Each year we find ourselves here. Wondering where the heck the year went and feeling like we were just getting the hang of things when BOOM! It’s time to plan the strategy for next year! And each year, we put some guidelines together for you to make sure you are up to date on the best practices when it comes to digital. Here is a review of each and some updates to consider as you put together next year’s marketing strategy.
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, pat yourself 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). You can also be doing some tricks on the back end as SEO “maintenance” such as web and article submissions, backlinking, 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 an enormous opportunity here. For those 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” to compete. There are some amazing digital market leaders out there with Snap accounts who are revolutionizing the way information is shared and how 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 concluded 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 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 it 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!
If you focus on these 3 points, you will be right on track for your marketing strategy. I think what will 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. That is where we should keep our interest, how things will evolve for you as a business owner and for us as marketers.
Ready to talk about your marketing strategy? Get in touch so we can come up with a hard-hitting plan for next year.
Also published on Medium.