I’m sure we all know that most digital marketing efforts take around 3 months to gain traction so if you haven’t started yet this year, it will be May before you start seeing some consistent results.
As B2B businesses look to buy very early on in the calendar year or around the end of the financial year, delaying marketing efforts now could miss the second buying cycle for the year. Also, if you are in the B2C space, most customers spend up big just after the financial year and around Christmas (no surprise on this one).
With this in mind, and the aim to hit the big mid year buying frenzy, lets look at the top 5 things to get started on right now.
Website Page Speed
I know this one seems trivial and you might think it’s the last thing that should be at the top of your list for 2018 marketing activities, but it will be by July. Google have announced that as of July this year it will take into account ‘mobile page speed’ when ranking your website. Google goes on to say it will continue to be a small part of the overall page rank weighting algorithm but with millions of websites unlikely to address page speed this is an easy win to push you up the search rankings. As Google traffic is often a site’s biggest traffic driver, this will help increase organic search traffic long term over your competitors.
Develop and begin executing a content plan
Let’s face it, writing takes a long time and often we don’t see the benefit right away. It’s rare that someone reads your article then contacts you immediately – it comes down to your buying cycle. A B2B buying cycle of accounting services, for example, may be 2 months, and the buying cycle of a new pair of Nike runners may be 2 weeks. So, the content you write today may not help make a sale today but it will help you make that sale in the future.
A 2018 content plan is extremely important and should be developed to target your customers but also be achievable by your business. There is no point in committing to 1 article per day when you know your staff only have capacity for one per week. Keeping in mind staff capacity and your customer’s needs, put together a list of initial topics grouped into months, based on what your customers should be thinking and looking for around that time. This might include:
– Mother’s Day gift ideas
– Gas heater servicing before winter starts
– Get the last of this seasons summer wines
– Benefits of getting the flu shot
– Get a mortgage health check before the interest rate spike
These topics can change through the year but you need a plan to start.
Have you spoken to your customers this year yet? Chances are your competitors have.
Everyone is busy these days and we are exposed to advertisement everywhere but with that in mind the age old concept of recency and frequency still applies. People buy from the companies that contact them the most recent and the most frequent.
I am in the digital space and although I am aware of this I still am one of these people. Over the Christmas break I decided to change my wardrobe a little, I bought a T.M. Lewin shirt. I thought one was enough but then they had a sale which they informed me about by email to which I didn’t buy. Then I received another email, and another and another all over a 2 week period. Towards the end of that 2 week period I ripped a shirt and guess which company I visited to buy a new shirt. Yep, T.M. Lewin… and I end up buying 3!
Now you have a content plan for the year in place, look to send out a monthly email to your existing customers to share your content with them. It’s not unwanted if you are adding value so don’t feel concerned about talking to your customers too much.
Update your website
With a content plan, email marketing and page speed increases in place, you’ll start to get an increase in traffic coming to your site giving you some new potential customers. But, if you’re website looks like it was designed 2 years ago, it’s got a “Copyright 2017” label in the footer or it’s missing a lot of standard functionality new websites have, then you will not be looked upon too favourably. Your website is your online salesman and if he is looking ‘daggy’, not mobile friendly or using general old website practices (and missing new website practices) then you’re going to have your new found potential customer leave your site just as quickly as they arrived. People buy because they:
1. Need your service
2. Enjoy the process
I love buying from David Jones even though I know Priceline has the same thing because the store experience at David Jones makes me feel good – and the same goes online. Engaging a professional looking, cutting edge brand is a much more enjoyable activity than a brand which is ‘tired’, even if the outcome will be the same.
Online advertising isn’t for everyone and it doesn’t work for every business (contrary to popular belief) however, re-marketing can give some great benefits for a fraction of the cost. Re-marketing only displays your ad to people who have visited your site before, hence a lower cost and a MUCH more targeted audience.
For example, once you send an email to your customers and they land on your “Get a Free Dental Checkup” page, you can then re-market just to these people as you know they are a warm lead. Alternatively, if you are a interior decorator and people regularly ring up for quotes but often take a month to commit to buying, you can re-market to these people to ensure you are top of mind when they come to pulling the trigger.
Remarketing is a great way to begin testing the waters in the paid advertising space or if you have a long sales cycle
These 5 activities will give you the best online boost to kick off 2018 and help put some structure around your marketing for 2018.