January is a great time to get your digital marketing up to speed for the new year. Knowing where you are going is essential to make the most of every marketing dollar.
Creating overall goals for the year will help you measure your process as the year progresses. Therefore, consider making specific, measurable, relevant, attainable, and timely goals. While you should not meet all your goals in January, it is a great time to create a marketing road map to guide you through the rest of the year.
Task 1: Understand Your Target Audience
The first of the year is a terrific time to discover who your target audience is and how you should be segmenting them. If you have never studied who is in your target audience, you may be surprised to find out that your audience is not who you anticipate. Likewise, as your company grew, your target audience may have changed.
You can find this information in several different ways, and it is smart to use more than one way. You can:
- Conduct client interviews
- Use Google Analytics
- Poll your social media audience
- Watch your foot traffic if you have a brick-and-mortar store
- Give a small reward to customers who are willing to answer a short survey.
Task 2: Identify Industry Standards
Once you identify your target audience, compare it to your industry standards. If you find differences, this is a great place to plan for company growth during the coming year.
Personalize Your Marketing
Once collected, use the data to create personalized emails for each audience segment and potential audience. Throughout the coming year, offer targeted promotions that each group will find attractive. Create ways that you can personalize recommendations based on your segmented audience.
Task 3: Set Your Digital Marketing Budget
While you can make adjustments as necessary throughout the coming year, you should have an overall plan on how you want to spend your market budget during the coming year.
Why Set a Marketing Budget
There are several reasons that you should create a marketing budget, including:
- Staying on track financially
- Knowing how much you need to allocate for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email, social media and other forms of marketing that you plan to do.
- Knowing your marketing plans helps you set short-and-long-term goals, which is essential to creating a united marketing plan.
- Creating a marketing budget helps you focus on what percentage of your budget; you plan to spend on each step of the sales funnel.
- Understanding your marketing budget is key to your business’ growth.
Task 4: Create Your Editorial Calendar
The start of the year is a perfect time to create an editorial calendar. Your marketing calendar should be based on your sales cycle so that you are publishing more when customers are looking for your products if you are in a cyclic industry.
Tips for Creating an Editorial Calendar
Put your big ideas on the calendar and choose a color for each of the types of marketing you plan on doing. For example, you might want to use purple for social media and red for PPC advertising. Be sure to share your marketing calendar with your digital marketing company so that they know what content they need to be preparing well in advance.
Task 5: Update Your Website
January is the perfect time to update your website. Use Google Analytics or another program to identify your customer’s path through your website. Then, consider what course you would like them to take. Compare the two and see what steps you need to take to get more customers to flow through your website in its intended manner.
Correct Analytic Errors
Read those pesky notes that Google leaves about problems they found on your website, and get them corrected. Ensure that Google, Bing and other search engines can still get to your website and the pages within it.
Fix Pages Where Customers Are Leaving
While your analytics program is open, locate pages with the most significant bounce rates. Then, create new content to encourage more people to stay on that page and not exit your website.
Consider Your Links
While Google uses over 200 ranking factors and will never tell you the exact ones, a crucial ranking factor is links. Ensure that there are no broken ones and that they still point to content that your target audience will find helpful. Check the other site’s domain authority to ensure that they point to sites with the most authority possible.
Spend time scrutinizing the links that point to other pages on your website. You should have more links to your most important pages, such as product category pages, than any other. If you do not, then it is time to add more.
Task 6: Build Your Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness
Your website is often the first introduction a potential customer gets to your business. Therefore, they must come away feeling that you are an expert in your field, have the authority to act and are trustworthy.
Prove Your Expertise
January is an ideal time to look at your website and see if you have new skills or credentials that you need to include that could be important to your audience.
Claim Your Listings
Make a list of places that your target audience might look for companies such as yours. Then, make sure that you are listed there and have the same company name, address and phone number listed in each location. If there are any you have not claimed, go ahead and get those claimed now. Ensure that your company’s description still adequately reflects your company’s business.
If you do not already have a program in place to solicit reviews when your customers are likely to be most happy, you need to establish one. Then, spend time reaching and responding to the reviews that people leave. Even if a review is less than stellar, professionally respond to it. This can also be a very educational experience as it can shed insight on new products that your current customers would like to see added to your inventory or new uses that your customers have found for your products that you can share in your marketing.
Completing each of these tasks should keep you busy throughout the month. If you need help, please contact us. We stand ready to assist you each step of the way.