As we enter the season of joy and cheer, it’s also time to prepare for the new year. If you are ahead of the game and have begun setting goals for next year, pat yourself on the back. If you haven’t started setting your goals for next year, don’t wait too long, or else several months will pass by before you look up. I think we’ve all been there before.
No matter where you are in the goal setting process, it’s important to attach an action oriented business plan to help you get to those goals. A key component of the business plan should include marketing strategies.
Good marketing strategies support your sales efforts and will help you accelerate your sales in 2019. Below are 3 steps to accelerate your marketing results and agency growth.
Step One: Evaluate your website
If it’s been a few years since you’ve updated your website, it’s time to evaluate and consider updating your website. Remember, this is your first impression to prospects that don’t know you. Some areas to consider when you evaluate your website.
Mobile responsive: If your site isn’t built for mobile, you have a problem. Websites are now being accessed from mobile devices at a much higher rate than desktops. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are missing out. Even more importantly, Google ranks mobile friendly sites ahead of non-mobile friendly sites. So you will be penalized if you are behind the times.
Even if your site is mobile responsive, does it actually look good on a mobile device? Take a look at your site from your phone and evaluate layout, fonts and images to ensure it actually is mobile “friendly” and not just mobile responsive.
Also, consider refreshing the layout, font, colors and images to modernize it. What looked good 5 years ago, may not look good today.
Ensure you have a lead capture form. Your site needs to have a way for a visitor to leave their information. Ideally, it links directly to your CRM or marketing tool like Leadpages, or Getresponse. Both of which offer lead capture forms you can embed on your site.
If you need a complete website redesign, don’t break your bank doing so. DIY players like Wix and Weebly have great looking modern mobile friendly templates you can choose from at an inexpensive price. Simply add your copy and choose the right images. If you want to pay for a professional, go to our resources page for a listing of resources and tools that can help you with this effort.
Caution, I highly advise against using a “canned” site that many marketing services sell. These are essentially duplicated sites with minor changes with the agency’s name and logo that are sold and utilized by many agencies If you still choose to go this route, see if you can change the copy of the site to better reflect your agency’s personality. Especially pay attention to the about us page. For tips on a good about us page, read our blog “Why the About Us Page Isn’t About You.”
Step Two: Marketing Calendar
If you don’t know what a marketing calendar is, it’s actually exactly what it sounds like. It’s a plan that covers your marketing activities for the entire year. It does require some investment of your time to develop it, similar to your business plan, but it will pay off later and save you a ton of time through out the year.
Marketing should not be done haphazardly. Unfortunately, most agencies and businesses decide to “market” when they remember to. A marketing plan allows you to be intentional, purposeful and consistent with your marketing efforts.
Begin by outline an overall strategy. Consider the following while you develop your strategy.
Now, fill out your calendar and strategy in detail. Your answers from the question set above will help you with the process.
The easiest way to start is to plug in recurring events, such as regular blog posts or e-mail blasts. Be realistic about timelines for producing and executing these recurring tactics. Plan ahead and be consistent. Whether it’s a couple of hours a week or a month, set time aside to develop the content. Quality and consistency beats quantity. It’s better to have one blog a month than three rushed blogs in a week, and then disappear for months. Don’t forget to include routine marketing touches to your existing clients.
Remember to set aside time for high level planning early for special/critical times a year and set aside time prior to create the tactics. For example, earmark preparation time for Q1 renewals season marketing in Q3 of the prior year.
Aside from organizing your marketing tactics and deadlines, a calendar will show you the gaps in your marketing coverage. You will be able to see if there are times when you're not producing any content or have them too bunched up.
Step Three: Follow Through
Step three isn’t a secret, yet it’s the step that most people forget about once the daily routines get in the way. It’s easy to forget or push off something that isn’t an immediate revenue generating or operational activity. However, everyone agrees marketing is crucial to ongoing sales success.
Set some time after opening presents and before singing Auld Lang Syne to review your website. Decide and plan if/what you need to update and create a timeline and budget to update your site.
Use the holiday down time to create and plan a high level version of your marketing calendar. Make sure you include recurring time set aside for creating marketing tactics as part of your calendar.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Enjoy some cookies and chocolates as you do this. Remember your goal and outcome. Imagine how you will feel 12 months from now after you implemented these strategies. It will be well worth it.