Start Planning Early
Like I mentioned before, it’s never too early to start planning. There are still three months left in 2017, so take that time to plan your new strategy. I encourage you to start now and refine your plan in the next few months. This gives you plenty of time to research and brainstorm new ideas. Look at other businesses, ones that are similar to your business and ones that are not, and evaluate how they are using digital marketing.
Set Business Goals
One of the first places to start when developing a digital marketing strategy is to define your business goals for the year. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) that you want to accomplish. Start with five goals and hang them up where you will see them every day. Personally, I like to set my business goals in a variety of different areas such as sales figures, lead generation, brand awareness, and numbers of completed projects.
Create a Brand and User Persona
This often gets overlooked, but creating a brand persona and user personas are so helpful when putting together a long-term marketing plan. Let’s start with the definitions. A Brand Persona sets the tone and style of your marketing content. Think about what type of person your brand would be… a wise man, a working mom, a young entrepreneur. Whatever it is, let that brand persona drive the way your business interacts with clients and communicates with the outside world. A user persona is your ideal client. Think about the perfect person you want to work with. What are their hobbies? What are their struggles? How are they using the internet? Be as specific as possible when creating your perfect customer.
Once you think these things through, creating your digital marketing strategy will be easier because you know how you want to portray your brand and who you want to attract to your business. This is a huge piece of the puzzle that is super helpful!
Create an Action Plan
Now is the fun part – Creating a full out digital marketing action plan for 2018! This plan should include:
- Past successes and failures
- Businesses mission and core values
- Business goals
- Digital marketing channels (social, email, SEO, digital ads, etc…)
- A content calendar
- A weekly or monthly schedule and timeline
- Who the responsible party is for making these things happen
Your yearly digital marketing plan is not a static document. I encourage you to refine and edit as you more your business forward. Things change and you’ll discover new and exciting paths that lead to success. Your digital marketing plan is your road map that will help you achieve your business goals for the year. For me, it helps to hold me accountable to take action every month.
2018 Digital Marketing Trends to Consider
I’m a big advocate for the classic digital marketing initiatives… email, SEO, and content creation. These are simple things you can do that won’t take up too much of your time and always yields positive results. There are a few others that you might want to consider implementing in 2018:
- Storytelling– People love stories! The more you can relate to your audience, the more likely they are to trust you and listen to your message. Storytelling has been a growing digital marketing strategy that brands are using to connect to their customers.
- Social Media– Different forms of social media are popping up constantly. Depending on your business and target audience, you may want to explore newer forms of social media.
- Get rid of pop up ads– In my opinion, advertising is getting out of control. It is all around us every day. If you are using any form of pop-up/lightbox on your website, get rid of it! You’re only annoying people. There are other forms of in-line call to actions that you can use that gives visitors more control and are less of a bother.
- Videos- YouTube is a great way for people to find your content. Videos have the ability to show your brand in a different way. They are also a great way to show off the stories you want to share!
Going into a new year is always an exciting time. It’s a blank slate and a fresh start. I’m looking forward to planning 2018 and hitting some of my goals. What are your business goals for the new year? Share them below!
Need help putting together a digital marketing plan or need someone to implement your strategy? Get in touch with me today!