Resolutions aren’t just about reading more books or getting to bed earlier or finally breaking your addiction to oatmeal creme pies. Resolutions, like the marketing resolutions here, are also great tools to help you make critical decisions and improvements in your business.
Try out these marketing resolutions
Here are five marketing resolutions to make in your business for 2021:
- Trust the data.
- Align your content.
- Try something new.
- Manage your planning.
- Reduce, reuse, repurpose.
Let’s get started!
Resolution 1: Trust the data
When you’re caught up in your business’s day-to-day activities, it can be easy to start relying on your gut instinct to see what’s working (and what’s not).
In 2021, resolve to review and act on the in-depth data available from your marketing systems. Here are some key things to look at:
- Overall website traffic: Are you getting more or less traffic to your website? Are your site visitors spending more time there? How are they interacting while they’re there?
- Referral traffic: How are people finding you? Is it through active work that you’re doing (like posting on social media, sharing on Pinterest, PR activities) or more passive activities like SEO and inbound links?
- Email marketing impact: How are your subscribers responding to your email messages? Look at your open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes? What trends do you see?
- Social engagement: How engaged are your social followings? What types of posts are they responding to? Are you gaining followers or losing them?
- What’s working: Where and how are you selling? What activities are driving revenue?
Look at this data regularly — at least once a month — to ensure that your marketing plan and tactics are aligned with what’s actually driving results.
Resolution 2: Align your content
For most of us, it’s relatively easy to create content for our businesses.
But there’s another element at play when it comes to creating the right content, and when it comes to getting it in front of your customers at the right time as they move through your sales funnel.
With your 2021 content marketing plans, make sure you’re identifying each piece of content, which persona it speaks to, and where they are in the customer sales funnel. There are three stages in the sales funnel:
- Awareness stage: When your prospects are in the awareness stage, you’re trying to get their attention and get them to know about you. Most blog content and social content are used to reach customers in the awareness stage. You also may use awareness content to raise the customer’s awareness of their problem so that it stands out in their mind.
- Consideration stage: To appeal to prospective customers in the consideration stage, you’ll want to highlight your product or service’s benefits. Often this content is distributed through your email list or sales channels. It should also directly address your customers’ pain points.
- Purchase stage: Finally, purchase stage content is what pushes the reader over the finish line from “thinking about it” to “just bought it.” Purchase-driven content often includes case studies, testimonials and how-to content that showcases your authority.
For this marketing resolution, make sure that you’re asking yourself which stage of the content funnel that you’re creating for before you begin. Strive to develop appropriate content for each stage of your sales funnel.
Resolution 3: Try something new
If 2020 threw some curveballs at your business, you’re not alone.
But that doesn’t mean that 2021 is the time just to batten down the hatches and keep doing what you’ve always done.
Whether it’s checking out a new platform (like Clubhouse or Community), broadening your horizons to include video or podcasting, or even changing how you offer your products or services, 2021 is a great time to try something new.
- Try a new platform. Identify a platform where your customers are likely going to be, and one that uses the kind of connections you like to build. For example, a donut shop could have a lot of fun with TikTok videos, but they could struggle with Clubhouse’s audio-only platform.
- Leverage a new content format. If you traditionally write, try expanding to add audio to your repertoire or doing mass SMS texting with a tool like Community. If you love creating short-form videos on Instagram or Facebook, repurpose your content to an audio-only podcast.
- Think about new ways to deliver your products or services. Canadian cleaning company GoCleanCo exploded onto the scene during 2020, helping everyone who was stuck at home to clean their own houses when they couldn’t book a cleaning service. Now they have more than 1.5 million Instagram followers and have sold thousands of copies of their eBooks on cleaning and laundry. Are there other ways that you can deliver your products or services that can help expand your reach?
Make sure you define what success looks like in your testing of something new. You don’t want to add something new that’s just noise without driving results.
Resolution 4: Manage your planning
To maximize your efficiency in 2021, you need to find the right balance of planning and agility for your business. That’s where this marketing resolution can help. Unless you have a long lead-time on delivering products, you can probably plan quarterly increments and implement them in six-week sprints.
For some of us, this is a longer planning cycle than we’re used to. Instead, we keep flying by the seat of our pants and writing tomorrow’s email newsletter today.
For others, this planning cycle will feel too short. You’ll be used to closing yourself away for days and planning a full 365 (or more!) days. But with a shorter marketing planning and execution cycle, you’ll be more agile and able to take advantage of new opportunities in your market without wasting time on plans or tactics that don’t work out.
Resolution 5: Reduce, reuse, repurpose
Earlier, we talked about trying something new. Maybe that something new is leveraging the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” resolution for your content and marketing creation.
According to Worldometer, nearly 5 million new blog posts are created every day, and more than 500 million tweets are sent.
Even if you’re writing like you’re running out of time, it’s hard to keep up with the pace of millions of bloggers and content creators.
And there are plenty of reasons to avoid re-creating the wheel over and over again. Different ways of presenting your research and ideas will capture the attention of readers and prospects. Here’s how this resolution works:
- Reduce: Look at your analytics to identify how often you need to publish to continue to reach your audience. You may not need to blog three times a week or even do weekly podcasts. You also can use curated content to fill your social sharing funnels, expand your authority, and develop new relationships.
- Reuse: As fast as social media feeds evolve and our inboxes fill up, you can easily reuse your existing content by sharing and re-sharing with different highlights. You can also revise your existing content as guest posts and share them on third-party sites like Medium.
- Repurpose: You don’t need to just share your existing content as-is. Give your existing ideas new life by repurposing them in different ways, such as:
- Compile an ebook out of a series of blog posts on the same subject or theme.
- Create an infographic from your custom research or framework.
- Launch a podcast based on your blog post content.
- Record video versions of your future podcasts to create visual content.
- Develop social campaigns based on your content with multiple posts. Use quotes, graphics, checklists and other highlights to attract your ideal readers and generate clickthroughs.
What marketing resolutions are you making for 2021?