It seems like we were just carving the turkey, unwrapping presents, and ringing in the new year, yet somehow it's already the last day of January—man, how time flies!
If you haven't had a spare moment to sit down and define your goals for the
coming year, we've put together this list of 12 marketing resolutions you can start on right now. We're highlighting these action items specifically because they'll help you maximize your time, increase your lead generation, and delight your customers. Let's get started:
Resolution 1: Automate Your Marketing in 2017
Opting for consistent, organized, and easy-to-track marketing practices is the new standard. So, get the engines rolling for 2017 and hop on the automation train!
Did you know that marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead? This means that the small team of marketing and sales reps you have can exceed their productivity benchmarks by automating certain processes and establishing a stronger bond between the 2 teams. Less stress, more results!
To succeed at marketing automation, make sure you:
- Keep an active content calendar
- Share the automation platform with your entire team
- Keep a tight schedule and avoid being late
Resolution 2: Sharing is Caring. Bring Your Sales Team On Board!
Marketing automation is not just for marketers; your salespeople can definitely use the exceptional and comprehensive data it provides. Keep these two teams under the same roof and watch them synchronize flawlessly.
To help your sales team help you, make sure you:
- Boost your lead generation efforts
- Nurture your leads before the first sales call
- Make more informed sales calls thanks to contact data
Resolution 3: We’re Still Striving Towards Personalization
Have you ever tried manually sending 500 personalized emails? It seems like an ugly waste of precious time, yet personalization is essential for building strong relationships with your leads and customers.
For example, you don’t buy from companies who don’t even know you exist, you buy from friends who remember your name and know when you're due for your annual HVAC checkup!
To personalize your company's content, make sure you:
- Go beyond one-time emails, personalized workflows are way more effective
- Track social media mentions to keep up with the community
- Upgrade your customer service through contact forms and your blog
Resolution 4: Embrace the Zero Moment of Truth
One of the biggest reasons we google today is to find help. Whether you need a brand-new recipe or a home furnace setup to keep the family warm, you’ll most probably turn to Google. The moment you start searching for answers online is called the Zero Moment of Truth, and that’s the critical moment when you want to reach potential customers.
To win the ZMOT, make sure you:
- Produce content that is helpful and never annoyingly promotional
- Optimize for the user, not for Google bots
- Market to people in all stages of the Buyer's Journey. When the right time comes, they'll come to you
Resolution 5: Choose Topics over Keywords
Search engines are evolving every day. There was a time you could repeat a keyword 50 times on a page and rank first on Google the next day. Well, you’ll probably be penalized for that now. Today, search engines rank websites based on their relevance, significance, and distance from the user. Your SEO needs to cover all 3 criteria to get your website up the Google ranks.
To produce content that ranks well, make sure you:
- Write content that truly interests your buyer personas to stay relevant on Google
- Optimize locally and add geotags, as this will take you closer to your customers
- Aim for topics, not keywords—this will be the new search philosophy in 2017
Resolution 6: Design a Website to Convert
Finally, designing a brand-new website is not enough; it’s only the start. If you want to receive customers from search and get them to convert, you’ll need to make sure your website is your best salesperson.
To have a website that brings in quality leads, make sure you:
- Build clear sales funnels that guide your users to conversion
- Provide a user experience your visitors will enjoy
- Optimize for mobile, since smartphones are everywhere now
Resolution 7: Content is the King And Queen
We bet you’re already doing content marketing, so let's start there. If you have a live website and have published at least one sentence on it, then you are in the content marketing game. The question is whether you're doing well or not.
If you're not doing well, remember that it's never too late to revisit your strategy and start developing content that speaks to the needs of your buyer personas. In 2017, write content that helps your visitors instead of selling to them.
To do content marketing well, make sure you:
- Publish content that adds value, knowledge, and trust
- Create content for every stage of the Buyer’s Journey
- Share the content you create on social media, in email newsletters, etc.
Resolution 8: Social Media. Can You Be Everyone’s Friend?
There’s got to be more to social media than just posting, right? Right! The real magic happens when you manage to truly connect with your followers and have conversations with them.
We know it's hard to be equally active on all networks, but that's why you got your in-house team, your marketing agency, and your marketing automation platform. So, get ready to take your company social in 2017!
To succeed with social media, make sure you:
- Know your followers and always answer their questions
- Track social mentions on major social media networks (this is a great chance for communication)
- Use social media signals to boost your SEO; the more you’re shared, the better you rank
Resolution 9: Email is Still a Powerful Marketing Tool
Email is still a powerful way to connect with your leads, so promise us that you'll be sending more "love letters" to your leads in 2017. Companies that send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle. It's the best way to take your relationship with your leads to the next level, and maybe even lead to the BIG proposal.
To improve your email marketing strategy, make sure you:
- Send "love letters" instead of spam
- Keep nurturing your leads before passing them on to sales
- Have a different email marketing strategy for each buyer persona that's based on their unique goals and challenges
Resolution 10: Turn Your Landing Pages Into Conversion Hot Spots
Landing pages are gateways for lead generation. Not everyone wants to buy right away, and if you have visitors who are "just browsing," landing pages are an excellent way to provide them with premium content to help them understand their own problem before they're ready to commit to a solution.
Landing pages also give you an opportunity to capture site visitors' information so you can continue nurturing them throughout their decision making process. Organize your leads into lists based on buyer personas, their goals, or even their location, then start nurturing them towards another conversion.
To create landing pages that convert, make sure you:
- Optimize your landing pages for conversion, i.e. eliminate everything that distracts the user from the main goal
- Pay attention to your headlines, images, text, and forms; they all make a difference
- Don’t just leave those pages on your site, promote them across the web
Resolution 11: Watch Your Competitors
You know your competitors are doing something, you just need to know exactly what that something is so you can make sure you’re always a step ahead.
Combine technology with your awesome marketing team and craft a competitor analysis that will help you stay at the top of your game.
To beat your competiton, make sure you:
- Keep track of your competitors' keyword rankings. Are they ranking for your target keywords?
- Gain visibility where they have visibility. What are the websites they have mentions on? Can you get there too?
- Follow their marketing-to-sales process. How do their customers convert?
Resolution 12: It’s Still a Numbers Game
If you want to keep up with your competition, at some point you're going to need to re-evaluate your efforts and give yourself a fresh start—the beginning fresh, new year is the perfect occasion for doing just that!
Take a moment to step away from your daily tasks and sit down with your team to analyze your numbers and start planning ahead.
To analyze and adjust your strategy, make sure you:
- Track the all-in-one data your marketing automation platform generates
- Consider your visitor-to-lead and lead-to-customer ratios. Find out where you’re not following through
- Come up with a new strategy that details your business goals, as well as detailed plans on how you'll achieve said goals
And that's it! We hope these tips help you achieve your marketing goals in 2017. If you ever want to chat about your marketing challenges or craft your first inbound strategy, feel free to reach out to us; it just happens to be our favorite job!