It’s that time of the year again when everyone’s looking forward to a whole new year of possibilities. And now’s the time to plan your most important online marketing activities for 2022. Planning now gives you a head start come the first of the year and ensures you set your business up for the best possible chance of success.
So, how do you do that and where do you even start?
We’re going to walk you through exactly what you need to do to prepare, plan and execute a practical and workable digital marketing plan for next year. And we’ll talk about using an all-in-one marketing platform to help you.
Part 1 – Preparation: Identify what’s working and what isn’t
Whatever type of marketing you’re doing, it always starts with this: Where are you right now in your business and where do you want to be? What is working and what isn’t?
Review your buyer personas and see if they’re still correct or need updating to reflect where your business and your audience are now. Set some SMART goals to aim for and the metrics you want to use to measure your success, then start by building the foundation of your marketing plan. Look at:
1) Your local rankings and how you’re getting found online
Look at your analytics to see where traffic is coming from and which are the most successful platforms and websites at sending traffic your way. Ask yourself, is this the right traffic you wanted to see?
Check your current rankings on the search engines so you have a starting point from which to improve.
2) The amount you’ve spent on ads
This is important because you need to know if your pay per click (PPC) ads are successful and where you are getting the best ROI from. You might find, for example, that you get the greatest ROI from Facebook ads rather than Google ads, and that Bing ads don’t really work for you.
You can’t improve and aim your efforts at where they’ll do the most good if you don’t know how much you’ve spent and how well your ads are doing.
3) The leads you’ve generated
It’s always good to keep track of how many leads you’ve generated, both in total over the year and per week and per month. You can look at where your best leads are coming from and see where to focus on to get more. And working back from your conversion rate, you can work out how many leads you need for 2022 to be successful.
4) How many new reviews you’ve received
Reviews provide needed social proof and the more you have, especially if you’re regularly receiving new reviews, the more potential customers can see that you’re a great business that they can rely on. Look at how many you’ve received in 2021 and how you’ve done that, then decide how many you’d like to get each month throughout 2022.
5) How often you’re publishing new content
Content marketing is an excellent way to build trust in your business and attract new customers and fresh, relevant content is a big part of content marketing success. How many pieces of content did you publish each month in 2021? Did that work for you or should you increase it for 2022?
6) How long it’s been since you’ve updated your Google Business Profile (GBP)
Your GBP profile (formerly Google My Business) allows you to connect directly with customers, post content, gain reviews, and more. Posting regular, relevant and quality content is a great way to get found online and impress potential customers. As above, how many times did you post on your GMB profile this year, and what’s your plan for next year?
With the right local marketing software, such as Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing intelligence platform, you can keep track of all of these areas and more. It’s easy to see your results from current and previous years and see where you’ve made improvements and where there’s more to do.
Now you know your current position and where you want to be this time next year, you’re ready to start your marketing plan.
Part 2 – Put Together Your Plan
Now that you have a sense of what’s been working and what hasn’t. Let’s put together a game-winning marketing strategy to make sure you set yourself up for a successful year. Have you done the following?
- Identified realistic goals you hope to achieve in 2022.
- Budgeted a defined amount to invest in marketing and advertising each month, while also supporting your customer support teams.
- Conducted a brand review. Is your business accurately represented online? Does it need a refresh/new energy? Does your Facebook cover photo need an update or your Google Business Profile, etc? Make sure you’ve looked at every aspect of your branding to ensure your business is represented consistently everywhere, online and offline.
- Reviewed your current marketing strategy to make sure it includes the 9 most important online marketing activities: Ratings & Reviews, Business Listings, Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Local Paid Ads, Analytics & Reporting, Competitor Analysis, Geolocation Check-ins, and Text Message Marketing.
Let’s go through the 9 online marketing activities in more detail to give you a look at why they’re important and what you need to think about:
1) Ratings & Reviews
Reviews and ratings provide excellent social proof to new leads that your business does what it says it will do and does it well. They aren’t relying on you to tell them that, but on recommendations from people who have actually used your service and that carries far more weight than anything you could say.
Aim to get between 1-4 new reviews each month as around 48% of people only look at reviews written in the last couple of weeks. Get reviews obviously by doing an amazing job of providing your product or service, but also by asking your customers when they’ve just bought from you and they’re delighted. Manage your whole review-getting process with all-one-one marketing software, such as Surefire’s platform.
