As we bid adieu to 2013, we asked one of our lead Project Managers for some marketing advice heading into the new year. Internet, meet Tom.
We all want to be the best. We want our company to be the best company …much better than our competitors. We want the best customers that pay us the best money. We want the best brand that gets recognized across lands near and far.
Being the best is a challenge, especially when it comes to online marketing. 2013 was a year of great change, and chances are, you’ve struggled with at least one of your marketing channels this year. As we all look towards next year, start planning budgets and defining goals, consider the following four points to help make the best of your efforts:
1) Idea first, medium second. In an age where content marketing is spreading like wildfire, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the mindset that you have to produce a certain type of content – an infographic, a blog post, a top ten list – whatever it may be. It’s common to hear marketers sitting around planning like this: “What idea can we come up with for an infographic? We need to do 4 blog posts this month … what should our topics be?”
This is the wrong approach. Start first with the question, “What information do people want/need right now?” Once you have answered this question, you are on the right track. Get the idea down, then figure out what medium will make the content easiest to consume. Does it make the most sense to put this in an infographic? If so, great. If not, figure out what the best channel is. Think outside the box. Focus on the actual content. Don’t worry about glitz/glam. Communicate your message. Don’t worry about anything else.
2) Get real on your blog. Take an honest look at what you are doing with your blog. I’m talking about one of those REALLY honest looks, where you sincerely evaluate the content you are publishing here.
- Are you churning blog posts just because someone told you blogging was good for SEO?
- Are you regurgitating something that’s been said/done a thousand times?
- Are you just going through the motions here, without much regard for bigger picture?
It’s time to get real, people. Try doing some of this:
- Re-read point number 1 on this list above.
- If you decide that your message is best suited for blog form, then get out your pen and paper (uh, keyboard?).
- Do some research before you start. Has this topic been covered before? If so, how will your version be better?
- Write like you mean it. Write like you are competing in a writing contest with a one million dollar prize. Write like you . . . you get it.
- Add photos / graphics / headings. Help your readers digest your content by making it visually interesting and easily scan-able.
- When it’s finished, send it to a few colleagues. Ask them to critique.
3) Focus on your website. With so much attention going towards content marketing, social media, and other channels, we often forget to look at the core of what we are offering people. If all of your marketing is geared towards getting more users to your site (who will hopefully become customers), should your site be straight up awesome?
“Well, my site is pretty good”. PRETTY GOOD??? Get out of here bro.
Make your site THE BEST. Make it better than all your competitors. Make it so good that people can control themselves no longer when they arrive at your site, and they have no choice BUT to become your customers.
Pro Tip: taking this mindset will improve your SEO dramatically. Trust me.
4) Get serious about paid marketing. Take a minute to reflect on the points above. For a minute, let’s envision ourselves 3 months down the road when you’ve now accomplished the following:
- You’ve had the BEST ideas, and you’ve done a great job and putting those into some really meaningful content pieces.
- You’ve contributed the BEST content to your blog, and this thing is seriously robust. In fact, you find yourself re-reading your own posts because you’re just that proud of them.
- You’ve built the BEST website, and it’s doing wonders for your on-site engagement.
Congratulations! You have built it. However, on the web, “build it and they will come” is not typically the case. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and drive some traffic to this thing. If you are nervous about investing here, then take a look back at what you’ve built – there’s a good chance your nervousness is due a lack of confidence in your work. If your work is top notch, you should be giddy while you put your credit card info in to your Google Adwords account. After all, you’ve built the best, and you can’t wait for more people to experience it.
As you bask in the presence of these tips, I can already sense some of the hesitation that’s creeping up inside of your mind – “But I don’t have the time do all this,” “I’m not a writer, how can I create good content?” or “I don’t have the budget for a new website!”
Well, I can’t really help you with that. It wasn’t easy when the wright brothers learned to fly or when Steve Jobs created the ipod. We all work within the limits of our own skills, budgets, and industries. But those that are going to win online in 2014 are those that don’t accept these challenges as the end of the road. See your challenges as things that must be solved, and don’t stop until you’ve solved them and are free to work diligently towards your goals.
So that’s it. Go for the gold in 2014! Happy New Year!
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