As we coast into the final month of 2016, it’s time for introspection and we’re not talking about eating habits, exercise plans or relationship status. The last six weeks of the year is the perfect time to take a hard look at your business and answer these three vital questions related to your marketing:
- What worked in 2016?
- What will we do differently in 2017?
- Are we maximizing all resources in our marketing efforts?
Let’s start by taking a deep dive into your online performance, including your website and social media presence.
Did you start 2016 with a structured plan for how your business would network and promote utilizing social media? If so, the fourth quarter is the time to use your analytic tools to determine at the most basic level whether you stuck to that plan, which requires discipline and consistency, and whether your social media presence was an effective tool for your business. Comparing goals to realities will help you fine-tune not only what you will do in 2017, but what might still be possible in these finals weeks of 2016.
For instance, did your online promotion schedule help you to occupy valuable space on news feeds during the critical Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping days? Yes, we want to make plans for 2017, but savvy marketers realize it isn’t too late to maximize ROI in the waning days of 2016.
Setting Marketing Goals
Talk of analysis and reaching goals, however, started with one big assumption: that you formulated a structured plan for 2016. If you took more of a “wing and a prayer” approach to your social media marketing and you’re unhappy with the result, now is the time to regroup and map out a future strategy to make your social media presence work for you. At Tschetter and Associates, we guide clients through the process of creating a social media marketing plan that allows us to meet frequency and content goals and thresholds while also giving us real output to measure for future decision-making and budgeting. Investing in online promotions is a sound expenditure but only when done with research and planning. Now is the time to put the plan in place.
Your online digital footprint isn’t just limited to your social media presence. Are you happy with ratings you are getting on sites like HealthGrades, Vitals.com, Google Plus and others that offer reviews and commentary? Do you know what people are saying? At Tschetter, we would bet our Thanksgiving turkey that at least some of your customers know what others are saying and, most likely, your competitors do, too. Occasionally we run into clients who mistakenly believe that there is no hope once a bad review or rating is posted online. There are ways to address those situations and, as experienced marketers, we can help.
Finally, this is the perfect time of the year to give your website a top-to-bottom review. Is your copyright updated? Is the content fresh? Have you had great successes or new experiences in 2016 that you want to share with potential customers? Sometimes website review is as simple and as subjective as just re-reading the content, taking a fresh look at photography and using the navigation to get a feel for usability. But a thorough look also involves using your website analytics to see what is working for you and what is simply taking up space. By hiring an outside firm, you get both an unbiased eye for the subjective part and experienced web experts for the analytic review.
Year-end marketing efforts and planning aren’t limited to just the online world. Watch for our next article when we talk about marketing materials, ad buys, and budgeting for a 2017 filled with profit and growth.