As a fellow Social Media Strategist and Marketer, I have an immense amount of respect for Bianca and her unique perspective into digital media. So you all can imagine, when she invited me to be a guest blogger in late October, I was more than elated to contribute my marketing insights.
Great, right? Not really. Here’s why: The month is now December, my friends, and time has indeed gotten away from me. Thanks to the multitude of year-end deadlines and the busy holiday season, here we are, less than two weeks away from 2018.
However — busy or not — I’m genuinely passionate about helping my clients, and I know how critical an effective marketing strategy is to any business looking to improve workflow, set measurable goals and maximize profits in 2018.
“Where did the time go?”
I’ve decided to start my guest post with a personal anecdote because I realize this scenario resonates with many small business owners during the holiday season.
You may feel you’re too busy to dedicate a significant portion of time to planning your strategy for 2018, but not doing so now can affect your business’ growth in the New Year.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition in 2018, drive sales and/or grow your audience on social media, read on for tips to develop a succinct marketing strategy before January arrives!
What’s the Barometer of Success?
Increased traffic to your website? Conversions on a specific landing page? A more engaged following on social media? This is important to know before you begin any campaign, as to not lose sight of your goal(s).
Always set your key performance indicators (KPIS) in advance to ensure you have a positive increase on your previous, and current, marketing efforts. KPIS also allow you to be realistic and avoid setting overly-ambitious expectations for the year ahead.
Learn the ROI for Your Company
Big brands sink big bucks into marketing for a reason: they understand the value marketing can bring to their companies. This is why analytics tools to gain customer insights and to measure website, app, digital and/or offline data, are so important for your business.
Having the ability to recognize the monetary value marketing offers your brand, backed by actionable data, is a great way to justify investing more in your marketing efforts for 2018.
Review Your Year in Social Media
Analytics come into play here yet again. Fortunately, platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest provide insights that are easily accessible to measure your performance on social media.
Ahead of 2018, use analytics tools to review what worked on each platform, and what didn’t. Look at top posts and tweets each month to identify trends with your audience. Review which social media marketing campaigns performed best to meet your KPIs and identify the content that best resonates best with your audience.
The first step in your 2018 #MarketingStrategy should be assessing your 2017 one, says @getsocialJenn Click To Tweet
Focus on What You Specialize In, and Leave the Rest to an Expert
Being overwhelmed is not fun, but it’s a necessary evil for many small business owners. Why add another do-it-yourself task to your plate when you can get professional help at an affordable rate? There are a slew of great resources online like, SEOClerks and Fiverr, where you can successfully outsource marketing efforts such as social media coordination, blogging and graphic design at reasonable costs.
Study the Competition
When I ask clients about their competition in the marketplace, I’m sometimes met with a confused facial expression or overconfident, “We don’t have any” response.
I get it, no one wants to believe they have competition when they’re an expert at their craft. However, the reality is that there is always a business that provides a similar product, service or unique offering as yours. Your competitor may even offer it at a more affordable rate than your business does, or provide a first-class customer experience.
While it’s important to focus on measurable objectives, goals and strategies for 2018, you may be surprised at what you can learn by analyzing your competitors. Observe their campaign strategies and see if there is an opportunity your brand may be able to leverage to help you achieve your marketing goals for 2018.