The marketing landscape—particularly digital marketing—is constantly changing. You have to stay on top of the latest trends, while continually managing your existing efforts. That’s where marketing strategy comes into play.
Having a strategy enables you to make the most of your time and resources, keeping your current plates spinning while you test out some new tricks. The start of the new year is a great time to take a gander at your marketing strategy, assess what’s working and what isn’t, and make a concentrated effort to try some new things.
Those “new things” are what we’ll be discussing today. Here are some key areas where you may want to focus more of your marketing resources and attention this year.
Spend More Time Using These Marketing Tools in 2014
From direct mail to social media, businesses and nonprofits have tons of marketing tools available to them. Too many, in fact, for one organization to ever use them all. So with all these potentially useful tools available, which ones will give you best results and return in 2014? Here are our picks for the top of the marketing toolbox:
#1—Modeling & Analytics
Efficiency is the name of the marketing game this year. How can get the most for your marketing dollar? How can you target your marketing efforts to reach the people most apt to respond? The answer lies in modeling and analytics.
Using tools like predictive modeling, profiling, data enhancement and customer/donor mapping, you can be more precise with your marketing. You can better match the products or services you offer with the consumers most likely to be interested in them. You can also provide more personalized messaging and create stronger connections.
Today’s customers and donors expect you to know their needs, hone in on what’s relevant to them, and eliminate the irrelevant. Modeling and analytics can get you there. It’s the most important element you should add to your marketing strategy in 2014.
#2—Google Plus (G+)
With the organic reach of Facebook on the decline for brands, you may be looking to adjust your social media strategy to devote more time to other social networks. Look no further than Google Plus (G+). The social network from the search giant floundered for a couple of years until Google made some big (and beneficial) changes last year.
G+ is now more useful and visually appealing—and growing in users (Google reported 540 million active G+ users in late October). It’s also a great place to engage with consumers and other organizations based on shared areas of interest, something you can’t really do very effectively on Facebook.
A lot of marketers are talking about G+ this year, and with good reason. This is a network on the rise for brands.
Sure, content marketing has been an important component of online marketing strategy for the last few years. But now it’s become something more: Essential. Both consumers and search engines alike expect organizations to be regularly publishing new content online. It’s a prerequisite for any and every active online organization.
If you’re not regularly publishing articles or blog posts to your website or other content platform, you’re missing out on a lot of great benefits—including more traffic to your website, strengthening your brand message for consumers, and the opportunity to exhibit your professional expertise.
A brand without regularly updated content on the Web today is a half-hearted brand. If you haven’t already, make content marketing a top priority moving forward.
#4—Online Fundraising/Brand Advocacy
The great advantage of the Internet as a marketing tool is its interactivity. It provides brands the opportunity to instantly connect with customers and donors—and, just as importantly, gives customers and donors the ability to interact with one another. To make the most of that opportunity, brands need to take action to “activate” their donors, customers and supporters on the Web.
For nonprofits, 2013 was another year that saw significant increases in online giving. Every nonprofit organization should be reaching out to their existing supporters and providing them the capability to fundraise on your behalf. It will create stronger connections between your supporters and your organization, and have a positive impact on your overall fundraising results.
For businesses, the game is different but the idea is the same: How can you reach out to the people who support your brand and give them incentive to share their positive feelings about your products or services with their friends? Getting your fans to advocate for your brand online should be a key strategic marketing goal for 2014.
#5—Your Website (Refresh It!)
This one can go on the list every year—and it should. Go to your website right now and take a look at your home page. Does it reflect the current state of your brand? Does it look modern and inviting? Does it have a clear and present call to action? Every year, you should set aside some time to review your website to see where it needs updating or if it needs a redesign.
Like your brand itself, your website should evolve and change as your audience and services change. You want to make sure your website remains visually relevant, contains all the key elements needed for success, and, most importantly, helps you generate leads. The Web changes quickly these days. That means your website design and content can quickly go from being modern and comprehensive to outdated and incomplete.
Your website sits at the center of your online marketing efforts. Make sure it’s working for you the way it should be. If it isn’t, updating your site should be a top strategic goal this year.
Need a hand updating your marketing strategy? eleventy provides customized marketing solutions to meet the unique needs of your organization. Connect with us today to see how we can help you achieve your marketing goals in 2014.