End-of-Year Marketing Check-Up
December is a natural time to take stock of the year, examine what went well and where we can improve and make some plans for the new year. It's a perfect time for a marketing check-up as well.
If you're a new business, you've got a blank slate to work with. Most of my contacts, however, are established businesses or divisions of larger companies that already have marketing strategies in place. In the fast-moving world of digital marketing, it makes sense to take a step back and re-evaluate on a regular basis. Here are some points to consider:
- Track results. If you're not currently tracking your marketing efforts, put those systems in place. Google Analytics is a good place to start. Most people DO use Google Analytics...they just don't ever look at the reports or know how to read them when they do. Google offers webinars on the subject, or you can hire a professional to monitor your analytics for you and recommend adjustments based on the results.
- Review online directory listings. Check all of your listings to make sure the information is correct, and make sure you're listed in as many places as possible. Google and Bing are usually the starting points, but don't forget local listings in your city, county and state, as well as Chambers of Commerce and professional associations.
- Start a Blog. Content strategy will continue to be important in 2017 and it all starts with original content. If you are "not a writer" you can hire someone to write for you, then share that content across as many relevant platforms as possible. This is how to bring visitors back to your website and establish yourself or your firm as the expert in your field.
- Update your Website. Website functionality changes quickly; you should evaluate your website at least every 2 years. It's quite possible that your template has been updated and you can make significant changes to the look and feel of your site without changing templates or going through great expense. Changing out images is another very inexpensive way to give a new look to the same site. If you do not have a call-to-action on your home page...put that in place immediately.
- Simplify everything. Your social platforms, your website, your advertising strategies, your website copy - even your customer base. In 2017 we'll see a trend toward "going back to basics".
Evaluate what is working, then spend more time on that rather than trying to be everywhere and talk to everyone at once. You'll find that you get more done and see better results when you focus your efforts on what works.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday season - see you in the New Year!