8 Marketing Steps to Prep for a Big 2014!

As we head towards the New Year, it is good to take stock of your brand, your mes­sag­ing and your cur­rent mar­ket­ing efforts.

Here are 8 steps you should resolve to make progress on in Decem­ber so you are well posi­tioned for a dyna­mite 2014.

1.       Know your goals

What are you aim­ing to accom­plish with your mar­ket­ing in 2014? Build aware­ness? Gen­er­ate leads? Col­lect email signups? Make sales conversions?

Any of these are valid goals. You just want to be sure that your mes­sag­ing and tac­tics sup­port your goals.

And set some mea­sur­able num­bers for your goals.

2.       Build a 2014 mar­ket­ing calendar

Once you’ve defined your goals, you should cre­ate a list of cam­paigns (tar­gets, mes­sages, offers) and get them sched­uled on your mar­ket­ing calendar.

The cal­en­dar can be as sim­ple as an excel spread­sheet with dates.  Or if you use Out­look, cre­ate a Mar­ket­ing cal­en­dar which can be shared.

3.       Refresh your web­site with new pho­tos or content

Rebuildng a web­site is a big project. Per­haps you are plan­ning that in 2014.

If that rebuild is not able to be high on your 2014 pri­or­ity list, make some visual improve­ments to add fresh­ness to your site.

Here are some man­age­able enhance­ments to consider:

  • Update select pho­tos – ide­ally with recent, high qual­ity recent images
  • Tell sto­ries about your com­pany (see tip #7)
  • Fea­ture a new video (see tip #8)
  • Post valu­able new con­tent that is mean­ing­ful to your customers
  • Be sure your social media is cur­rent and engaging
4.       Know your web­site numbers

Do you have any idea how many peo­ple visit your site? And what they do there?

If you haven’t already done so, you should set up Google Ana­lyt­ics right away to answer these ques­tions. It is not hard to do. And the soft­ware is free.

And once you have the ana­lyt­ics you can con­sider how to opti­mize your site to sup­port your goals.

5.       Social media: are you focused on right SM platforms?

There are lots of social media sites. It is some­times hard to know on which ones to focus your attention.

Here are some quick thoughts for B2B marketers:

  • Face­book– absolutely yes because of its mas­sive scale
  • Linkedin– yes– par­tic­u­larly if you are sell­ing services
  • Twit­ter– maybe–  if you have a decent con­tent mar­ket­ing strategy
  • Pin­ter­est– maybe– if you are mar­ket­ing (fash­ion) products
  • Youtube– yes–  if you have videos to showcase

I would skip Google +. There is only so many plat­forms you can take on.

6.       Embrace email mar­ket­ing; be sure to use an email ser­vice provider

Despite the calls for its demise, email cam­paigns con­tinue to gen­er­ate very pos­i­tive returns for mar­keters.

And given that social media is so pub­lic (lots of peo­ple see your posts), email has the advan­tage of being one-to-one (sim­i­lar to a phone call or a let­ter). This “one-to-one” can be a plus.

But you must use an email ser­vice provider to keep com­pli­ant with the CAN-SPAM Act. I rec­om­mend Con­stant Con­tact. Check them out.

Look­ing for more arti­cles on email mar­ket­ing to get going? Check out this primer.

7.       Start or add to your blog

A big part of mes­sag­ing is story telling.

A blog on your web­site is a great forum for you to tell sto­ries about your prod­ucts, your team mem­ber, or clients.

An advan­tage that a blog has over social media is that it is great for longer stories.

Here are a cou­ple exam­ples of strong blogs:

Aim to add to your blog monthly at first. Then ramp it up to biweekly.

8.       Cre­ate fun video with Ani­moto 

Videos don’t need to be highly pol­ished to be effec­tive. Ani­moto lets mar­keters quickly and sim­ply cre­ate decent videos with the use of tem­plates and a library of music. Here is a fun video cre­ated by sales firm Just Got 2 Have It.

Make a New Year’s video for your com­pany. It won’t take you more than a few hours.

2014 can be a big year for your com­pany. To get the year mov­ing quickly out of the gates, invest in these 8 mar­ket­ing prac­tices to see big returns.