One of the best things about the New Year is it presents us with an opportunity to review our performance and make improvements where necessary. As business owners, we look at every aspect of our operations and say, “How can I make this work better?”
Digital marketing is an area of particular concern: changes in the field of online communication and social media were very plentiful in 2013. If you haven’t been keeping up, now is a good time to start.
Taking Stock of Your Existing Digital Marketing Resources
The first step in refreshing your digital marketing plan for 2014 is to take stock of what you’ve already got in place. Your digital marketing resources include your website, your mobile site, and your social media presence. Are each of these platforms being kept up? Are they moving you closer to realizing your business goals and objectives? Are they effective sales channels? Make note of any area that needs improvement: this will be part of 2014’s to-do list.
Assess Your Messaging
Throughout your digital marketing efforts, your messaging should be consistent and on target. Your websites and social media sites should look alike and have a similar content mix and tone. If anything’s ‘off’, now is a good time to bring it into alignment. Additionally, this is a great time to think through your primary marketing message for 2014 and decide how you’re going to be sharing that messaging through each platform.
If there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain about digital marketing in 2014, it’s that images are going to become even more vital than ever before. Changes to Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular social media platforms, have emphasized images over text; at the same time, the popularity of primarily image-based social media networks like Instagram and Pinterest continues to grow. It’s a good time to take stock of the images you’re using and determine how you’re going to be adding new, effective photos and graphics regularly throughout the coming year.
The Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a valuable tool that you create to determine what type of content you’re planning to share via your digital presence, where you’re going to share it, and when. Create this calendar with your own business’ particular sales cycle in mind: begin by filling in any major sales events or promotions you’re going to want to push throughout the year.
Then, add in dates that are particularly meaningful to your customers – i.e., if you run a sports bar, you’re going to need to know when the Super Bowl and World Series are! – to make sure you’re talking about those topics at the same time as your customers. Big events in 2014 include the Olympic Games, the World Cup in Brazil, and the arrival of NASA’s New Horizon’s space craft at the planet Neptune.
An ideal content mix will inform, entertain, and sell to your market in roughly equal measure: populate your calendar by identifying how you’ll provide all three types of content. Determining and developing content ahead of time makes managing your digital marketing easier and more consistent. It’s one of the best things you can do to make sure 2014 is your best year ever.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
If you need help creating, refreshing, or implementing your 2014 digital marketing plan, give us a call. We’re here to help businesses of all sizes reach the next level with smart, strategic marketing that delivers results!