strategy that is laser focused on both their demographic and the specific results they are looking to achieve. They don’t just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks, or go through the motions hoping to see results. They first take the time to carefully strategize and plan, and even once the wheels are in motion, they continue to test, measure and tweak to improve.
- Commit to test and measure
Developing a content strategy and seeing it through is simply not enough. Things are in a constant state of ebb and flow and while most of us believe we have keen insight into what works and what doesn’t, the only way to know for sure is to pay attention to the results. The best marketers understand it’s naïve to rely on gut instincts alone. Challenge yourself in the New Year to continually test, measure and improve. This could be as simple as sending out an e-blast with 2 different subject lines and seeing which one gets opened more. Make sure to keep track of what works so you can leverage it to continually improve and refine your approach.
- Write a blog a month
Blogging is an absolute must for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While it’s ideal to be blogging once a week, not everyone has the resources to make this happen. Challenge yourself to be writing at least 1 blog a month. Your website visitors and search engines will love the fresh content on your page and your blogs are also a great source of shareable content for social media. Want to write blogs that will catch people’s attention and actually be read? Try to put yourself in their shoes. What challenges are your readers facing and how can you help enrich their lives. This could be educating them on insider tips and tricks, motivating them in some way or just making them laugh. Regardless of your approach, just ask yourself before you start writing, what is my goal and objective here? This will help set the tone for a great blog.
- Up your engagement on social
Want to get more engagement on your social media accounts including more likes, shares, comments, clicks and follows? Well the only way to achieve this is to increase your engagement as well. Passively posting and waiting for people to engage with you is one of the biggest mistakes people make on social media. It’s an online community and you need to actually engage with people if you want them to engage with you and your brand. Commit to spending just 15 minutes a day engaging with other people and their brands. Leave a nice comment on someone’s post, share someone else’s post that is relevant to your business or follow back one of your followers. You’ll be surprised at what just 15 minutes a day can do for your business.
- Try advertising
Has online advertising peaked your interest, but you haven’t taken the plunge yet to try it out. Why not give it a go in the New Year? Start off slow with some basic ads. You could try a page like campaign on Facebook to get more fans for your business page. Or try boosting a couple of your Facebook posts to widen your reach. Or drive more traffic to your site with a couple simple text or display ads on Google. These aren’t hard to set up on your own but the key is to do the research on the types of keywords, phrases and imagery that will yield the best results. And always remember to split test. Test a couple of different ads and make sure you are just changing just one variable so you can pinpoint exactly what works and what doesn’t. If it becomes overwhelming, then you can always call in the pros to do it for you.
Hope these tips will make you that much more effective with your marketing efforts in the New Year. Wishing everyone the utmost success and prosperity in 2016. Have any marketing ideas of your own for the New Year? Connect with us on Facebook and share it with us!
Stephanie Miles, Director of Digital Marketing