As the year winds to a close, it’s a natural time to begin planning and strategizing for 2019. What does your marketing plan look like for the new year? How will you allocate the 2019 budget? Maybe you are considering expanding your reach into new areas. Are you ready to introduce your product to a new audience, open a new location, or launch an innovative new product line? Each of us have unique goals for the coming year. Regardless of your business, marketing remains fundamentally vital. I think we can all agree on this, right?
A new year can be an exciting time for some and a challenging time for others. No matter where you sit on that balance, you’re reading this post and starting your research. Nice work—you deserve a pat on the back!
Let’s take a look at some big picture ideas as you prepare your plan. We thought it might be helpful to break down a few of the marketing avenues that have earned our clients success this past year. We hope there is something here that might spark your interest and get your marketing mind in motion!
The videos you use in your marketing mix should be as unique as your business. Think about what questions your potential customers might have about your business or your product. What value can you offer? How could your video be relevant to them? Like other effective marketing, video must speak to your audience both in message and format. As you know from browsing the web yourself, most videos are short and sweet. It’s always better to have your viewers wanting more than to leave them stuffed with too much content. Popular formats include case studies, how-to demos, testimonials, behind-the-scenes, and product reviews. We’ve seen video used effectively on websites, in emails, as well as part of social media campaigns. Consider your business and audience. Then, pick the format that meshes best with your unique needs.
We are all pushing for the highest click-through rates and conversions. There’s nothing more satisfying, as a marketer, than seeing your analytics tell the exact story you want to hear. Am I right? Inbound methodology is the best answer to this test, measure, learn, modify, and repeat strategy. If you are not using inbound in your marketing strategy, it’s time to call in the big guns for 2019. Inbound has the ability to take your online marketing to a whole new level. In a nutshell, inbound is the process by which relevant traffic is directed to your website through organic SEO, email, blogging, paid campaigns, and other referral sources. Upon visiting your landing page, potential customers will be courted by way of special offers and information of value, in order to take the next step in the sales process. Each business has a unique sales cycle. While some are as simple as selling a team hat, others are more in-depth (such as selling a house) and require a longer research phase. Inbound pulls customers to your brand naturally through a well-conceived strategy.
When it comes to the effectiveness of blogging, statistics paint the best picture of efficacy. For example, business-to-business companies who blog just once or twice a month pull in a whopping 70% more leads compared to those that don’t blog at all. And, companies that increase their blog posts from three to five times a month to six to eight times a month almost double their leads! These numbers, published by HubSpot, are proof that a solid content strategy is worth the investment. We recommend developing a quarterly blog schedule that outlines important topics related to your business. Consider key words and phrases while planning your headlines and content (always think SEO!). Tie in current events, seasons, holidays, and other relevant topics influencing your industry. Most importantly, be consistent. Post and promote regularly and you will see results!
You might be thinking that postcards are a thing of the past, replaced by email and social marketing. But, that’s definitely not the case. In fact, direct mail could be that sweet spot you’ve been looking for. It may be the way to break through the digital deluge and come out on top, particularly with the millennial demographic. Our recent experience has showed a tremendous return on investment when direct mail is used on a regular basis. Reach your audience more than once throughout the course of the year and steadily build that brand exposure. Our customers have also had success when pairing direct mail with an exclusive offer and introducing a landing page for conversions. This one-two-three approach that couples traditional marketing with online analytics is a win-win. Are you ready to take the old-becomes-new approach and re-introduce direct mail into your 2019 marketing mix?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have rapidly taken their place among other tried-and-true marketing channels. Most businesses have already adopted social media and understand the importance of regular activity. However, we are still including this in our must-haves for 2019. For those of you who already use social media, keep the good stuff going. Experiment with boosts and ads if they fit within your budget. Increase followers and continue to push the needle in your favor. If your organization isn’t quite convinced, 2019 is going to be the year! When you think about the basics, the value of your brand rides on perception. Social media is a brilliant way to position your organization or product cost-effectively, attract new audiences, ramp up activity to stay relevant, and reach your customers where they are most! We think statistics seal the deal with this suggestion as well. According to HubSpot, companies with 51-100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer. Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing! With this in mind, it may be time to place a greater focus on social marketing in the coming year.
Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. The best path toward real results is to ensure your analytics are in place, consult them regularly, and make noise in the places where your audience responds most favorably. Hopefully these suggestions are helpful as you plan for 2019. If you are unsure where to start or are looking for some marketing assistance along the way, our team is always here to help. Email us today or call 570.917.6689 to setup a time to discuss how we can help you build your brand!