The new year is a great time to purge things from your life, from your house, and from your business that aren’t working for you. It’s a great time to clear out the clutter, but Marie Kondo-ing your space isn’t enough to grow your business in the new year. While many of these tips are timeless, it’s especially valuable to start a new year by clearing the slate, setting goals, establishing strategies, and then being proactive about checking in on things as you go to maintain your momentum throughout the year. If you clean everything out of your house once a year, then continue to accumulate things that you don’t need or even really like, then there’s no growth year over year. The same goes for your fitness or weight-loss goals for the new year. If you buy a gym membership and go three times, then stop completely, you’re not going to see the same results as you will if you go consistently and keep yourself accountable. Without further ado, here are my marketing tips to achieve your goals and set yourself up for growth in the new year.
1. Refresh or update your ads regularly.
Just because there’s nothing wrong with them doesn’t mean they’re at their best. If you use Google Search or Display ads, go through and update them every quarter – checking to see if there are any new features or ad types you should be trying, like Responsive ads or new ad extensions. You don’t have to redo all ads completely every quarter, but you should at least see if any seasonal language, deals, or anything like that needs to be updated.
You should also go through your search terms to see if you’re missing any keywords with potential or if there are terms you don’t want to show ads for that you need to add to your negative keyword list. If you have someone who runs your Google ads for you, ask them how often they look at search terms and if they regularly update the ads.
For Facebook and social media ads, you should refresh those at least every quarter, but aim for every month or every other month. You don’t want any user to see the same ad ten times and create the association of negative feelings (annoyance) about the ad with your brand. You can see the average number of times a user sees an ad by paying attention to the “Frequency” metric. If it is creeping up, it’s time to refresh your ad imagery and text.
2. Go back to basics – check your settings.
Are your geographic and demographic targeting still relevant? Would you like to try branching out further into new territory to see if you can expand your reach? Have you learned something new about your target audience that you should take into consideration? For Google ads, do you implement dayparting or have device bids (or advanced bid adjustments or automatic bid adjustments) that should be re-assessed? Are your social media posts set to go live at a particular time? Is that still the best time for them, or should it be changed? Do you only post on certain days? Are those days of the week still the best for engagement on that platform? Now is the perfect time to go back through your account setup and check your settings with fresh eyes and look for new features that you want to incorporate or test.
3. Take advantage of any local opportunities or special events.
Get involved in your community and reap the benefits. Whenever you take part in local events, be sure to capture it for social media and take notes of essential info for the post (who is involved, where it is at, what it is for, etc.). Plan for these in advance and coordinate your efforts with your team, so they know what’s coming up, when it’s happening, and are ready to offer you support. Events drive high engagement on social media and are a great way to increase activity and growth.
While local events will help with this as well, consider featuring people from your company on social media. Followers will feel like they’re getting to know you and your team, which will create a stronger connection with the brand. This connection will encourage more engagement with the brand on social media and establish trust that could help them convert into a customer.
You should know what content is on your site and whether or not it is effective and in-line with your strategy. You should know if there are gaps in your content, in your SEO, or any errors on your site that might be penalizing you. But most importantly, you should craft a strategy for correcting errors, filling gaps, and deploying content that will help you achieve your marketing goals. A content audit and SEO audit will help you make sure your website is working for you in the new year.
6. Determine if you need to update your website.
Is your website user-friendly? Does it load quickly on a variety of devices? Is it easy to navigate quickly to deeper pages? Is the content adequate, so users know what you do, who you are, and what you offer them? If there are a lot of issues, and your site is outdated, it may be best to update your website design and layout entirely and start with fresh or repurposed content. Here’s how you can determine if you need to update your website or not.
7. What do you need to succeed? Invest in yourself.
If you’re getting fit in the new year, you might need some new workout gear to help keep you motivated and inspired and take away an excuse (I have nothing to wear) that will hold you back. You might even invest in some new tech to help track your steps every day. For marketing, you may need to create (or refresh and update) a content calendar, a social media calendar, your brand guidelines, your collateral, or other assets. Take the time, money, and effort to invest in yourself and your business to set yourself up for success this year. That may mean finding a partner to outsource some of your marketing work to if you don’t have the bandwidth to do it all the right way in-house.
8. Set deadlines for your goals and reminders to check in on your progress.
I know everyone is different, but I live and breathe by my calendar. I set reminders for myself (that go off at a particular time with a notification that gets my attention) so that I get things done. I set deadlines for myself, even if no one else cares when things get done. Why do I do this? To prevent wasting time. Parkinson’s law states that any task will always take all of the time you allot for it. Meaning, if you give yourself thirty minutes to clean up before company comes over, it will take you thirty minutes. If you give yourself two days to clean up before company comes over, it will take you two days to do it. In the marketing world, this applies to any task you have to do. Setting deadlines and time limits for yourself for tasks and for goals will make you much more productive and help you feel accomplished.
Without a defined strategy, without a plan or calendar or coordination, your goals aren’t going to actually happen. You’ll fall into the trap of posting content for its own sake to say that you did it, and it will snowball downhill from there. I know this can all be a bit daunting and overwhelming. If you want help setting up (and deploying) your marketing strategy, auditing your content, managing your ads, ensuring your social content is top-notch, and achieving your growth and marketing goals for the new year, reach out to us! We’d love to partner with you in the new year and help you succeed!