30 Jan The Best New Year’s Resolutions for Crushing It in 2018
After the last echoes of ringing in the New Year subside, everyone reflects on how to make 2018 better through their own actions. If you’re a digital marketer, this time marks the perfect opportunity to set ambitious goals and pledge to cut out bad habits.
To help inspire you to do better in the New Year and meet success head on, here are our 6 top recommended digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018.
1. Tie Content Better Within Buyer Journeys
In 2018, your audience deserves better than irrelevant content. No one will click on articles that don’t offer some sort of value. And, more importantly, how your audience perceives value depends on the stage of the buyer journey they’re at.
Offer value by planning content topics and placement around your customers’ stage in their buyer journey.
For instance, if you sell RVs, don’t expect someone who doesn’t have the intention to buy an RV yet to click on your article about “6 Top Reasons You Should Buy Your RV From Us!” Instead, recognize the types of topics that would get them interested. Here are a few examples:
- Not yet aware they want to buy an RV
- 7 Top Camping Destinations on the West Coast
- Pros and Cons of the 4 Most Common Types of Camping
- Maybe thinking about buying an RV
- 5 Reasons RV Camping Blows Tent Camping Out of the Water
- Winter Camp in Comfort at These Gorgeous Destinations
- Deciding what RV to buy
- Must-Have Features for Every Modern RV
- Top RV Models by Price Range
- Ready to buy
- Why You Should Buy Your RV From a Local Dealer
- 6 Warning Signs for Dishonest RV Dealers That Should Make You Leave the Lot
Each hypothetical blog title is aimed at a particular stage of the Buyer’s Journey. If you have an email list, you will want to offer each piece based on the information the buyer has looked at before and their indicated interests. For your website, include suggested blog topics logically within the section the buyer is currently within.
Going one step beyond this approach requires personalization engines and marketing automation. But you can get started by creating several buyer personas and customer journey maps, then devise a content strategy to help nurture each persona type towards a final sale.
2. Make More Video
We’ve hammered this point home plenty of times, but just to reiterate: video is the direction that the internet is going. Cisco studies predict that 69% of total internet traffic over 2017 will have come from video views. By 2021, they expect that portion to increase to 82%.
The reason for rising video consumption is simple: people love video! Better smartphones and cheaper data plans also give us the means to watch video anywhere at any time.
Appetites for video content will keep on growing throughout 2018, and marketers for businesses of all sizes should be willing to help satisfy that demand. If they do, they will reap substantial rewards.
51% of marketers globally list video as the type of content that earns them the best return on investment. Video uploaded to social media also generates 1200% more shares than text or image posts combined!
To take advantage of video in your digital marketing strategy, start by creating slideshow summaries of your most-popular blogs using tools like Rocketium or Adobe Spark. Or, go live with behind-the-scenes looks at your operations or Q&A sessions. Both of these low-cost options offer reliable solutions for engagement.
Looking longer term, investigate the budget you would need to create a few short 2-5 minute video assets. These can help raise your brand awareness, earn shares, and give your company a veneer of modern professionalism.
3. Diversify Your Marketing Channels
For any small business owner who was relying exclusively on Facebook for their marketing 3 years ago, I’m afraid you learned this lesson the hard way. Facebook, which was once a small business friendly, no-cost marketing platform has since evolved into a “pay for play” model such as we see with Google.
Facebook and Google are constantly changing their models and their algorithms. Relying solely on either of these channels for your marketing is a recipe for disaster as one change, one penalty (see JC Penny, Expedia, Overstock.com), one shift in consumer preference can torpedo your entire marketing strategy.
Just as you don’t want to invest your entire retirement portfolio in one company (say, Enron…) you also don’t want to invest all of your company’s marketing dollars into just one channel.
Effective marketing is a 3-legged stool comprised of:
- Digital — SEO, PPC, Display, Social Media, Email
- Traditional — TV, Radio, Print, Direct Mail, Billboards
- Relationships — Networking, Trade Shows, Conferences, Referral Programs
Your marketing budget may not allow you to diversify immediately, but as soon as you find one effective channel, you should begin adding a second channel, and then a third.
But pay attention to your ROI (return on investment). Both money and time need to be figured into your selection process for choosing new marketing channels. Hosting a live speaking engagement might cost you little money but soak up dozens of hours in prep time. In which case, make sure you video the presentation so you can repurpose it as a video blog or webinar!
4. Reshape Your Website to Be Even More Mobile Friendly
It’s 2018, and mobile phones are officially grafted into our lifestyle. Americans spend 71% of their time online using mobile devices, and visits to websites through mobile devices shot up 72% this year.
Using responsive design and passing Google’s mobile-friendly test are therefore just the start. You should rigorously explore and test options for even more engaging and usable mobile layouts throughout 2018. Offer mobile visitors a true experience, but still make navigation and content consumption easy.
Improvements like these can help you stand out among competitors in an environment where mobile will only increase its share of traffic over time.
5. Engage More Authentically With Your Social Media Audiences
Social media audiences want to feel like they’re engaging with real people, not brands. According to one of the top social media management apps, posts with a personable approach, humor, inspiration or emotion drive the best engagement.
You can also ask questions from your audience directly. How do they handle challenges related to your line of work? What tech trends do they think have the most promise? What are their New Year’s resolutions? Questions like these drive engagement and help your audience feel listened to.
Person-centered conversations surrounding your brand can also occur outside of your owned (well, borrowed) social spaces. By setting up social monitoring tools for mentions of your brand or service area, you can engage people in 1:1 conversations and help them solve problems.
Engaging directly with your audiences in these ways can sway public opinion in your favor while making your social media pages more lively.
6. While Fulfilling These Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, Base More Decisions on Data
All of the above resolutions can bring you success as long as you take a scientific approach. Start by setting goals and target metrics. Make predictions on how to meet these metrics, measure how accurate your predictions were, and experiment to see if you can find even greater success.
You can also A/B test two approaches simultaneously to learn even faster. For instance, maybe you aren’t sure which Facebook post for an upcoming event will get the most clicks? You can use paid social advertising to serve two different promoted posts to targeted audiences and see what happens.
Experimentation combined with dedication and a healthy dash of creativity will help you go a long way towards finding more success in the year ahead.
Keep the above resolutions in mind, and you could be well on your way towards making 2018 the best year in digital marketing ever. Good luck, and have a Happy New Year!