As 2019 comes to a close, now is the time to start thinking about your marketing strategy for the coming year. What’s been working well? What hasn’t? What new tactics will you try in 2020?
Of course, we’re happy to help you come up with a comprehensive marketing strategy for your business, but if you’d like some advice to do it yourself, follow this convenient guide.
As I explained in this blog post, Why and How to Include Content Marketing in Your Strategy:
Review your previous marketing strategy before you begin making future plans.
Before you can figure out where you’re going, take a look at where you are. What were your goals for 2019? Did you achieve them? In addition to your marketing strategy for this year, think about the specific tactics you tried. How did they work out?
Did you include defining your target audience as part of your content marketing strategy? Do you have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach? Make sure this target audience is clearly defined and you’re continuing to learn about them. Ask yourself:
After you’ve established how 2019 went, it’s time to look ahead to 2020. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? Make sure that you set goals that are SMART to drive your marketing strategy:
Which tactics will you include in your 2020 marketing strategy?
This is the time you’ll come up with specific ways you’ll achieve your goals. For each goal, write down the activities you think will get you there (see below for a few suggestions). For example, if you want to increase your website traffic by 10 percent, you may want to focus on:
Although you may have all sorts of fantastic ideas, if you don’t factor your budget into your marketing strategy, you won’t be successful. Although you may not be able to do everything you’d like, by considering your target audience, SMART goals, budget, time and resources available, you should be able to narrow down your focus to tactics that are realistic for your business.
Write each month of the year at the top of a list and then list the tactics you plan to employ during the month underneath it. This helps you visually see how many different marketing activities you’re committing to take on each month.
Once you’ve drafted your marketing strategy, type it out month-by-month in more detail so it’s easy for you to see which activities you need to do when. If you have others helping you, make it clear which tasks are their responsibility as well.
Your marketing strategy is useless if you don’t follow it. Write down which individual activities to do and when you plan to do them in your calendar or planner. Establish deadlines and stick to them!
Your analytics can provide valuable insight for your marketing strategy.
Each month, go through your various points of data collection to take a look at how you’re doing. Check your Google Analytics, email open and click through rates, social media insights, etc.
Also make a note to evaluate your marketing strategy toward the end of June. At that point you can do a full review to see what’s working well and what isn’t. It may be a good time to shift focus from one area that isn’t performing well to an area that is.
It can be hard to know which strategies to use to achieve your marketing strategy’s goals. Here are a few common tactics that we’ve seen work well across a wide variety of industries:
The primary benefit to blogging for your business is that it can drive additional traffic to your website (which is likely a goal for your marketing strategy). By publishing quality, helpful posts at the same day and time each week, you show the search engines that your website is high quality and helpful for internet users, which can greatly increase your ranking in search results. Because the best way to write for search engines is to write quality posts, your content should already be helpful to your target consumers. Your blog can also establish you as an expert and provide a fantastic forum for customer care.
Advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or LinkedIn can be a very affordable way to increase your reach across the platforms. As long as you target the ad correctly, write a compelling update and use an engaging visual, this tactic can greatly increase your visibility to new potential followers. In fact, Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms actually weight posts from advertisers, so if you’re spending money on ads, chances are your organic posts will be more visible too. It’s a win-win for your marketing strategy!
Social media marketing is a valuable tactic for your marketing strategy.
Even if you don’t pay for social media advertising, maintaining a presence on the platforms your target consumers use can be extremely helpful. In addition to providing a forum for you to connect with users that are interested in your business and industry, your social media channels are a fantastic opportunity to remind consumers about the services you offer, your expertise and that you care about them. They can also be fantastic for increasing website traffic and SEO, as well as providing excellent and attentive customer care.
Email marketing continues to be an important component to a successful marketing plan. Research shows:
To reap the benefits of email marketing, you don’t need to pour all your resources into it. A monthly e-newsletter alongside other tactics can be a fantastic marketing strategy to increase your website traffic and credibility with your consumers, as well as name recognition and brand awareness. A brief email with helpful articles, links, etc. can be another great reminder for your target consumers to contact you and find out more about your products and services.
Here’s how press releases can help your marketing strategy.
As long as you have something newsworthy to share, press releases can be used in a few ways. If you release them on the wires, they can provide hundreds of links back to your website, increasing your search engine optimization and your website traffic. If you send them to specific media contacts, and if the news truly is important to their readers, they may choose to write about your company and introduce your business to even more possible customers. The key to make this a successful part of your marketing strategy is sharing something newsworthy!
Despite the growth of digital media, consumers crave connection. An event can be a fantastic way to interact with your customers face-to-face, and depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you might even be able to get some editorial media coverage out of it. As you consider creating an event as a way to connect with your consumers, think about ways you can give them an unforgettable experience with your brand.
It can be exciting to see you your business’ name in the press! In addition to providing yet another way for potential consumers to see your company, editorial media coverage is a third-party endorsement from the journalist, telling their readers, viewers and listeners why they should consider your business. This carries a lot of weight! In addition, if the coverage runs online, the reporter will likely include a link to your website, which can make a positive difference for SEO and your website traffic.