As the year comes to an end, there’s no time like now to start planning for what the New Year will bring. By now, most digital marketing plans for Quarter 1 should be in the final stages of completion to ensure it’s all hands-on deck for the start of the new year.
As a digital marketer or a digital marketing agency, if you haven’t quite got there, don’t worry, here are some of our top digital marketing tips to help you start off the New Year right.
High Level Approach
Planning for a full year ahead may seem like a daunting exercise, but it’s always a good idea to have a high-level view of your digital marketing calendar for the year. Not only does this help plan your annual budget, but it also helps prepares your business for any upcoming activities during the year. There’s nothing quite like being prepared for eventualities.
Having an annual plan in place, now is the time to finalize your digital marketing strategy for the first quarter. Bear in mind that this stage will include more detailed planning and should include all activities such as:
- Campaign ideas & topics – decide on the themes and ideas for the quarter. This will largely be based on the type of business you run and the behavior of your target audience. (For example, a B2B finance company may depend on a financial year-end campaign whereas a retail store may run promotions around holiday activities (e.g. Easter)
- ‘Always on’ – this is on-going generic advertising meant for brand awareness and reach. It helps to keep you ‘in touch’ with your audience and should always form the backbone to any digital marketing plan.
- Social media channels – let your digital marketing agency help choose the channels most suited to your target audience. This will be based on analytical data pulled from previous periods.
- Content – decide on the topic that needs to be written and how best to reach your audience. Will this be in the form of blogs? White papers? Newsletters? Social Content? Emails?
The million-dollar question and one that is often seen as being an expense rather than an investment. Investing wisely in digital marketing doesn’t mean you have to spend large to be effective. To make the leap one has to remember that digital marketing is a process and needs time to work. When making the decision to invest in digital marketing, think the long game and be prepared to invest for at least one year.
How do you approach a digital marketing plan without having analytical data? Not knowing how your digital marketing activities fared over the previous period, one cannot hope to plan for the next. In fact, one should pull analytical reports on a monthly basis to see where improvements can be made in order to plan for the next. Ensure that you or digital marketing agency have the necessary analytical tools to gather the relevant information.
Plan your content calendar ahead by at least a month, especially over seasonal periods. Whether planning the content as a digital marketer or digital marketing agency, this prevents the frantic run around to post at the start of the year. There is a certain comfort to having a clear and concise content calendar planned upfront.
Keeping your finger on the pulse is always essential to keeping you ahead of the game. Make a new year resolution to set aside some time during the day to browse the various news feeds relating to your industry. A good tip is to do this on your commute into work. Where possible, post newsworthy events to social media to help establish yourself as an authority in your field.
An important consideration and one which often gets overlooked. Client-Agency relationships are vitally important to ensuring transparency and establishing partnerships. Keeping your digital marketing agency abreast of business developments goes a long way to supporting your business objectives. Regular meetings also help both parties share ideas and plan innovative areas for improvement.
Make time for planning. Remember your end goal and plan towards it
In the words of Alexander Graham Bell ‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’