Josh Gregg

Weight loss. A healthier diet. Being nice(r) to strangers. Don’t forget your kids’ birthdays. These are all admirable New Year’s Resolutions. But what if you thought about your NYE Reso a little differently this year?

What if you resolved to create a better product, or experience, for your customers and the people who rely on your company or organization? Annnnd maybe it could, in turn, boost your bottom line too, but that’s just sweet gravy and a byproduct of focusing on your marketing efforts in 2018.

While you no doubt have a laundry list of items needing attention on your marketing list, how about we start with three simple ones? Shall we? Here goes.

1. Put a plan in place. New year, new you. How about a strategic plan to really drill down into setting SMART goals for your company or organization in 2018? All too often clients and organizations are sure they know the ins and outs of their audience, their audience’s pain points and what their audience values (or finds difficult about) doing work with said business or organization.

But how can you be sure? Like, really really sure? Strategic plan, meet you. You, meet strategic plan.

A strategic plan will help you set measurable, realistic goals for your 2018 calendar year and give you a road map (including tactics) on how to drive your marketing forward. Go to the gym later, get your strat plan consultation started now.

2. Talk to your audiences. Each of them. Have you ever gone to an event with a bullhorn to give a large and diverse audience the same exact message? You have (digitally, so to speak) if you’re still stuck with some of marketing’s most outdated practices by relentlessly blasting your email list of customers and prospects with the same vanilla message in hopes that something, somewhere will resonate. Have mercy.

So how about you to turn off your email fire hose and transform it into a savvy, strategic drip campaign? (“Huh?” Don’t worry, we can help.) These personalized campaigns are fantastic for targeting specific audiences and implementing “if/then” rationale to help clients and prospects by giving them the information they want and need while giving you the opportunity to provide more value to your customers and advance your prospects further down the sales funnel.

3. Socialize. You were told you needed a Facebook page...and that one of your competitors had Twitter so you better be in that space too...oh, and maybe you want to work on establishing that whole “thought leadership” thing on LinkedIn. And all of that is fine and well, but what usually happens is a business will “set it and forget it” and now you have to look in the mirror and it’s painful because you’re pushing the same exact content across three or more channels. Woof. 

It’s time to make social media social. Do this by creating content calendars and differentiating your content across the platforms you WANT to be involved in. Your audience follows you on different platforms because they expect different content. Don’t let them down! Use a tool (such as Hootesuite or Sprout Social) or work with an agency (like us) to put a plan in place to surprise and delight with original content or carefully curated content that’s relevant to your industry—and more importantly, your audience’s needs.

Then get social. It’s not enough to push content like a demonic 5-year-old fervently pushing an elevator button in a doctor’s office hoping for a quicker result. If you’re going to do it, by God, you need to do it right. And doing it right starts with inserting your brand into relevant conversations within your industry and among your audience members. Doing it right means adding value to others and responding to requests, questions and feedback in a timely manner.

This is your year. This is when you take your marketing from checkers to chess (strategic plan), when you go from a fire hose of generic and ineffective information into a targeted approach (email drip campaigns) and when you trash the mannequin you’ve been sending to a digital networking event all these years (renew and refocus your social media efforts) and show up like a protagonist in a movie whom all the characters notice for the first time.

This is the year of you.