January is swiftly approaching, and now is the time when businesses and ministries alike have the opportunity to start fresh with their marketing plans. Facing the goals of a new year can be overwhelming, so here are five key areas to consider for crafting an even more successful marketing strategy for 2015.
1) let’s talk money
First things first: You need to develop a realistic budget. It is important to make sure that you are not over-spending or under-spending on your marketing for the goal you are hoping to accomplish. The number you come up with should be a balance of what you can afford, of course, but also a figure that is aggressive enough to force the team to stretch to justify and generate a return. Then, get creative in developing effective and efficient strategies that will help you achieve your objectives.
2) so what’s the plan?
Don’t make a plan just to make a plan. Though that may sound patently obvious, enormous amounts of time and money have been spent on business efforts that did not have a sound strategy behind them. Remember, a successful marketing strategy will always keep your target audience at the center of each decision. And tie some aggressive yet attainable results to your plan, in order to get the most out of your team and resources. After you have developed an overarching plan for the year, define clear objectives for each action item and decide how every objective comes together to achieve your overall strategy.
3) work with what you already have
Oftentimes, businesses fall into the trap of thinking that growth must come from new materials. However, that is not always the case. Evaluate your current marketing tools, such as your website and social sites (if you have them) to ensure that they are being utilized to their full potential. For example, a website should not just be a static digital brochure of your organization – it should be a means by which your audience can connect and interact with you.
4) consistent, relevant content is key
One of the biggest challenges all marketing entities face today is consistency — and content production is no exception. People will only return to your website if they feel it is adding value to them, so it is critical to produce consistent AND relevant content for your audience. The same goes for your social presence. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to build followers and relationships, but they are only effective if used strategically. Outline a plan at least a month in advance throughout the year to ensure that you are always producing content for your audience. If you know that you will not have time to produce the content internally, ghostwriters experienced in writing for your industry are amazing resources to tap into.
5) don’t wait until the cup overflows to measure
In other words, evaluate your efforts consistently throughout the year as opposed to waiting until the year is coming to an end. The reason being is that not all “great ideas” turn out to be great ideas. If something that you thought would be successful in connecting with your audience is failing, it is important to re-evaluate that strategy and come up with a new plan to test out before wasting a year’s worth of resources.
Most importantly, stick to the plan! It is easy to lose focus throughout the year as inevitable variables present themselves. Though change and adaptation is expected, you should never lose site of your end goal, and following through with the tasks that play a critical role in your organization achieving that goal.