As a new year gets underway for many there are a few weeks to recover from Christmas and get set for the year ahead. For others, it’s back to business the minute the new year celebrations end.
Whatever way your business kicks off a new year, it’s important to take time at the beginning of a new year so you can make plans for what you hope to achieve in the upcoming twelve months. We’ve got some simple tips to get you up and running if you’re not in a position to have an in-house marketing person/team.
Set Some Goals
The first step to creating a successful marketing plan is to set some goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, or generate more leads? You may well have been told that your goals should be ‘SMART’ – if not, the recommendation is that your goals should always be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound – what gets measured has a lot more chance of happening.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can start putting together a plan to make it happen.
Analyse Your Results From Last Year
It’s important that you take some time to analyse the results of a year before you get into a new year. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? What could be improved? By taking the time to review your results regularly, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts and ensure that they are as effective as possible because you don’t have to come up with new ideas for marketing or create new and unique content every time you post on social media, you just need to be smart with knowing what has shown itself to work for your business.
Know Your Target Audience
It’s also important that you have a good understanding of who your target audience is. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing messages? What are their needs and wants? What are their pain points? When you know who you’re talking to, it’s much easier to create content that resonates with them. If you’re not clear on your ideal customer(s) or you feel that in the past year it’s evolved, consider updating your client avatars or buyer personas, read more here if you need help with that.
Create Compelling Content
Once you know who your target audience is, it’s time to start creating some compelling content. And yes, that might be easier said that done but why can’t this be the year this all changes? Your content might be in the form of social media updates, blog posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, downloads, courses and more. Whatever form it takes, your content needs to be interesting and appeal to the ideal customer(s) you have identified for your business.
Promote Your Content
Once you have some great content created, it’s time to start promoting it. There are a number of ways you can do this, such as through social media, email marketing, paid advertising, ensuring that your website is optimised for search engines. The key is to get your content seen by as many of your ideal customer(s) as possible through methods you have identified as appropriate for that audience. Earlier in this post we suggested you review what worked in the last year, well that applies to promotion too – if a channel worked or didn’t work that’s what you need to be mindful of for the year ahead.
Engage With Your Audience
It’s not enough just to get your content seen by people; you also need to engage with them because social media should be a two-way process. This means responding to comments and questions, starting conversations, and generally being active on social media and other online platforms. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more likely they are to stick around, and over time, they might recognise that you’re just the business they need to deal with.
Finally, once you have reviewed your results and made any necessary changes, it’s time to plan just how all of this is going to work. Ideally, you would have a strategy for your business and if you need to understand more about that, this is a post you will find useful. Marketing is an ongoing process, it’s a long-term investment in your business that you do continually (yes, even when you’re busy!) and not just when you need a quick burst of sales.
Just about every business when it started out was a small business, some choose to stay that way as it works for them. However, every single business that became more than one person following their dream to make their hobby or interest into a job took their marketing seriously and worked with a plan to keep them on the right track.
If you’d like to make 2023 the year you transform how you market your business, talk to us about Marketing Coaching or Strategy, there are a limited number of discovery calls available in the coming weeks and one might just have your name on it!
Pop an email to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to address any queries you have or schedule a call.
And, don’t forget when it comes to small business marketing tips that at The Marketing Shop we’ve got a frequently updated blog designed with your business in mind so ensure to check back often, follow us on social media at the links below, or subscribe to The Marketing Shop News, link also below.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.