Your 2018 Checklist: How to Improve Your Marketing Efforts in the New Year

The new year is not only a time for personal resolutions, but also for professional ones. One of the most important aspects to focus on is how you can attract new customers and keep your existing ones loyal to your brand. This is best achieved by marketing; which means that the end of the year is the perfect time to consider ways to improve your marketing efforts with the following four-step checklist.

1. Review What Worked and What Didn’t

The first step in any plan for the future is reviewing what happened in the past. You can’t create a successful plan for 2018 without analyzing what worked and what didn’t in 2017. If you have available statistics, review which strategies provided the best returns on your investments and which tactics worked better than others.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about 2017:

  • Which social media platforms and/or websites brought the most visitors to your site?
  • How many of those visitors converted into paying customers?
  • If you utilized pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, which keywords were the most effective?
  • If you promoted content, which keywords got the most clicks?
  • Which pages on your site have the lowest bounce rate (the amount of time a visitor stays on it before leaving)?
  • Which influencers (if you used any) brought in the most business?

Finding out answers to these questions will allow you to decide on a course of action for 2018 so you can maximize efforts to work on the marketing strategies were the most fruitful.

2. Ask What Your Customers Want

In addition to reviewing what you did in 2017, consider things that you haven’t yet tried but that your customers may want. How do you know what messages will resonate with them? By asking them!

Conduct focus group with current and prospective customers, distribute surveys and ask for input from your your audience to get a better sense of not only what products and services they are seeking, but what marketing strategies will help you connect with them better.

This will also help you focus on segmentation, which helps you not to treat your entire customer base as a single entity and focus on individual customers. Turning right to your customers to ask them what they prefer takes the guesswork out of your marketing campaigns for 2018.

3. Create a Consistent Brand Image

We are so bombarded by advertising from television, the internet, billboards, magazines and so on, that customers have a hard time recalling the individual messages from different companies. The brands that have been able to cut through the clutter are ones that are able to tell a single story, creating a consistent brand image.

This requires reviewing your website content, social media posts, advertising, press releases and other artwork to make sure they are all on the same point and relaying the same message.

4. Follow Your Competitors

How can you attempt to stand out from the crowd and offer a unique experience to your customers if you don’t know what your competitors are offering? It is helpful to closely follow your competition to analyze what marketing tactics they are using, and what is working or not for them.

See if there is a gap in your competitors’ marketing strategies that you can capitalize on to set yourself apart from other similar businesses.

Finally, budget for your marketing efforts for the following year. If there is an opportunity that you feel is worthy of pursuing but you cannot afford it, we can help! IOU Financial helps small businesses finance loans of up to $300,000 in as little as 48 hours. Contact us today to find out more.

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