Are you ready? 2018 is here and it is time to update your digital marketing strategy. This year brings with it many exciting opportunities for business owners, including video marketing and affordable automation methods. The trend we’ve seen emerging — relationship-based marketing — continues, but now we have sharper, faster, more accurate tools to use.
Here’s a guide to help you map our your digital marketing strategy for 2018 to build the best relationships possible with your target audience. I’ll cover the step by step process of evaluating your progress in 2017 and moving forward into the new year.
1. Evaluate Your Numbers and Determine KPIs for 2018
The first step is to gather the information that you collected in 2017 related to marketing strategies and the health of your business. You might feel that this step is unnecessary if you have been tracking and evaluating your numbers all year long, from campaign to campaign. Yet this big-picture, year-as-a-whole view is very valuable.
Instead of focusing on the success or failure of a single strategy, like one ad campaign, you will be looking for trends for the year as a whole. Hopefully, you were tracking a few key performance indicators (KPI) throughout the year. If not, think about what kind of data would be helpful to know in a big-picture sense. Define your governing objective, and then find a KPI that matches.
Most likely you are interested in your profits, so gross revenue and net profit would be two excellent KPIs to track. In addition to these primary KPIs, you may identify a few more that drive your net profit. Charles Lubbat, a digital marketing consultant, suggests a metric related to your sales funnel or click-through rates on specific sales pages. These will be intensely specific to you and your business, so take the time to give it thought.
2. Set End Of Year Goals
Once you’ve mined the data from last year for insights and determined a few KPIs, your next step is to set a clearly defined end of the year goal. Your goal should reflect the direction that you hope to move the business in over the next ten years. Don’t ignore the long-term plan in favor of setting an aggressive end-of-the-year goal. Bill Gates has astutely noted that most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten.
Think long-term about the direction you want your business to go in, and then set a reasonable year-long goal that will serve as a stepping stone to your ten-year pursuits. Your goal needs to be precise and incorporate one to three of your identified KPIs within the wording. This makes it a goal that can be evaluated, which is extremely helpful.
3. Break End Of Year Goals into 90 Day Goals
Think of the year in terms of four 90 day chunks. What do you have to accomplish per quarter in order to meet your end of the year goal?
In this step, you need to translate your end goal into actionable steps. More specifically, it must be four large steps. Each step (which is also a quarter, or approximately 90 days) needs to then be broken down into two to three smaller chunks.
Here’s an example. Joe’s end of the year goal is to double his net profits for the year, jumping from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars. He’s identified his KPI (net profit) and he now must determine the actions that will get him there. He does some math to discover that in order to meet his goal, he needs to make 4,000 more per month to reach the goal. In Joe’s case, this means he needs to sell 30 more units per month or one per day.
How can he sell one more unit per day? Joe focuses on building relationships and discovers that he can use video ads and YouTube content to reach interested buyers. He decides to try shooting 3 videos and hosting a webinar during the first quarter of the year. He divides this into two “sprints“.
Sprints are helpful because it allows an individual to work in an intense and focused manner for two weeks, and then recover and evaluate. Joe’s first sprint includes scripting, filming, editing and publishing three YouTube videos. His second sprint is related to this webinar.
When you identify what your sprints are, be sure to consider the software and resources that you want to use. Modern automation tools are readily available in 2018 for low costs. Business owners can create webinar content with minimal tools, which hasn’t always been the case.
The same goes for email. For just about twenty dollars a month you can set up a very efficient email sales funnel. Collect emails on your website through offering a lead magnet. Consider using a tool such as Optimize Press if you don’t already. Connect your collected email list to a resource like AWeber or MailChimp, and then set up an automated email series that can promote your webinar to you. Share your brand’s story through your email content. You can also work with a digital marketing consultant to help you with these steps.
4. Evaluate and Move Forward
In 2018 it is important to keep relationships at the forefront of your marketing strategies. Charles Lubbat often advises brands to bring out the personal story behind the business, so that buyers can connect with the brand on a personal level.
Every business owner can do this now, due to the excellent quality of phone cameras and free video editing software on the web. Facebook advertisements with video content, especially peer-to-peer content, will be very powerful in 2018. This means that the Facebook video ad should have a “common” appearance, and should not look like a professionally filmed commercial.
Evaluate each goal using cold, hard numbers. Don’t gues whether your strategies are working. At the end of the 90 days, you need to compare your business metrics and identify what direction you are moving in. Joe, for example, might find that he sold fifteen units after the webinar, but that the videos are not bringing in more revenue. He decides that for the second quarter he will focus on hosting two webinars rather than one. He revises his strategy according to his numbers and moves into the next quarter.
This four step plan should help you map out an excellent marketing strategy for 2018. Each step is crucial. You must reflect on the past year, determine your KPIs and one-year goal, and then make an action plan. Don’t forget to evaluate your strategy at the end of each quarter.