One thing I hear frequently when speaking to potential clients is how they just don't have time to...
What Your New Year's Marketing Resolutions Should Be For 2022
What are your New Year's Marketing Resolutions for 2022?
The new year is a time for reflection, and people tend to look back at the previous year for things to improve upon. As a business owner, it's important that you look back on the past year and consider what your marketing goals will be for the new year.
Here are 8 marketing tips to consider adding to your marketing strategy in the year ahead.
1. Strengthen Your Brand and Visual Content
The past two years saw a huge increase in the need for businesses to focus on digital marketing. The challenge your business faces in 2022 is competing with businesses that are all using the same marketing strategies. How do you stand out?
An important part of engaging with your audience is the use of high-quality visuals and consistent branding. Consumers engage more with images and visual content than simple text. Not only that, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media. So, it's a no-brainer to step up the quality of the visual content you share with your audience. And, it's important to remain consistent with the look of your brand in those visuals.
Set aside time to improve your design creation skills with tools like, Canva, Visme or Adobe's Creative Cloud Express. And, if dealing with new software makes you uneasy, consider outsourcing the work to a marketing company.
2. Try a Variety of Digital Content
The saying, "If you're not uncomfortable, you're not growing" holds some weight when talking about your marketing efforts. Step outside your comfort zone to try new things like video, TikTok or Instagram stories for your digital marketing. Embrace methods you haven't tried before to see how your audience responds. These new methods could help generate new leads.
In addition to providing you a chance to see what content works best, it also allows you new opportunities to reach your potential leads in different stages of the buyer journey. You never know - you may discover a passion for creating TikTok or YouTube videos!
The saying, "If you're not uncomfortable, you're not growing" holds some weight when talking about your marketing efforts.
3. Make Use of Paid Media
Advertising opportunities exist in every facet of messaging that potential leads might see. Paid ads in print still have their place, but it's expensive and tough to track. Google ads are more effective, but can get pricey as well.
User-generated content is the "Holy Grail" of content in the digital marketing world, and having high engagement with your own organic content is a close second. But, user-generated content can be tough for some businesses to get. And organic reach is something you need to work on to see success over the long term.
The good news? You can supercharge the reach of your message and target your customers with paid media. Paid advertising on social platforms are some of the most cost-effective methods of getting your message out there.
4. Make Sure You're Being Social on Social Media
The numbers don't lie. Half the world uses social media. And new platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse pop up every day. So, it’s in your best interest to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy. Social media allows you to reach a larger audience, build your brand, build a loyal customer base, and increase sales.
When done right, that is!
Yes, you should use social media to promote your business and push people towards your website, but, don't ignore your current audience. Keep these things in mind when creating your social media strategies and keep the "social" in social media:
- When someone comments on your posts, reply back and keep the conversation going. This tells the social media algorithms that there are good things happening and your posts get seen by more people.
- Focus on helping others; think ⅔ informative and ⅓ promotional content. This will help build trust with your audience.
- Engage and participate in social media groups. Answer questions and give feedback. This increases your reach to new audiences and establishes you as an expert.
Social media best practices also include scheduling posts at the best times for your audience. This is easy to figure out by using either your platform's insights or third-party software. You should also post live videos, or share photos of yourself behind the scenes. This will help you connect better with your audience.
Yes, social media should be used to promote your business and push people towards your website, but don't ignore your current audience.
5. Write Better Quality Content - Not More
Content is STILL king. That didn't change in 2021 and it won't be changing for the foreseeable future.
In 2022, instead of focusing on writing MORE content, focus on writing BETTER content. Don't create content to simply go through the motions. Instead, have a plan and be clear about WHY you're creating the content and WHO you're creating it for. Here are a few guidelines to help you:
1. Create content that answers the questions your audience searches for most
Don't write about any old thing that pops into your head - unless of course it's something your ideal clients would want to know about. Do you have your own clothing line? Create content about the best way to measure yourself for the perfect fit. Think about what your past clients have voiced concerns about. If there's something that comes up again and again - that's probably a great place to start.
2. Create content that creates a human relationship and builds trust
Don't regurgitate facts and figures. How does the information help your audience solve a problem or make their life easier? Write your content in a conversational way and ensure your content explains why it matters to the reader.
3. Create original and relevant content
There's nothing wrong with reading, researching and even quoting other sources. But, those sources wrote their content for THEIR audience. Keep in mind how the information is relevant to your audience. And never plagiarize - you'll end up either in hot water with the original author or getting dinged by Google.
