Did the New Year catch you without a marketing plan? Or an unfinished plan? There really is no need to panic. This happens more often than some people would like. Hence the phrase, better late than never. But whatever caused the delay, doing what needs to be done requires a steady head. Now that we’re clearing the holiday frenzy, let’s get to work. 

Do You Have the Budget for This Year?

It is no secret that you have to pay to get results. Some of the best sales come through word of mouth but relying solely on the good graces of others might leave you high and dry for a little while. So, what are your plans to put yourself in front of the people who need your help? And do you have the financial resources to help you get there? 

Around mid-2022, Gartner reported that marketing budgets have climbed to 9.5% of total company revenue in 2022, an increase from 6.4% in 2021. The increase in digital marketing en masse was at an unexpected rate but has since improved marketing and B2B relationships. Better quality content and digital marketing options and assets ensure industries are reaching their intended audiences for a greater return. 

So what’s your marketing spend? Where is it all going? Or, do you need some direction? Marketing is no longer what it used to be but having options doesn’t mean you should be dipping everywhere. The digital marketing experience ROI takes effort and patience but also a strategic spending plan. 

In this article, we’ll help you narrow down some of the areas you can spend your digital marketing budget this year.

Digital marketing encompasses more than just your website. This also includes  search engines, social media, and email, to connect with current and prospective customers. Paying attention to the details and carving out a clear path can aid in your future plans. Always keep in mind what your end goal is, especially for each quarter, and be prepared to work the plan to achieve your intended results. 

 So, here are some key questions to explore: 

  • How effective is your website at attracting and converting leads? Look at the numbers and check if you’ve met your KPIs or fallen a little short. 
  • What advertising channels generated the most leads last year? Are you only using regular ways to reach your audience? What else is out there?
  • What are your plans to enhance brand awareness, engagement, and loyalty? Do you have a plan? How can you implement an innovative strategy aligned with your first-quarter goals?
  • What do you need to improve in your mobile user experience? Everyone is mobile, but are you? With updates flying around, you want to stay on your toes.
  • How can you optimize your sales funnel(s) to drive more conversions? Those leads should lead somewhere. Time to revisit the plan and reassess your efforts. 
  • What can you do to better align sales and marketing? Better is always an option. Maybe it is time to step outside of your comfort zone. 

The Audit

To answer these questions and more, you need to start with an audit. This is like working your strategy backward, sideway, and in-between. Assess all activities and channels. Where did you fall short? But ‌where can you do better? You want to make sure you start the season on a pleasant note. Covering all your bases and leaving no room for error which can also aid in planning the rest of 2023 for a better experience. 

1. Past Marketing Plan

  • SEO: Perform a comprehensive SEO audit to review your website’s performance to drive more leads, customers, and increased sales.
  • Paid Media: Conduct an in-depth analysis of your ongoing PPC management services for campaign improvement
  • Social Media: Evaluate, measure, and understand the current social performance based on analytics data

2. Top-performing content

  • What keywords were used and how did it rank on google? What kind of engagement did it get on social media, whether through paid ads or organic traffic?

3. Low-performing content

  • Check for the same points as your top-performing content but also make sure the topic is also aligned with your strategy.

4. Keywords that are ranking

  • Make a list of them for future planning.

5. Gaps within your content strategy

  • What are you doing more or less of?  Is your content diverse? Meaning, are you only creating one type of content? 

The Plan

  1. Gather the team. Time is running so making sure key members are all on the same page is important. Identify the roles they will play in planning and executing the plan. 
  2. Your year-end review should be a great starting point. You can clearly see what worked, what didn’t, and how you can improve. 
  3. Set tangible deadlines and assign core responsibilities.

What Should You Do?

As previously mentioned, your audit should bring to your attention the successes and holes in your previous digital marketing plan. The online space is constantly changing so it is important to stay abreast of those changes and make adjustments as needed. 

Here are some things you can do to increase your brand awareness, and kickstart your strategy.  Ensure that you leave room in your strategy to constantly assess what is working so you quickly make informed decisions throughout the year. 

Improve Your Content Diversity

Did you know that 96% of B2B companies use videos in their marketing campaigns, of which 73% report increased ROI? That’s a rather impressive statistic. And if that hasn’t impressed you enough, adding a product video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%. 

You can talk about your brand story, and core values or explain something technical. You can talk about your company, maybe a little preview into the culture, an office tour, or soundbites from employees, or you can highlight your expertise. These are quick and low budget but also keen on improving your brand awareness. Be sure to add some animation as that seems to work with most videos lately. 

Produce an Interactive Campaign

Connectionmodel.com describes interactive marketing as an event-driven or trigger-based marketing tactic that involves acting in direct response to a consumer’s actions, behavior, preferences, expectations, or demands. 

Some examples include contests and giveaways, quizzes, email marketing, and personalized messages. Some benefits listed by HubSpot include boosted conversion, increased audience engagement, and immediate feedback. 

Try a new advertising channel

In your audit, the result of your advertising campaign should help you navigate this. Take a deeper look at the channels you have been using. Do you think you are getting the results you need? Should you spend more money or time? Is this the right channel for your business? What else is out there? 

Invest in new technology

In our recent blog post 6 Effective Ways To Revive Your Digital Content Strategy we listed several tools that aid in content production. Almost every day, there is something new. While identifying what is available in your industry might take some research, it is worth exploring.  It is important to ask what you are missing out on by avoiding new technology. The fact is, your old technology was new once, so what exactly do you have to lose? 

With Martech on the rise, now might be the time to fully explore systems that can consolidate your data, and improve your reporting for a better return. Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are becoming increasingly popular, particularly because of their efficiency. Improving your customer’s experience requires insight and a system, investing in such a system could prove beneficial to your overall strategy. You can read more about Acquia’s CDP here

Give your website a makeover

We know a thing or two about website makeovers. After all, that is our bread and butter. Our CMO Guide for Website Redesign is a free resource that we created to help you decide on what’s best for your website. 

Since you are exploring your digital marketing options, answer these questions about your current website: 

Does your messaging align with your business goals? 

How well your website converts matters. Using the right words or message to solve an immediate problem yields a greater ROI. A well-executed landing page should cover this. You can read more about this in our landing page best practices article. 

Is your website mobile-friendly?

The number of mobile users has increased significantly over the past few years. A website that is not mobile-friendly is a huge turn-off to customers. Improving user experience is key to improved returns. 

Do you have a clear call to action (CTA) to capture lead information?

Our post on landing page best practices also covers the importance of CTAs. You need to tell your website, and visitors, what their next steps are. Also, Is your messaging and value proposition clear?

You can also use tools like Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner to determine the right keywords and optimize your website pages and landing pages. Get all stakeholders involved to revisit your brand messaging. Make sure it is crystal clear and has a unique value proposition. Try A/B testing different headlines on your landing page, web page copy, and CTAs.

The New Year doesn’t have to be a struggle when you have a plan.  Knowing where to start and where to spend your money ensures that you get the best return on your investment. Every penny should count and be accountable for. But you must make your budget work for you. 

We have a team ready to support you. Set up a 30-minute consultation call to discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing needs this year.

 

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