Review the Last 12 Months

The last few months of the year are a perfect time to re-evaluate what went well for your business in 2016, what didn’t go so well and how you can learn from these highs and lows to make some improvements for the forthcoming year.

Take time out to review all of your marketing efforts in 2016, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What marketing efforts did you carry out? Pay per click? SEO campaign? Email campaigns?
  • How effective was it?
  • Did your marketing efforts yield a return on investment? How?

The answers to these questions will help you really understand the results you gained from 2016, and be clear on what improvements and changes you need to make to get the best opportunity out of your new 2017 marketing strategy.

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Look at Key Messages

Once you have assessed this years marketing efforts and have a clear idea of what has worked, it’s time to set your goals for 2017 and look at the messages you want to convey.

Goals should be measurable, achievable and timely. It may sound a little clichéd but it’s crucial you evaluate each of these measures so you can track the progress of your campaigns and more importantly measure their success.

When you consider your communication and messages, take a closer look at your target audience and in particular your ‘ideal customer persona’. Depending on whether your target audience is business or consumer will influence the criteria you use. Consider the following criteria as a starting point: age, location, demographics, interests, business size, turnover, business stage (start-up or mature business).

The more knowledge you have about your target audience and the understanding about how they buy, the more specific you can target your messages, this in turn is likely to drive more traffic and produce better end results.

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Once you have established your goals, messages and target audience, you can start looking at various different tactics to reach out and engage people.

Content Marketing

Ever since Bill Gates coined the term “content is king” some 20 years ago, content marketing has become an integral part of every business owners marketing arsenal. In today’s digital world, there really is no better way to demonstrate your expertise and position you as a leader in your field than the creation of good quality content.

Powerful ways to engage and attract customers are via blogs, case studies, newsletters and white papers. Once the content is created, social media is a fantastic way to help spread the word.

Website Design

Website technologies move forward at a fast pace – what might have been cutting edge two or three years ago can begin to look rather tired. In particular, the huge rise we have seen in people using smaller screen devices such as phones and tablets to browse the Internet has meant that you simply can’t afford not to ignore this.

Be objective – view your website on as many different devices as possible – do you think your website provides visitors with a great brand experience and truly represents your organisation?

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SEO Strategy

Employing tactics to increase the visibility of your website is vital to increase visitors. A rise up the ranks of what we call ‘organic listings’ (normal search engine results – not the paid ones!) to your site will increase enquiries and in-turn generates sales. You could have the best looking website but if no one can find it online, it serves no purpose.

Keywords associated with your services and products are the core of SEO and selecting the right ones can make or break your strategy. To achieve this requires on-going work, remember – your competitors are likely also focusing on this, so stay competitive by putting aside marketing budget to this.

Social Media Strategy

The first thing to consider with social media is which platform best fits your target audience. Whilst it’s tempting to take a view that you should be on every social media platform out there – we’d advise that you focus on two or three, decided by where your target market hangs out. Professional services are often more suited to putting time into LinkedIn over Facebook for instance.

Be consistent – it’s better to post frequent, good quality content to a small handful of specific social networks, compared to infrequent, poor quality content across many.

Finally, establish the right tone of voice for your message; the language used by a divorce solicitor will be different to that of a retailer aimed at 15-25 year old females. Ensure your messages are consistent and interesting and engaging – build a persona on-line that truly represents your brand.

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Video Marketing

Over the past few years, video marketing has become the modern way to engage an audience and it’s going to be even bigger news for 2017. A short video is a great way to drive traffic, build trust in your brand, inspire and offer value your audience.

Whether you opt for a 60 second informative clip about your company or a more indirect approach, video should play a critical part in your future marketing mix.

Get Set for Growth in 2017!

By kick-starting the New Year with a solid marketing strategy to effectively market your business means you will go into 2017 with a clear focus to grow and succeed.

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of a clear, concise strategy – plan now and rest easy over the festive period that you are going to hit the ground running in 2017.

Struggling for ideas or lacking the resource to generate your marketing in 2017?

Call our friendly team on 0121 709 3772 and let’s talk about how we can help your organisation hit the ground running in 2017!