What are your revenue goals for the next 12 months? If your answer is “That’s a good question..” then you need to take some time and create a marketing plan. But where do you start? At Cascade Digital Marketing we look at the following areas when creating any marketing plan – all of which should be revisited yearly for improvement. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind as you move forward with your marketing plan for 2018-19.
- Do a brand audit. Each year you should re-evaluate your brand positioning. Is the product or service that you are advertising clear, and does your logo and website theme (colors, fonts, verbiage) reflect it? It is helpful to do this in comparison to other companies with the same service or product as yours. What is working for them? What isn’t working? Do you have the same problem areas? This will help develop ideas of marketing goals to set for your company.
- Look at your company message. If the customer is confused by your brand message, you’re doing it wrong. Simplicity is your best friend. Your company has one major purpose, and that is what you want to get across to the customer. Don’t stray away from this point. Be clear and concise, and don’t try to jam lots of pointless information into your website. Also don’t try to make your message about yourself. The customer wants to know if you can meet their need and your answer should be short and sweet: yes.
- Set yourself apart. How are you different from your market competition? Is your message the same as theirs? Why should the customer choose you? To hone your brand message you need to determine what sets you apart from the pack.
- Have a clean and concise layout. A cluttered website deters customers in less than a second. Too much information on the page can overload and exhaust a customer, immediately bouncing them back to their search. It can also make your website slower, as it is more difficult for the browser to load when you have too many pages and data. You’ve just made your brand message short and sweet, and your website should reflect that. Keep it clean, keep it concise.
- Make it visually appealing. The first impression you make on your perspective customer is based on how your site comes across visually. Use colors that reflect the personality of your business; different colors give off different ethos, so make sure you choose colors wisely. Too many colors look disorganized and chaotic – both of which reflect poorly on your business. Font choices also leave an impression; for instance, the Chalkboard font may look ‘fun’ but come across as childish to the customer. Aerial Black Bold may be too forceful. Finally, make sure to include images that speak your company message clearly. This will help give the customer information about your company without having to read further.
- Think of the customer interaction. Make sure you are guiding your customer through your site, not bragging about your accomplishments. Your goal is to help the customer with your service or product, so create a website that helps them do that. Give them easy steps that can be accomplished quickly in order to achieve the end goal (the sale). You can leave information about your company history and achievements on the ‘about’ page.
- Have a call-to-action. You want to make it easy for the customer to access your service or product. This can be done with a simple action button (“Call Today” or “Buy Now!”) at the top and bottom of your page. For your landing page, you might have two or three, urging them to take action right away. You could also include this in your header, menu or footer bar, making it static and available on every page.
- Identify the outlet that works best with your site (and audience). Each company is different, and social media platforms help in different ways. Make sure you are creating a presence on the social media platform(s) that best fit the need and audience of your business. For instance, a law firm will have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, whereas an outdoor or travel company will likely utilize Instagram primarily.
- Post regularly. It is tedious to think about posting two or three times a day to your social account – we get it, you have other things to do. But making sure to stay on top of your social media presence is important. That is why there are social media scheduling tools such as Agorapulse and Hootsuite that allow you to organize and schedule posts ahead of time that will automatically post to all of your social media platforms. They also help with responding to comments, likes and shares to make engagement management easy.
- Point to your website. The goal of your social platforms is to create engagement on posts and to bring customers to your website. Make sure you are pointing back to your website often, and include working links that correspond to the post. If you include a link in your Facebook post and the link doesn’t take the customer directly to that item/service, they will instantly bounce out of your site.
- Use a pop-up on your website to capture emails. No one likes pop-ups, we know. But the truth is they work, so why not use them? Pop-up timing is important, so make sure that you give the customer time to be drawn in and interested before prompting them. Elegant Themes has a plug-in called Bloom that makes email pop-up functioning easy and modifiable, so that you can control features like when the pop-up triggers and what the pop-up looks like.
- Create a welcome series of emails. Not everybody is going to take action on your site immediately. The job of email marketing is to remind the customer that you are there. Creating a sequence of 10 or more emails helps the customer take action when they are on the fence about your product or service. As long as your emails contain value for the customer, they will help your business.
There you have it. All of the above focal points will help you create a solid marketing plan for the next fiscal year. For more information or get help to achieve your marketing goals, please contact us below.