As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good a time as any to think about what has worked and what hasn’t this year in your business marketing strategy. This can give you an opportunity to revamp your marketing strategy ready for the new year ahead.
Every business wants to see leads coming in, but if those leads aren’t seeking what your business is offering, there is no point to them and your efforts have been wasted.
It’s always good to look at what’s around the corner and what’s coming up as new trends, innovations and competitors all play a part in how well your marketing works with your audience.
Take a look back through all your data this year – what can it tell you? As a small business owner, it can be hard to stay on top of marketing objectives but if you’ve played your cards right this year, you’ll see your results clearly and be able to take from it the things that have worked well to be able to replicate and do even better in the future. On the flip side, you can take out the things that have not worked so well and make changes to those processes.
Don’t get stuck into just looking at the data in a single vision tunnel. Use more than one analytical tool to measure your marketing – and don’t just trust Google Analytics! If you’re using third party social tools, many come with analytics or insights. Check these regularly and record the data, or save the reports so you’ve got comparisons throughout the year.
Tip: It doesn’t matter how successful you’ve been this year, it’s always good to tweak processes to ensure success again next year.
Things change year on year. If you have something in your marketing strategy that was good last year, it may not be applicable next year and this is where a revamp comes in.
Goals: Be specific
Ask questions to realise what is important to you and what is / is not working in your marketing so far.
- Are you reaching out to the right audience on the right platform?
- Are you meeting the needs of your audience?
- Who are you competitors and how can you use their business to benefit yours?
- What’s worked best / worst for you this year?
Goals: Put your specifics into targets
Use the specifics in your questions and answers to create goals that you can work towards and are attainable. Setting goals too high can lead to disappointment. Be realistic in your thoughts and plans.
- Increase website traffic by X%
- Reach X% of customers more than last year
- Hit a £XX target by first quarter
- Achieve X% higher engagement rate on social media
These goals need to be monitored on a regular basis, set goals for different periods of the year: Q1, Q2, and check if you are reaching those goals each time. If you’re doing well and over achieving, there’s a window to re assess the marketing plan and set your sights even higher. If things are not working as well as you first thought or assumed, you can revamp to more achievable targets.
What can you look out for within your marketing strategy?
Everyone wants to be on top of what’s to come. This means staying on top new trends. You can achieve this by social listening, connecting manually with businesses and industry leaders on social media and keeping a general watchful eye on the social media channels. They shift very quickly, and all are moving at a pace that can be unexpected in marketing spheres.
Expand your reach with social media
You’ve dabbled in social media marketing this year or in the past and know what it’s capable of which now gives way to you digging deeper into your social media and utilising everything that you’ve learned to reach even further. There is power when it comes to social media marketing and the horizons are bright when it’s used correctly. Create different ways to engage with your audience, that will showcase what you have to offer and what value your business will provide.
Here are some ways to get engagement:
- Seasonal or promotional campaigns
- Surveys / polls
- Ask for topics people would like to read about
- Get website feedback
- Create shareable content
- Use quotes and inspiration content
Attracting customers from an inbound way may sound hard work but actually it’s not if you have everything in place ready and waiting.
Say for example a business is looking for a company to provide delivered lunches to the office, they discuss it within their management meeting and give the task of finding a provider to the office administrator. The first thing they will probably do is Google “delivered lunches to offices in XX town”. If you’ve done everything correctly within your marketing strategy, you should hopefully appear somewhere near the top of that search list.
The website that looks the most attractive with good and detailed information, that are easily contactable, perhaps have a good social media following and can show customer testimonials etc. will probably be the one that will contacted first. All these components together portray a good online image and with no extra effort from yourselves, you have attracted an inbound client.
Therefore, everything needs to be within your marketing strategy from start to finish, not leaving any options out. Website / social media / SEO / content marketing – the whole lot comes together to form your business.
This means ‘search engine optimisation’ and is the optimising of your content so that it appears higher in search engine results. So, if someone is searching for ‘social media agency’, for example, you’d hope that your company lists high up in Google for your business to appeal to those searching. Therefore, your SEO strategy plays a part in your overall marketing plan. Take some time to ensure that all the keywords that people would be searching for when it comes to your business industry or service area, are within your content. This is important on your website, but it’s also important in your social media content too. All content is searchable, and you want to aim for the highest search results possible. This can be maximised by your content marketing.
Content is key! Recent surveys show that businesses who invest in their content marketing have a conversion rate of six times higher of those that don’t. Content marketing relates to blogs, articles, podcasts, video and social media as a vehicle for driving traffic and raising brand awareness.
The Content Marketing Institutes states this: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The key word in this definition is ‘valuable’. This is what attracts and retains a reader and is what turns them into a customer and a long-term client that is sustained. Anyone can post content but is that content worth reading and is it worth looking at the business behind the content? If you can grab the attention of the audience by using key words that trigger emotions, you will create a hook for that person to keep reading.
Give a call to action with your content, once a person has read the value you have, they need somewhere to go next. Can you give that to them or will they hop onto something else?
There is much that can be done to revamp your marketing strategy but it needs to start with good brainstorming and research and come from a passion to really want something to happen. If you do not give your marketing plan 100% focus, you’ll not stay on the right track and will be distracted easily. Take time to perform as much research as you can and to watch competitors as they handle their marketing. What gaps can you see that your competitors are missing that you can use and provide value in? Where do you see your business heading and what do you want to achieve by this time next year?
Need a little help in putting a marketing plan together? Do not fear, you’ve come to the right place! We’d love to help you get organised and with a plan ready to implement. Download our social media marketing calendar first off and then get in touch for an initial chat… start the year as you mean to go on!
If you’re looking to get a clear business focus in 2020 and to put together a social media strategy to lead your business forward, ask us about our WORKSHOPS.