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Now that we’re a week into the new decade – hello Roaring ‘20s 2.0! – we advise looking at your past efforts to strategize and optimize your marketing for the rest of the year. We’ve got six POI nuggets packed with tips and inspiration to get you rolling.

5 critical audit areas

Now that we’re over saying, “Happy New Year,” it’s a good time to audit your marketing efforts and assess their effectiveness. An audit allows you to:

  • Examine the separate elements of your program or campaign to determine their effectiveness
  • Create the opportunity to address challenges and/or refocus attention where it is needed
  • Utilize the talents of marketing professionals on the cheap

An audit is a good excuse to gauge the talents of marketing pros without the need to bring them on full-time. An agency can take a look at the tactics you have questions about and give you a report on their health status as well as suggestions to improve them.

This can be a boon for your company, as you get to witness the agency’s level of professionalism and get a sense of whether or not it will be a good fit for future projects. For more in-depth coverage on what an audit can do for your business, check out this post.

Old school

Before you allocate dollars marked for traditional marketing to your digital budget, there are a few things to consider. Traditional can still be a marketer’s good friend, and Banking Journal shares some ideas where it benefits (and not just the financial industry).

  • Raising awareness: If you’re weak in a market or venturing into new ground, getting your brand out there is essential. Utilizing traditional mass media channels (print, radio, TV, outdoor advertising like billboards) can help consumers remember you or find you for the first time. The mass approach allows them to “view” your brand several times before they actually “see you” and comprehend who you are.
  • Conveying the emotional aspects of your branding: The various departments in your team likely have personal connection with your customers and/or prospects. Beyond that in-person or over-the-phone connection, video works wonders for conveying that emotional touch. While digital marketing utilizes video, it can still be a viable traditional option when used in local TV ads or in the spots for businesses that often air before the main attraction at cinemas.
  • Delivering an offer to prospects: Consider direct mail – believe it or not it still delivers great results – and can be used as a traditional meets digital component. 
  • Promoting a high-value service: A personal touch – call, meeting or letter often outweighs what digital marketing is capable of, especially when marketing a high-value and potentially high-cost service for a consumer. 

Farewell to flab

“I don’t understand why they’re targeting me,” is something most of us think when digging into our email inbox. With personalization and automation tools getting more refined regularly, you really have no excuse to blanket the community with emails for those who will never become customers.

Rather than blast out to everyone, take the beginning of this decade to reduce the flab on your emails with these tips from Marketing Land:

  • Get your own emails: By subscribing to your own content, you can easily audit the customer’s experience first-hand. See what appeals to you – and doesn’t – and make some edits.
  • Test more than once: Make a hypothesis on your current email output, audit the way you are using email marketing, test multiple times – and share those results. Your team will learn from wins and losses. 

Let’s see results

Analytics are the backbone of your marketing results – seeing wins and losses and learning how to make important changes. You can optimize your efforts in a variety of ways to better pinpoint your efforts to where they’ll be the most successful.

Forbes offers three hot tips for using analytics to guide your SEO:

Create some standards: Know what site and SEO performance benchmarks you’d like to see, and then create a simple spreadsheet to analyze key areas of success or needs for improvement such as site speed, backlinks and organic keywords.

Learn from organic search: Where’s the heat coming from on your site? There’s a variety of SEO add-on software to show you where people are clicking, hovering and their scrolling behavior on your site. Where there’s heat, there’s likely good content to look at utilizing elsewhere on your site.

Optimize: Once you know those heat spots and what keywords are getting you clicks, look at other areas on your site that can be optimized with keywords and relevant phrasing to keep them momentum going.

 

Penny’s worth

Just because we may start the year with a fresh budget doesn’t mean we should go spend-crazy just yet. Consider utilizing some clever ways to stre—tch that social media budget to save some wiggle room for later. Thanks for the tips, AdAge:

  • Careful targeting: Social allows some great core targeting functions. If you focus on a specific audience, the right people see your message at the right time – and on budget.
  • Boost PR via social: Consumers believe what they read in articles more often than what they see in ads, but it’s tough to drive people to your published articles. Use your targeted social tactic from above to drive customers to your PR.
  • Value in honesty: Customers love engaging, so provide opportunities for them to do so. Be authentic and engaging on social, and you’ll soon see shares do a lot of the work that your budget was intended for.

PPC vs. PR

Paid advertising and organic PR are two different beasts to get to know before you utilize either, according to a new piece on Business 2 Community. There’s existing confusion as some companies think their ads are actually a PR campaign while others believe ads are the key, but they really want to launch a PR campaign.

In the simplest explanation, PR uses strategic messaging to maintain and improve your public image. Advertising’s primary goal is the purchase of a product or service. You may need to be doing both. Here are some ways PR and advertising can benefit your digital offerings:

Getting your company mentioned on other credible, relevant websites in a positive manner is great PR. This isn’t a simple task but it begins first and foremost with great content.

On the ad side, being strategic with keywords and content can also yield great results.

It may make sense for you to implement both PR and paid ads into your plan for 2020, and if that sounds like a huge challenge, it may be time to consider partnering with a marketing firm to help you determine the next smart moves.

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