I’ll be perfectly honest, I hate New Year’s resolutions. Maybe I’m a grinch, I like to think it’s more about realism. I don’t need a day or time of year to decide to change my life: if I want to get healthy it starts now, not January 1. I digress though. This post is not about bashing New Year’s resolutions. It’s to piggyback off our previous post, setting realistic goals, so you can make 2018 the year for your business.
These aren’t half-hearted resolutions or promises. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow with a rainbow leading to a pot of gold, or get some smoke and mirror show that brings you countless useless leads or followers. These are actionable goals you can achieve that will benefit your business and jumpstart your marketing strategy. Content marketing can be tough, but it’s extremely valuable as a growth engine for your inbound strategy so we want to help you form good habits that will reap benefits down the line.
So let’s get to it!
Do you blog right now? You need to. It doesn’t have to be once a day, it could be once a month. The point being if your business is not blogging then you are cutting your legs out from under you. Blogging isn’t just something that lonely single guys in their moms’ basements do. That was the 90s and they are long over (as I am painfully aware of each passing year). Blogging is the engine behind any successful content marketing strategy.
It’s 2018, people are looking to Google when it comes to any purchasing decision they make. In creating a blog for your business you are able to:
- Rank higher on Google thanks to more indexable quality content on your site
- Build a persona and brand for your business
- Add value upfront to your prospects
Given those three reasons I just rattled off, why wouldn’t you want to start blogging now? In 2018 commit yourself to setting and keeping a blogging schedule. How often you blog is up to you, what matters is that you stick to it and do not deviate.
I’ve heard social media be compared to a vitamin, and that irks me. When I think of vitamins I think of pills I have to remind myself to take, and always wonder if they’re working or not. To be honest, I think social media is more a cornerstone of any well-balanced marketing diet.
Getting on every social network can be exhausting at best if you’re going it alone. As a first step, I recommend creating pages for the big three, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In today’s marketing world having these pages is absolutely expected of your business, and a strong following here will generate organic traffic to your site via social referrals and organic search as they’ll help you rank on Google. From there, you can experiment. Maybe Instagram or Pinterest strike a chord with your business’ mission. Perhaps Tumblr is a way to go for building your brand. The sky really is the limit, just make sure it’s a logical step for your brand and the demographic you want to reach.
Whatever you do try, as with blogging be consistent. When it comes to the big three platforms we try to post daily at the very least, as well as comment/monitor related posts from our prospects to start a dialogue. With Instagram and Pinterest we are actively weekly, so our interaction with the platform is less frequent, though consistent.
You’re blogging. You’re getting social. But what good is it if you’re not keeping track of any of the data that you bring in? The work you are putting in is absolutely useless if it’s not being logged, recorded, and analyzed. Those may be scary words, but fear not we’ll break them down into manageable steps to add to your workflow.
Let’s use us as an example.
Each quarter we map out our goals as far as marketing growth go – these include page views, new leads, conversion rates, and social followings. For the quarter we track month over month how our progress is going. How many new followers did we get this month across networks? Which social posts from the month performed the best? Which blog posts got the most shares? And which pages converted the most leads?
It’s asking these somewhat-tough questions up front that allow you to not only action a marketing strategy but improve on it. Our charge to you this year is to start tracking your metrics and try to spot some trends. Your website undoubtedly has some sort of analytics tracking, though we also recommend Google Analytics for those up for a challenge. By tracking your data you can see what works, what doesn’t, and what to try next so be sure to add that to your New Year’s resolutions for 2018.
Connect with your customers
Just because you are a business doesn’t mean you have to wear a stiff collar in front of everyone. It’s okay to have a bit of fun when it comes to interacting with your customer base.
Be active on social media and use hashtags that are trending with your follower base, or post about a popular tv show you know your demographic loves. Host an event or giveaway to gain some publicity and a viral aspect to your marketing strategy while getting a chance to work directly with your prospects. Whatever it is, try to be visible and show the faces behind your business to give your customer base an inside look as to what you are really all about. It’s an excellent way to spread your mission and vision, while also bringing in fans, not just buyers.
Try something new
It’s a #newyearnewme right? While these types of New Year’s resolutions tend to make me gag a bit, there’s a bit of truth to them. If you’ve come this far minimally getting into inbound marketing, then maybe 2018 is the year to really test the waters to see what happens to your business.
Or maybe you’ve been moderately creating content across your blog and social accounts and need a reason to cannonball into the deep end of the pool and go all in. Wherever you are in the stages of using content to market your business, try something new this year. It needs to make sense, and be on brand of course, but it doesn’t hurt to experiment and track the results.
Create a Facebook ad, or an Instagram account. Host an event, attend a workshop, teach a seminar. Whatever you choose, you won’t walk away empty-handed. Ultimately, failure is the greatest teacher that we have, and while you may not hit the next big right hook for your business, you will be one step closer to finding what really works for communicating your message.
Isn’t that what marketing is really about anyway?
We hope you enjoyed reading through our New Year’s resolutions, and hope even more that you’ll apply them yourself. Sure we want the big right hook; the resolution to bring in 500% more revenue this year or hit some metric. But let’s face it, you’ll never achieve results without improving your process. By forming good marketing habits you’ll be able to communicate your message more efficiently which will bring in those awesome results.
So go ahead, have a big 2018 for your business!