Last week I shared with you part one of my Digital Marketing Calendar for 2016, and I told why I'm done with resolutions - at least in theory!
If you noticed, last week's installment covered only the first six months of the year. I really don't want you feeling overwhelmed coming into a new year. Not good for your psyche, not good for productivity, not good for your brand. So, now, this week it's time to reveal part two of my digital tips.
I'd love your feedback and input on these tips. Have you tried any of them already and let them fall by the wayside? Why? What hurdles are blocking your path to digital success? Are you still feeling unconvinced about the realm of marketing online? Not enough time or team members? Let me hear about it! Just shoot an email to me at swbmedia at gmail. I read them all!
Go forth and do what you do best (and tell me about that too)!
Your 2016 Digital Marketing Calendar
Digital marketing tips - part deux!
It's all too easy to let marketing tactics fall by the wayside. I hate the term "Sales and Marketing" because I think it leads many business leaders into a false sense of thinking "well, of course, we need *sales* but do we really need *marketing*?" And this mode of thought is a killer for many startup or floundering business brands. You DO need marketing. You need marketing to drive sales. Sales don't happen magically, there's no Magic 8 ball involved. Sales happend with a consisent and solid focus on growth. This growth will be driven in large part by marketing (whether you notice or not). Networking is marketing. Branding is marketing. Public relations is marketing (yes, yes it is). Advertising is marketing. Anything you do to put your brand name, your business mission, your efforts and your goals in front of an audience (whether in person or online) - that IS marketing.
Capice? Great. Now go out there and work that marketing plan!
What's that song? Video killed the Radio Star? Or something along those lines. Well, Video is at again. Only this time it's digital.
Video's influence on digital marketing has grown exponentially in the past few years, thanks in large part to YouTube. Do you have a YouTube strategy? Do you know what your strongest competitors are doing in this space? Take the time to find out. For most of you, I'll wager that you'll find the biggest players in your industry have YouTube channels up and running strong.
Find out. Take notes. Craft a plan. Get a channel. It doesn't have to be a Golden Globe contender. It doesn't have to be stocked full of Seinfeld-esque humor. It just has to be engaging. Spend sometime browsing through business-related videos. You'd be surprised what can be accomplished simply with screenshots and great audio! Take your best PowerPoint presentation and turn it into a YouTube video. Drop me a line if you have question on how easily this can be done!
We'll assume that you have some level of automation in place already. But are you really capitalizing on this system? You have the software (could be Infusionsoft or Aweber or just a souped up process in Mailchimp). You have a process (you hope, you think). You're pulling in some results. Right? But are you working your system - or is it working you?
Don't answer that. For 99% of you, I already know the answer. I know it because I spend a large portion of my time helping you migrate from a "Working for my System and Processes" mindset toward a "Here's What I Want You To Do For Me" mindset. Get that system whipped into shape. Make sure you're using the wonderful features you're paying for! Drip campaigns, lead flow analysis, conversion monitoring, split testing, all of the good stuff. Use it!
Influencer marketing. Heard of it? It simply means finding the movers and shakers in your industry or niche. Identify a few who are active and influential. Reach out to them. Get to know them, and let them understand and get to know you and your business. If you've got a good thing going, you won't need to convert them, you'll simply need to gently direct them your way!
Make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place. A well crafted brand statement to share. And a great team to help cultivate these folks. You want to treat them like family. Leave them feeling good. And nurture the process. Do not, by any means, simply shot a press release their way and hope for the best. That is NOT the way to go. Be savvy. Be smart. Works every time.
The Influencers. Like the Avengers. They can help you save the day for your brand. You may build it, but people won't come if they don't know you exist. By partnering with brand advocates and influential members in your target niche, you can ensure that the word gets out about the wonderful things you're doing!
You may not be the latest and greatest app in the iTunes store. But your customers have opionions. They want to share those opionions, good and bad. We all love good reviews. We push those customers online to post or share their testimonials with the world. We shower our champions with praise. But the disgruntled customer deserve your attention as well. Don't hide from the negative. Embrace it. Granted, some will just complain no matter what you do. In those instances, you have my blessing to move on. But if you're hearing the same thing from more than one person - Houston, you have a problem.
It's no secret that customers are much more likely to share negative experiences with a brand, than they are to share any positive experiences. It's the reason customer service is an industry unto itself. The best way to combat this tendency is to reach the customer before they've given up on you! And the only way to effectively do that is by soliciting feedback from your customers, early and often. Depending on the nature of your business, there are many ways to implement an feedback funnel, but some ways to get started include:
- incorporating a feedback form onto your site;
- assigning staff to monitor communications and process flow with clients, in order to identify hiccups in the process;
- survey customers at the end of the sales cycle;
- and focus groups comprised of your regular clients or users.
So here it is. Another year drawing to a close. Hopefully, you've seen great growth and wonderful successes throughout the year! I'm sure there will be hurdles along the way. Don't sweat it. But do take the time to review what worked and what didn't.
- Check in with your brand support team (your influencers, expert contractors, senior team leaders and top customers) to ensure that their exerpiences throughout the year are on par with your notion of how things went for the year!
- Review your sales, marketing and advertising budgets, growth projections and more. Hopefully, you've been tracking what you've implemented over the year, when and why. What lead to your greatest growth period over the year? Can you attribute it to any changes made in your marketing tactics? What correlations do you sense are lurking behind those nubmers?
- From a digital perspective, have your technical team complete an SEO Audit by using the MOZ Checklist found here
I hope you've found your sweet spot in digital marketing! Here's to a great 2017!