Happy New Year! Now it’s time to get back into the swing-of-things and where best to start than with your 2016 online marketing strategy. The start of a new year is always a great time to look back and take stock, then start looking at what to learn from and what to do moving forward. The team at Results First have put together a checklist for small business owners.
Look back and learn from 2015
Before looking ahead, it’s always good to look back at data from the previous year. What was successful online in 2015? What wasn’t as successful? And more importantly – why?
Google Analytics can be the first place to find and digest this information. Crunch the numbers and compare quarter on quarter and year on year to see what was done effectively and what can be improved upon. Key statistics to look at from a top-line view are conversions, new users and bounce-rates. Other things to take note of for making sure 2016 is successful:
- What were the busiest times of year for traffic, conversions and sales? What seasonal trends could you put that down to?
- Did certain products or services gain or lose popularity at certain times throughout the year?
- What were the demographics of the users on your website? Does this line-up with your target audience?
- What was the behaviour flow on the website? Do changes need to be made to the websites appearance or navigation?
Set realistic marketing goals, objectives and budgets
Like with most things, setting goals are important to ensure that you and everyone in your business has long-term focus as well as short-term motivation. One you have evaluated your current position, you can start to look at the goals that you would like to achieve in 2016 and then go on to set the budgets to help achieve those goals. Some examples of goals for online marketing might be:
- A set percentage increase in monthly/ quarterly traffic
- A set percentage increase in monthly sales/ quarterly sales
- Increase in the amount of quality leads through the website
- Increase in the amount of quality phone calls via the website
A great article on setting goals in more detail is here.
Align your messaging, branding and marketing collateral with your place in the market
The beginning of the year is a good time to think about your place in market. Are you happy with that standing? Does your website, branding and messaging reflect either where you are or where you would like to be?
Make sure your business branding, messaging and any marketing collateral are all aligned and up-to-date online and offline. Also check things like the information that’s appearing in online directory listings and Google Places.
Embrace new digital streams and take some risks!
Think about new and innovative ways of approaching your digital marketing strategy this year. There might be some new avenue that you can explore (such as Instagram Ads) or some tried-and-tested one streams such as targeted email-marketing. Some other opportunities that you could explore to maximise your marketing dollars are:
- Phone call tracking (great for getting further insight into the ROI of the online marketing that you’re doing, as well as improving business processes)
- Website conversion optimisation
- Advertising in the global display network
- Blog posting and content marketing
- Pinterest ‘buyable pins’
Don’t forget to have a look at what you’re competitors are doing that you’re not. What have they done well or how can you learn from their mistakes?
So what are you waiting for? Sit down, grab a cup of tea (or glass of Otago Pinot if you prefer) and go through this checklist. You’ll be sure to start 2016 with a bang!