At this time of year the minds’ of many business owners turn to planning and preparing to make the new year their best yet.
The new year has arrived ready or not. I wanted to make your life a little easier so here is a 2018 Digital Marketing Preparation Checklist you can begin working on now to meet the demands you’ll face early this year.
To put yourself in the best possible position for 2018 you want to make sure you have these items covered as soon as possible (let me know if you have questions on any of those and I will be happy to help).
2018 Digital Marketing Preparation Checklist
- Update your site’s copyright to reflect at the very least the current year ( e.g., © 2018). There is nothing worse than looking at your website and seeing 2012 on it. That’s a red flag to site visitors and will make them want to hit the back button quickly.
- Page by Page Site Audit – Is your site content up to date? Are all of your services listed? Is the information accurate? Give your site a thorough once over and make some updates and changes if needed.
- Mobile Responsive – Yes or No? We are living in a “mobile first” world (meaning that we as business owners need to look at our website first from the view of Mobile phone THEN from a laptop or desktop computer. If your website doesn’t automatically change and edit to fit the size of the screen it is on then it’s time to get that fixed.
Online Presence and Reputation
- Check your online reputation with the “Google Test” – One of the first things I ALWAYS do when looking at a small business is to “Google” their business name. I look to see if they have their profiles set up on Google Business, Facebook, etc. I also look to see if they have reviews and what their overall star rating is on each of the platforms that their customers can leave reviews for them.
- Accelerate Your Online Review Strategy –
▪ Develop new content that can be based on monthly themes throughout the year. There are many industry “weeks” or “months” that you can find using a search engine, e.g., Manufacturing Week is the first week of October. Provide tips or how to for those industries you support.
▪ Create short videos you can share on your website. For example, ask staff what their top 3 craziest tax-related questions have ever been. Video tape their responses. For months featuring parents, ask staff what was the best advice their “insert parent title” ever gave them or that they wished they’d listened to.
▪ Infographics are very popular on visual platforms and blogs and are great for social sharing. Consider creating a few of those highlighting business tips you’d provide to clients, such as how long do you keep business financial documents, or when should you consider exit planning?
▪ Downloadable content is great for lead generation. An easy way to create this is to take your best blogs in a topic area, such as real estate, and combine them in to a photo-filled ebook. Then create a landing page requiring at least an email address to download the ebook. Finally, add the names to your monthly newsletter to help increase leads.
▪ Build an enewsletter. If you don’t have an email newsletter, and one that is mobile ready, now is the time. There are many tools you can use to create newsletters, including MailChimp and Constant Contact. There are also services you can buy that will distribute a monthly newsletter for you.
▪ Collect company culture images. Company culture images also make for great social sharing content. This is most effectively used on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat; but can also be made into moving collages for video, which could be added to a YouTube channel.
▪ Prepare webinar or podcast content that may be recorded and distributed throughout the year. Make the more important information a paid service to help generate income for your firm.
▪ Determine if outdates materials, such as a company brochure, should be redesigned and printed. Or, should you opt for an electronic version that can be updated easier and cost less?
▪ Revisit previous, successful print campaigns and consider doing them again to the same audience or in a different region to help generate new leads.
▪ Identify those items that could come off the print-materials plan, such as printed newsletters that are mailed. Rather survey your clients letting them know you will be distributing an electronic version and have them sign up via email address or opt-out. If you give them a print option, they may still take it, which doesn’t alleviate the cost.
▪ Pinpoint events you plan to host, co-host, sponsor, or speak at. Begin developing the marketing plans around each event. Best-practice tip: Take the event launch data and back up about 10-12 weeks. That’s when the promotion period should begin.
▪ Update your social media profiles with current, trending hashtags, location information if it’s changed, and any new keywords your firm may be using, e.g., you’re now offering a new service or will be in 2018.
▪ Change company header and profile images to reflect something about your firm. The profile can still be your logo, but represented in a fresh way.
▪ Research hashtags associated with our service lines. Make a chart of them and focus on using them throughout the year. Remember to conduct social listening activities too so your brand name isn’t associated with a negative hashtag or trend.
▪ Develop a social media theme for each month that focuses on driving leads toward your new landing pages.
▪ Add other social media posts that focus on company culture, corporate governance, and other important topics your clients need to know.
▪ Collect a list of quotes that reflect your firm’s mission, such as “To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” – American Proverb. These posts can use a graphic and then posted on your social platforms. Canva.com is a great resource for this.
▪ Write and schedule social media posts head of time, but monitor activity, engagement, comments, shares, etc.
▪ Obtain monthly social media analytics reports so you can track progress and adjust if something’s not working.
Now that you have the checklist, it’s time to get to work. Which are will you tackle first?