4. Create content that’s SEO optimized
SEO is its own big ball of wax and too much to unpack here. But, it's important to keep SEO in mind if you're hoping people will find your content. If you're writing content about a subject, keep the focus on that subject and don't veer too far away. Do link to other content you've written if it's relevant. And don't be afraid to link to content by other authors as long as it's relevant and helpful. Not only does this build trust with your audience, it also indicates to search engines that your content is related to the other authors content as well.
5. Create content that‘s easy to digest
They say you should write at a 7th grade reading level for the largest group of people to be able to read it. Now, I don't remember how I wrote when I was in seventh grade, but there are some free tools that can help make sure your content is legible. Hemingway is a great tool that will give you tips on writing and tell you the grade level of your writing. As you can see from the picture below, I had some work to do on a passage in this post.
In 2022, instead of focusing on writing MORE content, focus on writing BETTER content.
6. Refresh Your Marketing Plan
Marketing is of course an important aspect of any business, but you need to market yourself with success if you want to grow your company.
Perform an audit of your digital marketing efforts in 2021. An audit will help you understand what worked, what didn't and help you create a new game plan for 2022. Contrary to what you might think, if something isn't working, don't continue to tweak things. Instead, double down on what did work and drop the poor performers.
Your marketing plan should also include a way to know if your efforts are paying off which brings me to my next item...
7. Track Your Results
Making a plan, creating new visuals, trying new mediums and creating better content doesn't mean squat. That is, if you don't decide ahead of time what defines a "success" of your efforts and how to track it.
Tracking your efforts allow you to see what your audience is responding to and engaging with. It also tells you where you should be making adjustments.
I recommend using the "SMART" method for creating marketing goals that you can track:
For example, don't just set a goal of "Being more active on social media." While you could easily accomplish this by posting more, it doesn't specifically address any business goals, and it's not specific enough to track success.
Instead, use the SMART method to create something much more clear like this:
"Increase my Instagram engagement rate by 2% within 8 weeks"
Let's break that goal down so you can see why it's a SMART Goal:
Specific: It states which social platform we're focusing on (Instagram), what we want to focus on (engagement rate) and what success equals (an increase of 2%)
Measurable: We can easily see our engagement rate with Instagram Insights or third-party software
Achievable: An increase of 10%? That's tough when the average engagement rate is under 1%. But 2% in 8 weeks is certainly possible.
Relevant: Increased engagement on Instagram means more of your audience is responding to your content, and in turn, paying more attention to the messages that you're conveying.
Time-Bound: We've set a timeline of 8 weeks (2 months) to accomplish this goal. This means we can test content, see what works and what doesn't, tweak our approach and repeat.
8. Learn to Be OK with Outsourcing
Remember the saying I mentioned earlier? The one about not growing if you're not uncomfortable? Well, as a small business owner, it's hard to relinquish control of things - I get it - I'm a small business owner as well.
But, there comes a point at which you're no longer growing because you're trying to keep all the plates spinning by yourself.
At least one of those plates is bound to fall.
Your business will flourish if you share some responsibilities with others and focus on where you excel. This is especially true if you don't have time, or simply aren't as good at writing blog posts or posting to social media as you are... you know... actually running your business.
When outsourcing, consider what tasks you do the least well. Is there something you struggle with the most? Do you need help with marketing campaigns? Creating content? Scheduling posts? Managing your social media or automating your email drip campaigns? I'm sure you'd agree that spending time on those marketing tasks would be better spent on the areas of your business that you're passionate about.
You may not want to hire a full-time employee to do these things. But, you may be stretching your limited resources to do it yourself. So, consider outsourcing the work to a company like Pyrpaw Marketing. This is what companies like mine do all the time. If you do consider this route, make sure the company ensures you're kept in the loop. Make sure you're still part of what's going on and stay in frequent communication.
All That's Left is to Get to Work!
With the year ahead of you, now is the best time to take advantage of the marketing tips I've outlined above. The act of reviewing your marketing efforts from the past year are enough to give you ideas for the year ahead. But, if you implement the resolutions in this post, I know you'll see even better results this year.
If you're interested in reading more about stepping up your digital marketing, try reading my post about How to schedule a month of social media posts in under and hour - you'll be glad you did!
I hope you found this post helpful. As always, feel free to reach out to me for more information or questions. And leave a comment below!