Your marketing plan should be perceived as a map.
Marketing evolves constantly. Therefore, to have a marketing plan in place for 2017, you need to adopt the most updated strategies. With a successful marketing plan in place at the dawn of this year, you will be in a better position to efficiently allocate your resources, take steps for business promotions and growth, and be able to differentiate your company from the competitors. Check out 21 of the best ways to update your marketing strategy in the list below.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing could be the most important marketing strategy for success. To create content that is relevant for your website, having blog categories or an on-site article directory is an excellent idea. Content that is fresh and helpful engages its readers and helps build trust as well as authority. It also attracts leads and converts them into sales. Repurposing great content will make people consume it more. A blog can be converted into an eBook and a webinar can be turned into a subscriber-only video — the possibilities to employ your creativity are endless. Guest blogging is also a good option to reach, inform and connect with new prospects. Meaningful blog commenting on other sites also gets you more traffic, free links and many new friends as well.
2. Videos and Visuals
Videos and visuals content marketing has witnessed an exponential growth in the recent years. Brands are looking to employ methods that enrich their digital storytelling to market their products. Photos, videos and infographics are important to bring experiences to life. Infographics on your website are a potent way to build external links, thereby driving more traffic to it. In the words of CMO Council, 65 percent of the senior marketing executives hold a firm belief that their visual assets in the form of photos, videos, infographics, etc., are key to effectively communicate their brand story.
3. Podcast Marketing
As a medium to market your business, podcasting can be extremely helpful and with the investment of little time and energy, your small business can build a following that is enough to leave your competitors behind. Podcasts allow you to talk directly with your audience that paves the way for you to forge deeper and personal connection with them.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing continues to be an effective form of marketing for reaching out to the potential customers. To improve your email marketing, you need to segment your email lists, design your emails by keeping mobiles in mind and keeping the content simple and compelling. You must create a first good impression with your content marketing campaigns, as well as optimize them for the landing pages.
5. Disruptive Marketing
Disruptive marketing techniques need to be employed by keeping mobile as the dominant platform first. There should be more transparency in business-customer relationship. You should set a standard with the help of engaging content, more so the user-generated content, as well as by building social networking as an ecosystem to rival the original internet.
6. Social Networking
To effectively market your content using social media, you need to employ different ways, like adding visual appeal, use of catchy headlines, customization according to the platform, sharing at just the right time as well as posting multiple times, choosing the right platform to share, maximize your brand advocates and also better leverage the communities.
7. Using the Power of Curiosity
The generation of curiosity in consumers helps improve their motivation and boosts brand awareness that fuels their desire to find out more. However, the most important thing that makes customer curiosity newsworthy and interesting is that today, most marketers are making use of tools that turn curiosity into customer commitment during the whole customer journey.
8. Competitor Research
Analysis of an organization’s competitors helps discover weaknesses and identify opportunities and threats for the organization from the industrial environment. During the formulation of an organization’s strategy, decision-makers should consider the strategies of the company's competitors. A competitor analysis helps an organization in measuring and assessing its standing amongst its competitors.
9. Contest Marketing
Apart from keeping your existing clients happy and further strengthen your relationship with them, you should think of holding contests as a key time for attracting new consumers. Be it through mails or placing an ad in various media platforms. Promotion of your contest will introduce your brand to new people.
10. Conduct a Content Audit
A content audit is the most important ingredient of content strategy, which governs content marketing. Content audit helps determine the relevancy of digital content for the customer needs as well as the goals of an organization. Content audit helps in the assessment of needs, in shaping content governance and it also helps determine if future projects would be feasible.
11. Make Partnerships for Co-promotion
Co-marketing leads to a win-win situation for two or more companies working on a project together as each has to do less work for more reward. By partnering for co-marketing and by promoting a piece of content or product, companies are able to share results for that promotion. Therefore, by leveraging the relationship and reach of a partner through co-marketing campaigns, companies are able to get more leads, buzz and awareness with lesser effort.
12. Be a People Person
Even if you’re great at your job, but can't relate with the people, you won't go very far. Nurturing relationships is all-important. If you’re unable to elicit other people's feedback, you’ll remain confined to your own mental silo of information or remain constrained by your own experiences.
13. Survey Your Customers for Great Ideas
If you create a useful customer survey, it's well worth the task, even if it’s not easy to execute. Surveys help you gather a large volume of data quickly on a given set of questions. Customer surveys give you the opportunity to poll your users on questions that could otherwise remain unanswered.
14. Ask for Reviews
Consumers are increasingly reading and trusting online reviews. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. In other words, by not offering user reviews or by ignoring them as a potential marketing opportunity, you are alienating 88 percent of your buying population, as you’re depriving them of information they need to make their buying decisions.
15. Answer Questions on Forums
Forums are created by companies as a mean of customer support. To elucidate further, if a customer has a question, it's very likely that somebody else has already asked that question. If the answers to that question are satisfactory, they hold good for everybody. Thus, by answering one question, you're helping dozens of people and also decreasing time and resources spent on customer support.
16. Create Customer Case Studies
A great way to prove your worth is through the creation of compelling case studies that tell others about the positive impact your product or service has had on any of your existing customers.
17. Post Your Company Offers on Coupon and Deal Sites
If you are a savvy small business owner, you should be finding ways to leverage discount coupons and deal sites to track customers, build affiliate relationships and much more.
18. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Building a mobile-friendly website is a step in the right direction, but you also need to infuse your marketing strategy with a “mobile” mindset. According to a Google update, the search engine giant will primarily look at mobile content, rather than desktop, for deciding rank results.
19. List Your Business in Local Business Directories
With the businesses going online, the use of Yellow Pages has been on the wane. People prefer to conduct a quick search on one of the many popular online directories. Given that Internet search has become the primary tool to find businesses today, it has become important to list your business on all applicable online directories.
20. Translate Your Website to Multiple Languages
With businesses going global, companies have begun translating their websites in various languages. Researchers conclude that people tend to engage more with those companies and people who speak their own language. This in turn helped these companies’ profitability increase.
21. Create Value
Business innovators need to work hard to get an understanding about what exactly value means to their customers so they can generate and provide it — since value is an emergent property of supplier and consumer taken together.
A thorough marketing plan should be the essence for the success of your business in 2017. A strategic approach will enhance the reach of your core message. Your marketing plan should be perceived as a map that will help you accomplish your business goals. Therefore, be sure to make these changes so that your team is able to keep up with the times, as well as your competitors.
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