- GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE ON DIFFERENT SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS. Look at their profiles. Yes, I know its weird and I suppose it is a form of stalking as people like to say… but they are the people you’re trying to market to, right? Don’t assume you know them by the data that Facebook tells you.
- MAKE SURE YOUR SOCIAL ICONS ARE ON YOUR MARKETING MATERIAL.
It sounds like an obvious resolution, but really. I can’t tell you how many times we have discovered this in our marketing audits. And if the icons are on your website, make sure they work and go to the right pages. Nuff said.
- COMMIT TO CREATING A GOOGLE+ PAGE. ((eye roll)) We know. Why did Google even invent another social media page? One word, well three words really. SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And if for nothing else… doesn’t it make sense to create a page on a website that everyone is using every day? Google has said they reward companies who use their products. Besides, if you simply have a page and maintain it, Google will want to delight its searchers with good information (which hopefully you’re providing on your Google+ page) and over time, your ranking will increase. SEO is such a big buzz word—words, we mean—among small business owners. They know they need it, but it can be kind of expensive. Having a Google Plus page and posting to it is a very simple and easy way to help your search engine rankings. And people actually do use it. We had a lead come from a Google Plus page once just by using hashtags in our posts. Crazy!
- ADD ANALYTICS TO YOUR WEBSITE (AND LOOK AT THEM). Even if you don’t know what they mean. Even if you only look at it once a year. Let the data accumulate and then take some time to study what it says. We look at analytics every day for our clients, but even if you can commit to it once per month, I think that would be a good start. Google has great tutorials for their analytics that you can study over time. It is very easy to install the tracking code on your website and then let it do its job. You’ll know where your visitors are from, if they are using a mobile device, what browser they are using etc. This helps you make informed decisions when making changes to your website.
- MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE. Try googling your business on your mobile phone. See what the visitor experience is like. Does your website pop up first? Or your Facebook page? Either way, make sure that potential leads can get the information they need from their mobile phone and that there are easy to find contact forms for them to convert. Visit your website on your phone, what’s it like? Is it easy? Can they make a purchase? Can they contact you?
- THROW AWAY YOUR ANNUAL STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN. With on-line marketing changing at a drop of a hat, none of us marketers are doing the same thing we were doing last week. When someone at Google or Facebook decides to change the algorithm and your response is “(Gasp), but we’ve got 6 more months of our strategic plan left.”, it is time to change your strategic plan by simply not having one. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a method to the madness in digital marketing, but as things evolve, you will have to try things and see what sticks. That is why Resolution #1 is so important. If you’re too worried about revising versions of your plan, there is one thing that will always work in lead conversion… good content. No, I take that back, PHENOMENAL content. Something people can’t get anywhere else. That is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- BE THE EDUCATOR AND THE RESOURCE, NOT THE SALESMAN.
I feel like every time I go into a place to buy something, like a mattress or a car, I never look forward to “being sold” by the salesman. Do you? If we apply this same theory to the way we write blogs, we’ll end up with a bunch of sales pitches and no customers. Typically I go on-line to do my research ahead of time anyway. Don’t you want to be the site I find when I’m looking? (Psst. The answer is yes!) Your website visitors want you to teach them something valuable they can apply to their lives or jobs. Try to make your blogs 80% education, 20% sales. Educate them first. Be a good friend. For example, a blog we write would be “9 reasons why you need to have a Google+ Page” instead of “9 reasons why you should hire my awesome marketing agency to build your Google+ Page”… Always be helping as we like to say.
Even in our own marketing, I hate the salesy part. It’s awkward. It’s like being at a networking event and you’re talking to someone about what they do for a living and they come to the critical crossroads where they decide you’re not a good fit for them or they start prospecting you. Gives me chills just thinking about it… in a bad way! I know you know what I’m talking about! I never prospect anyone. I’m motivated by helping people with marketing, not by contracts and money. I don’t care if they become customers or not, because, well, at the risk of sounding incredibly nerdy, I just really want to make the world a better, well-marketed place. If we approached blogging this way, we’d have more customers than we knew what to do with.Helping and educating them through every part of the buying process (and not chasing after a dollar) will always be in style. Even if they don’t convert right away, they will remember who helped them first. People have been educating themselves on-line for years, which is why your flawless on-line presence is necessary. You want to be the person they find. The person that answers their questions.
Wishing you and your resolutions a happy new year!
P.S. Print this as a checklist… right meow.