Everyone wants to start 2017 strong. So If you haven’t already sorted your marketing strategy for the year and want to see even better marketing results this year, you’ll need to get your strategy together fast.
It may seem late in the game to be getting a new marketing strategy together, but there is definitely still time to create a solid marketing plan for 2017. Here are some guidelines to help you check all of the boxes on your strategy and make your business even more successful in 2017.
Look back to last year
The best place to start planning for the year is to look at the past year. What did or didn’t happen will give you a good idea of what you should try to achieve in the coming year. Did you make your sales goals, did you get enough leads? Did your company achieve its growth goals? These questions aren’t going to give you the specifics of your new marketing strategy but it will give you a good place to start identifying what is possible and where you need to focus your efforts.
Define your goals for 2017
Unlike the new years resolutions that many people have already given up on, you need to think about realistic end goals for your business that you can genuinely achieve. If you already have business goals you can use these to guide your marketing strategy. After all, you want your marketing goals to align with overall business goals. If you want to increase the number of larger contracts you achieve this year, or if you are aiming to improve the relationships you have with existing customers to reduce contract cancelations, these things should influence your marketing strategy.
Now, setting major goals for the year may seem daunting but, the key is break the goals down into smaller more manageable milestones. These key goals should give you a guide of what you need to be doing throughout the year.
So if we say that your key goal is to improve the relationships you have with your customers to reduce contract cancelations, your sub goals for this could be:
- To develop 4/5 pieces of content specifically for your existing customer
- Update current clients about your business with a monthly email newsletter
- Run a social media campaign around your portfolio praising and promoting your current clients
Figure out your message
It may sound simple, but if you don’t know what your marketing message is, how do you expect your audience to engage with you? Creating clever and informative content helps you to build strong relationships with your potential clients and can help you turn prospects into very happy clients so this should be core to your 2017 marketing efforts. Before churning out a bunch of meaningless content, think back to your goals and what you actually want your audience to do when they have finished reading your latest blog or graphic. Also, make sure that your content isn’t always targeting people at the start of the buying process and ignoring people who have already discovered you but haven’t yet committed to buying what you are sell.
Define your target audience
Much like not knowing your message, starting your marketing without a thorough understanding of who your audience is will seriously limit your ability to properly market your business or services. Setting out to create a content strategy without understanding your audience, is like setting out on a road trip without knowing your destination. You’re out there making an effort but your not working toward a specific goal.
Figure out your budget for success (and where best to spend it)
Budgets are the part of marketing that many businesses dread. But if you properly assess what you spent in the previous year and how that had a direct impact on your successes, you will be able to figure out the amount you can afford to spend this year and where best to spend it.
If you achieved a large amount of traffic from paid social media advertising in the last year, it would likely be a good idea to continue putting some of your budget into this area or even increasing budget for social ads. It might be that you feel that your spend on pay-per-click advertising didn’t yield enough leads or sales last year to continue, however there are many factors that could affect why you didn’t get the results you had hoped for so it would definitely be worth looking into how you could get more out of PPC this year. you may even end up getting better results and spending less. (get in touch with us about our PPC audit and management services)
One key thing to remember when setting budgets for your marketing efforts this year is that you shouldn’t just throw money that the things that worked well last year. Each year is different and trying a new method may get you even better results. Try making one or two changes to the channels you invest your budget in 2017. These new avenues could be just the thing you need to improve your ROI.
Review your website
We say this all the time, but if your website isn’t engaging and encouraging your target audience to contact you then even with the most incredible marketing strategy and campaigns, you are not going to convert leads into sales.
Here are a few things to look out for on your website:
- Is there a clear message and call to actions on your website?
- Is the branding represent your business values and is it consistent?
- Does the website take a long time to load?
- Is it difficult to navigate the website?
Still not sure if your website is up to scratch for your marketing? We can take a look at your website and see if there are any areas that need improving, so lets chat!
Next Steps for your Marketing Strategy
So you’ve got an idea of where you want to start with your marketing strategy, now it’s time to put this all together and define the specific marketing activities that will target your audience, increase engagement and help you achieve your overall goals. There is a lot of work to be done here and it can be hard to say objective about your own business. If you have further questions about how to prioritise your marketing for 2017, how to get everything done or much it could cost, take a look at more of our blog posts for ideas or get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.