30 Dec Is 2017 The Time To Transform Your Online Marketing Campaign?
As we approach the end of 2016 and we get a chance to sit back, review and then plan for the year ahead, it is so common for businesses to turn around and say “next year is the year” when it comes to online marketing, but for most, it will never happen.
And this is not a criticism at all, as most business owners have at times been guilty of putting things off, and whether this includes those dreaded end of year accounts preparation or catching up on some yearly reviews, planning your 12-month online marketing strategy can often fall into the “do tomorrow” list, and as we know, tomorrow never really comes. This is not to say we do not think it is important, but when your dealing with getting new sales, dealing with customers, fulfilling current orders and work, the tomorrow list of things to do will slide, and slide until it becomes forgotten, or at the very best, on hold.
When it comes to marketing, especially online marketing, the need for a strategy and plan is crucial, as not only do you need time to prepare, put live, optimise and review, you also need to assign budgets and spend per platform, as no matter what you plan to do, there is always a budgetary consideration involved. Indeed, spending money is easy, but unless you plan where you are allocating your spend, in 2018 you will look back at the marketing budget spent in 2017 and say that it “just did not work”, and how often have you heard people say this?
So, let’s look at just why you really do need an online marketing plan and strategy for your 2017 marketing campaign.
So Many Platforms
From Google AdWords through to an in-depth, SEO campaign, there are so many places to spend money online that you need to list them all, rule out the ones that are just not applicable or right for you and then end up with a master list of platforms that you can spend some money with. For example, SEO and PPC can work for most businesses, but Facebook Advertising works better for some industries than others, so it’s important to realise where you can gain some excellent traction and then work with these platforms, but never discounting anything until you have spent some time researching it. Once you have a list of your platforms, this can then help to build the foundations of your master plan, as you need to know your platforms before you can move onto the next steps.
If you don’t have a budget to split across the platforms you are thinking about running with, then how can you ever really succeed? Too many businesses chuck a bit of money here, and bit there, and then cancel their advertising as they feel it just does not work for them, and this is where it all goes wrong. If you are going to be running AdWords, SEO and Facebook, each of these needs a budget, otherwise none of them are going to work. AdWords needs a decent spend, a good SEO company is not going to be cheap and Facebook needs to have some good spend to get the right level of engagement, so it’s vital to plan your strategy so that you can then assign a budget and therefore, at the end of the year, work out the ROI on all the platforms you are advertising with or on.
Preparation And Optimisation
Launching any campaign without preparation will lead to heartache and lost money later down the line, and likewise, failing to optimise, tweak and improve your campaign on an ongoing basis will also equate to the same. From a simple AdWords campaign, through to a 12 month Facebook paid promotion, you need to plan your campaign, get the right creatives, make some stunning landing pages and decide on your outline settings, else the campaign will just spend money and make little or no returns. And when your campaign is running, you need to monitor it, nurture it, encourage it to grow and then make sure it is working, as the longer you let it do its own thing, the more chance there is of it really failing to deliver anything long term.
Accountability And Performance Review
And, when all is said and done, how many sales did your main AdWords campaign make when compared to your December email campaign? If you don’t know, your strategy is flawed, as for every platform you work with you simply MUST gather conversion data, and whether that is through each platforms conversion tracking solution, Google Analytics goals or a mixture of both, if you don’t know where your results come from then you can plan nothing effectively going forward. Every pound you spend must be accountable, and unless you are tracking sales through technology rather than human data gathering, you will have no idea about which sales came from which platform, which offers you no way of planning future spend and where to increase or decrease your budgets.