Please raise your hand if you get the feeling of impending dread each year as January 1 rolls around, when everyone--and I mean, young, old, big, small--declares their New Year's resolutions . Like clockwork, we spend time putting together a list of things we want to do better or reflect on the past year wondering what we could have done differently.
And, how many of you soon forget said list?
But, when it comes to digital marketing, you can't afford to fall into the same bad habits as you may have in previous years due to the increasingly competitive landscape. Everyone is savvy and motivated to beat their competition.
This year, I challenge you to make another resolutions list, but instead, focus on things that you can reasonably accomplish. There's a different time, and a different place to muse about all the dreams you have in 2016--regardless if you have the time, funds or resources to get them accomplished. This is not that time. Or that challenge.
Below are the 4 digital marketing resolutions that I'll keep keeping. They're tied to my business goals and objectives and will help me become the best answer for my client's problems, wherever they're looking.
Resolution #1. Optimize all of my content first for humans, and then for search engines.
People don't speak robot. While it's important to follow SEO best practices, you still need to keep the needs of your customers top of mind. It's too easy to get immersed into the inane tactics of SEO that we lose sight of the big picture.
Trust me, if you've got SEO 101 down pat, you're good! Don't get too complicated, too fast. Your blog will never take off if people don't like it--period. So if you're not publishing to your blog often enough because you're letting SEO concerns turn you into a paralyzed perfectionist, stop that right now! Make your post interesting and just hit publish already.
Resolution #2. Use content marketing to help my clients solve problems.
Forrester research shows that today's b2b buyer will find three pieces of content about a vndor for every one piece that marketing can publish or sales can deliver--they're very multichannel people (often more so than the seller). They are becoming increasingly self-directed and rely heavily on quality content to help them solve business problems and make decisions. They might listen to you because they like you, but they will only do business with you if they trust you.
And how do you do that? It starts with a well developed content strategy. You'll need to make adjustments as you begin to gather more data and see how your online audience interacts with your content, but it's increasingly important to not make digital marketing moves on a hunch. Utilize your data found from analytics, social monitoring and your customers! You'll be well on your way to developing a roadmap that will help you create even more effective content in 2016 and in the future.
Resolution #3. Remember that popularity does not equal influence.
If you're going to venture on an influencer marketing initiative (which you totally should!), you need to have your ducks in a row prior to hitting send on that request. Many influencers receive dozens of requests each week to co-create or participate in some organization's marketing initiatives. These are my three basic steps:
- spend time identifying and recruiting influencers that make them a best match for your organization AND your goals
- write a simple, enticing and actionable request that clearly outlines what you're looking for (you might even provide an example)
- build relationships with your influencers by showing gratitude, providing value and always highlighting the benefit for participating
Resolution #4. Refine my content amplification plans.
There's really zero point in developing great, creative, and shareable content assets if you don't have a well-developed plan for how that content will be distributed and amplified on social channels. Always create a plan for each of your platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, website, third-party distribution, etc.
Ensure that you're using social media marketing tools to keep a pulse on your online community and to uncover any additional opportunities for engagement--you might just learn a great deal about your audience and their preferences. (trust me, it's a gold mine!)
Personally, one method that I plan to explore in greater detail is social media advertising. It can dramatically improve targeting capabilities, can be used as a means of lead generation and even nurture those that have already chosen to be my online friend.
Hopefully my resolutions above helped get your wheels turning; knowing full-well that some of these may or may not be a fit for you and your goals in 2016. If anything, I want it to serve as an inspiration and encourage you to develop 3-5 resolutions that might make sense for your business.
I'd love to hear what some of your business resolutions are in the comments below!