With the holidays upon us, it’s time for the age-old “The 12 Days of Marketing!” That’s how the song goes, right?
Here are 12 things you need to put in your marketing strategy (or revisit) as the year winds down and Q1 starts up.
1st Buyer Personas
On the 1st day of Christmas, the marketing directors sent the lovely reminder that everything needs to be built around your buyer persona. You’re currently in one of two ‘trees’ right now (c’mon, play along with me here). You have persona’s that you developed when your company launched but haven’t revisited and updated them in ages. Or you’re blindly searching for partridges in a tree that only has pears.
Leave this strategy behind, and update your buyer personas on a quarterly basis — at least. Know who your target users and buyers are (these people are sometimes not one and the same), where they live on the internet, what their problems are, what they care about, and what motivates them.
On the 2nd, you best be getting out some good old fashion spreadsheets. There are some great online tools to help you stay updated on competitors (Spyfu is a great one for looking at keywords and ads). If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you can’t just hang out in your pear tree, you have to cozy up like those turtle doves, and really know your competitor and what they’re doing in their strategy.
It’s been said time and time again — relationship building with influencers are not a strategy tactic that’s going anywhere any time soon. Picture it — the three French hens are journalists, influencers, and you. The three of you must build relationships. These relationships need to be mutually beneficial. It’s the only way you’ll earn credible, unpaid placements.
Let’s be honest, I don’t know what a ‘calling’ or ‘colly’ bird is, but I bet we could curate all sorts of data on the beast. When you’re looking to make a compelling argument, you need to look to your analytics. We officially live in an age were data guides our decisions. And if you’re not evaluating the habits of your customers and using data to support your decisions, you’re missing out on the opportunity to effectively reach your target buyer.
5th Original Research
Golden rings are surely worth every penny and original research that’s meant to guide your marketing strategy is too. If you’re not conducting original research, you’re missing out on leading your industry in thought-leadership, providing valuable information to journalists and your users, the opportunity to engage your readers through ebooks, infographics, e-courses, blog content, and more. Original research just might be worth more than those golden rings.
6th Own Content
In the time it takes those six geese to lay those eggs, we could rehash all of the reasons you should be producing original content for your users/readers. But, let’s keep it short — we do still have 6 ‘days’ to go!
Aside from the SEO value for organic search, you can better retain current users by continuing to provide them with valuable information on the problems they’re facing every day.
And if you’re conducting your own original research, creating your own content is way easier than gathering all those eggs the geese laid.
7th Community Content
There are seven swans swimming together for a reason. They can take turns being front-and-center and they form this lovely ‘v’ stemming out from that central swan.
Your own content isn’t always going to be in the front. There are experts throughout the industry providing valuable insight for your users’/readers’ biggest problems. Share that content. Let that swan swim in the front of your social media. Dive into that swan’s ideas in a blog article of your own. The ‘v’ will stay afloat, and you look lovely in the process as you provide value to the group.
8th Strategic Partners
When you’re reading that community content, consider what could
be most valuable to be ‘milking.’ (I warned you early on….) Your marketing strategy needs to include strategic partners to help everyone get ahead and fill the pail. (I know, I know… I should really stop. I just can’t.)
Maybe the partnership involves promoting each other’s content — since your audiences do overlap and you’re not direct competitors. Or maybe it makes sense to partner on a larger research campaign that’s guided by a mutual third party that specializes in being an extension of each of your team…. (if you need recommendations on a third party, just let me know).
9th Social Media
There aren’t nine ladies of social media anymore. Five years ago, everyone tried to be everywhere through social media and it’s become the norm. Of course, it’s a place you nee
It’s not worth being everywhere if you’re not doing it well. And even if you are doing it ‘well,’ it doesn’t mean your audience is everywhere. Since you know where your buyer is, be where they are and nowhere else. Maintain a small presence where you see most fitting, but spend your time where your audience is and dance all over that platform! d to be, but need to be there strategically.
10th Visual Elements
It’s definitely worth leaping with the lords over the visual world we live in. It’s why sites like Instagram can be beneficial for your brand. It’s why Facebook and Twitter posts containing visuals are more engaging. You need to know just what visuals work for your audience (and it’s rarely stock photos…sorry). And if you aren’t sure, well, we can help.
I’m sure the personality of the piping pipers was perfectly pleasant and pretty predictable. Is yours?
Your brand needs to have a personality. And admittedly, it should be something your buyers can relate to. If you’re looking to engage young professionals, getting them to use your new app for smoothie ordering, having a stuffy corporate presence isn’t going to get you very far. Sure, it’s a personality, but is it that of your investors, or really yours?
Identify a figurehead in your organization. Use that person to build your company’s personality and brand this year.
No drum roll needed, really. With every single part of your marketing strategy, you must have goals. It’s great to add visual elements, but why are you doing it and what are you hoping to achieve? Having your own content definitely sounds like the right thing to do, but why is it for your organization?
Marketing pros constantly battle the ROI question from the CFO. If you’re setting, tracking, and analyzing goals regularly, you can put some value to the brand recognition, leads, engagement, retention — and everything else valuable that you’re generating. This means you’ll have the power to justify the marketing budget your team accounts for each year — and have proof showing why it needs to increase next year.