So here we are yet again, it’s that time of year. Summer is over, the kids are back into a school routine, and for some of us the leaves are starting to fall. For those of us who are thinking ahead and sticklers for preparedness, we are evaluating our year in business and starting the process to develop a 2017 digital marketing plan. If you are more of a last minute scrambler, you can always just bookmark this and read it at the end of December. Last year at this time, we published a post about starting your digital marketing plan and we covered 3 main points to focus on. Some of you may have heeded our advice, and even used us to get a strategy in place. Aren’t you glad you did? If not, this is your year to take leverage our knowledge and get ahead of the game. Let’s take a look and see if we need to adjust the strategy recommended last year.
There were 3 components we wanted to make sure you had present in your 2016 plan:
- An updated, responsive and search optimized website
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
Are these 3 points still important a year later? The answer is an enthusiastic and loud, YES! Here is a review of each as well as some updates to consider as you put together your 2017 digital marketing plan.
Responsive, Search Engine Optimized Website
If you didn’t jump on this bandwagon a year ago, then you probably aren’t being served up at all by Google or the other search engines. Not to mention, if users manage to find your website, and they are on a mobile device, and your site isn’t easy to navigate, your potential customers are going to get frustrated and leave. Stop what you are doing, don’t even finish reading this. Call us and make an appointment to get your website updated, for the love of Baby Jesus. I’m not kidding. If you did update your site with a responsive, SEO friendly version, give yourself a pat on the back! You are on top of it! Now you need to make sure you are doing what is necessary to keep the content fresh and updated, or the Google gods will punish you. (See “Content Marketing” below). There are also some tricks you can be doing on the back end as SEO “maintenance” such as web and article submissions, back linking and more. Just because you updated your site a year ago, doesn’t mean it can be left alone. Consistent SEO is key.
Social Media Marketing
There is such enormous opportunity here. For those of us who have been paying for traditional advertising the last couple of decades, social is the most cost effective and targeted way to go. Not to mention, this is where you can add some personality to your business online, converse with your customer base and invite new customers to try you out. If you haven’t been paying attention, Facebook is on the run after Google and they have the cash to do it. Facebook is becoming its own search engine with data and demos that would blow your freaking mind. And Facebook is just one of many. Snapchat (now being re-branded as Snap) has made huge strides this year in connecting with Millennials and smart companies are paying attention. Instagram (owned by Facebook, BTW) added “stories” in an effort to compete. There are some amazing digital market leaders out there with Snap accounts who are revolutionizing the way information is shared and the way brands are built. Even if millennials aren’t your target audience, you should check it out, Snap is on the move with over 150 million daily active users, and they are preparing for an IPO. Plus, there are fun filters you can use on your selfies. Here’s an article on Snap to get you up to speed.
Yes, content is still King. This past year, you may have come to the conclusion that bringing blogs and newsletters in-house (oh, we can just all take turns blogging each week, it will be grrreaaat) hasn’t resulted in consistent or effective content building. Both are required if you want it to work. Stop it, just stop it. Hire a professional writer to get a couple of blogs out there for you each month, let them provide professional writing for your white papers and newsletters and quit pretending you are any good at this stuff. This content has legs, you can post it on other blog sites, social media and share among your own audience. I even have some clients that use their blogs as material for sales collateral. It works and it’s worth it!
Our 3 points from last year are still very relevant if not more so, this year. I think what will to happen in the years to come is that “digital” marketing will not even have its own distinction, and “traditional” marketing will become obsolete. Not to say that advertising on TV or radio or even print will stop, it will simply all merge into one. Even now, smart media companies are offering packages that encompass it all, and that is where we should keep our interest, how things will evolve for you as a business owner and for we as marketers.
Ready to talk about your 2017 digital marketing plan? Get in touch so we can come up with a hard hitting strategy for next year.