Time to recap your marketing efforts from 2015

Can?t believe January is almost over. 2016 is off to a flying start! Is your business off to a great start as well? If not, it is not too late to ground yourself & work on a marketing plan with strategies that really work for your business. If YES, GREAT! Congratulations! I still encourage you to read this post. There may be some take-aways for you!

If you don?t have a road map for marketing your business to take it to the next level, first place is to start developing a marketing plan with short term and long term goals.

Here are few basic questions you need to answer, before you start putting together a online marketing plan for 2016:

  • Did you have a marketing plan for 2015?
    • If Yes, Did you use any intelligence data on your industry trends, competition & your target market when you developed a marketing plan last year?
      • If Yes, you are off to a great start. You can optimize this if needed for 2016
    • If No, don?t worry, it is not too late to start gathering intelligence & develop a marketing plan now
  • How much money did you spend on marketing & advertising last year?
  • How many leads did you generate & what was your closing rate? Are you keeping track of your ROI?
  • Did you measure the performance of your marketing campaign?
    • If Yes, What were the most effective channels of all?
    • If No, you have to add this to your marketing plan
  • Do you think there is room for improvement in your strategies?

Industry Trends and Competitive Intelligence

Now you have answered these basic questions, you have the historical data to use for your marketing plan. Additional intelligence on your industry trends and competition will help develop a strategy that is effective for your business.

Here are the areas you want to revisit and include or modify in your marketing plan for better outcome:

  • Website Audit
    • determine the responsiveness ?for hand held devices, site speed, broken links & general health of the website. Google Webmaster tools is a free diagnostics tool?you can use for this task
    • analyze your competitor websites to understand the type of content, frequency of content updates and such intelligence
  • Google Analytics;
    • site needs to be configured to collect data on user traffic, bounce rate, page views, & other intelligence from real time data. Define goals to track from the website for form submissions, click-to-call, document downloads, etc. If you have eCommerce site you need more comprehensive analytics tracking to measure the performance of your online store
  • Organic Search;
    • Conduct keyword research & evaluate how your website ranked for organic searches on various keywords relevant to services you promote on your website
    • Identify keywords that your are ranking poorly for and put a marketing? strategy in place to optimize
    • Identify how well your competitors are doing in organic search rankings
  • Industry Trends
    • It is useful to know the search trends online for the keywords/services you are interested in promoting, so that you can align your strategies accordingly. Google Trends tool allows you to gather this data
  • Local Search Presence
    • If you mainly cater to local market you want to be found on GMB (Goolge My Business) , Yelp, Google Maps and other prominent local directories
    • If you are lacking in this area, have a strategy in place for local search optimization
    • Identify how well your competitors are doing in local?search rankings
  • Online Reputation Management
    • Reviews are more important than ever now that more than 80% of consumers are doing their research online and making decision based on reviews. If there are negative reviews, you can overcome them by gathering more positive reviews
    • Gather competitive intelligence on reviews
  • Search Engine Marketing or Paid Search
    • Evaluate what other businesses in your industry are doing, how much they are spending on ads. Gather competitive intelligence on this strategy before considering it in your marketing plan
    • Run through Google Adwords Keyword Planner to work out a budget for your campaign
  • Social Media presence
    • Evaluate which social media network(s) your target market is hanging out on, as well as strategies your competition is using on social media. Based on this data, put a social media strategy in place. There are great social media monitoring tools that can help you listen in on social media conversation to gather competitive intelligence
  • Performance Measurement
    • This is the most critical step in your strategy. If you are engaged in various campaigns without measuring how well they are performing, you are throwing your money away.
    • We already talked about Google Analytics to measure site traffic data. Google Analytics is a powerful tool to get into finer details of statistics and metrics you want to measure for?various campaigns that your are engaged in.
    • There are tools provided by?social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to get insights into user behavior and campaign performance. Make sure you have all these setup the day you launch your campaign.

Don’t?be overwhelmed by the fact how much money and time it is going to take to build & implement your marketing plan. Remember, you have to start somewhere with your marketing efforts & building a plan is a good place to start, don’t you think!? You can implement your strategy in phases based on your marketing budget. But, you can feel better knowing that you are on the right path.

If we can help you answer any questions specific to your marketing needs or you want to schedule a complimentary consultation feel free to contact us.