It's that time of year again! Time to reflect on 2018 and prep for 2019.
Planning ahead for your marketing needs ensures you start off the year on the right track. As in life and business, of course you'll need to pivot along the way, but it's crucial to have a strong foundation to start with. This allows you to set benchmarks for success and keep yourself and/or your team accountable.
Below are 5 steps to consider and implement as you prep for 2019 Marketing. Although it is recommended to have this all done by end of December, don't beat yourself up if you use the month of January to rebalance and address by then.
1. Build Your Initial Budget Between Working and Non Working Costs. This seems like an obvious one, but it is very important to break out your non-working costs.
For those that are unfamiliar with the term, non-working costs are any costs that do not directly contribute to your ROI. This is normally in the form of production, production equipment, agency fees, software fees, location rentals, etc.
By breaking out your non-working costs and giving yourself a 10% buffer for any unknowns, you can determine what remaining budget will contribute to your bottom line ROI. From there you can identify a realistic marketing mix between organic and paid efforts to hit your business goals.
2. Evaluate Your Current Social Handles & Analytics. Do a deep dive analysis into your 2018 social numbers, paid media, and content.
Make note of your current cost pers, lead gen, social followers and engagement numbers. Look over the trajectory of these stats over the course of the year. Did you have certain spikes or drops in performance, if so why?
In addition to your numbers, do an analysis of your content. By platform what content performed best, what didn't? Based on the results decide to eliminate or increase certain creative formats. Figure out what areas you can increase your presence on. For example, did you use Instagram Stories as much as you liked? Do you want to explore IGTV more? Will LinkedIn be a new platform you'll embrace next year, etc.?
And lastly, look over your flighting & posting strategies and adjust as needed based on the best performing times and days.
3. Review Your Benchmarks and Set Up Your Goals. Determine your KPIs for social handles, SEO, CRM, custom content, and paid ads.
As you list out your goals for 2019, use your 2018 performance numbers as your starting benchmarks. If some 2018 numbers are not available, you'll need to review 1st quarter numbers of the same year and then benchmark against that.
4. Build Your Marketing Content Calendar. Now that you have a clear budget to work with and an understanding of what platforms you'll embrace for 2019, it is time to lay out your marketing content strategy.
First identify all major events for the year (sales events, launches, open enrollment, rebranding, etc.). Once your major events are reflected, first lay out your organic strategies that will support these events. This is any content you plan to run on your website, social handles and third party sites that do not require an investment. Next lay out all paid media strategies and creative units (display, video, native).
5. Start Creating Your First Quarter Assets. It is best to batch at least a whole month of content in advance to ensure you are posting consistently. If you are in a jam and don't know where to start, click here to a post we put together that highlights our favorite free or affordable creative tools.
We know once you take these steps, you will be well on your way streamlining your marketing efforts. Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you kill it in 2019!
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