2) Business Listings
Business listings, such as Google Business Profile, provide a helpful service to potential customers with information on your business, but also increase your visibility and build trust. Ideally, your business should be listed everywhere possible, on the main search engines and on review sites, such as Yelp, TrustPilot, Angi, and Nextdoor. You also need to be present on all the main social media platforms that your customers use.
Provide as much information as possible, including your business info, questions and answers, opening hours, products and services, and service area. It’s helpful for your customers and makes your business look legitimate and credible.
3) Content Marketing
Content marketing offers many benefits for businesses, including increasing visibility, attracting your target audience, building trust, establishing authority, and converting leads to customers. Apart from the fact that it does take time, there really is no downside to content marketing. It’s even a low-cost way of marketing your business.
Include types of high-quality, relevant content that you know your potential customers want and you will start to build a following that, over time, will increase your lead generation and your conversion rates, and add to your bottom line.
4) Lead Generation
There’s a difference between getting more leads and getting more of the right leads. Those who are ready-to-buy, live within your service area, and trust your business to deliver. The online marketing strategies we discuss in this blog will be able to help you spend your time on the activities that matter the most.
5) Local Paid Ads
Use local paid ads to attract people who are searching for your product or service in the search engines. With a paid ad, you’ll show higher on the listings or at the side of the search results, making your company stand out above your competitors.
With paid ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You do need to set a budget and monitor it carefully so you don’t go over it, but it can be an effective way of marketing your business and attracting local leads. Surefire Local recently held an online workshop with Google covering the 5 Keys to Unlocking Growth with Google Ads that covers the basics of getting started with Google Ads.
6) Analytics & Reporting
Without analytics and reporting, you can’t see how your marketing efforts are working and where any leads are coming from. With analytics and reporting, you can see what your conversion rate is and find out your return on investment.
You need to keep a close eye on these metrics to ensure you’re spending money in the right places, that you’re focusing on what works, and removing what doesn’t.
7) Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis can show you what’s working for your competitors and what isn’t. From this, you can then see where the gaps are in their marketing and learn how you can improve on what they’re doing to beat them at their own game.
Competitor analysis is also really useful for generating marketing and content ideas. You’re not using this to copy what they’re doing but to inspire you and create your own marketing that clearly differentiates you from them and explains to your customers why they should choose you.
8) Geolocation Check-ins
By creating content with geo-location signals, you’re able to help Google and other search engines better understand your business and the area you serve. That way, you can improve your online visibility in the specific markets that matter most, and not have to waste time working inquiries that will never turn a profit for your business. You can create geo-location content through your Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business), Facebook check-ins, and with a tool by Surefire Local called GeoJuice. This app lets you post check-ins, get more reviews, and share photos across your website and social media profiles.
9) Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing allows you to send texts to customers about your products and services. These messages are sent to customers that have opted in to receive them, which makes them far more likely to be interested in what you have to say and to buy. You can also send multimedia messages, including video and images.
Coupled with geolocation, you can quickly send a text to local customers with a daily deal, a special discount if they visit you within the next hour, a QR code to scan for information or to enter a competition, and more.
Make it a habit to get better each and every day. Surefire’s software comes with a built-in Task Manager which helps you make progress each day by completing activities that advance your business. If you partner with Surefire, you’ll be paired with an Account Manager who will always be there to offer guidance and advice so you’re using the platform and executing your marketing strategies to the fullest.
Part 3 – Execute Your Strategy with the Leading All-In-One Marketing Software
There’s a whole lot to think about and track with a well-run digital marketing strategy and you could be wondering how on earth you’re going to keep up with everything, manage all those different tasks, and track the right metrics.
Well, you don’t have to. Why not use an all-in-one platform to manage the 9 most important online marketing activities in one place, and from anywhere, using our platform’s desktop and mobile apps?
Don’t pay extra to duct-tape your marketing strategy together, which more often than not leads to frustrating results and wasted budgets. Instead, let us help you run your marketing on our marketing intelligence platform at a fraction of the cost of other tools and agencies.
Surefire’s marketing software provides full transparency and visibility into the work being done by you, your team, and on your behalf. See your performance 24/7 and never be in the dark again about what results your marketing is generating.
With our software, you can:
- Look at metrics on lead generation, conversion rates, online visibility, reviews, and more.
- You can track the performance of your ads easily and see where you’re getting your best leads from.
- Bring in Google Analytics to see how much traffic you’re getting and where it’s coming from.
- See what language and keywords your customers are using so you can easily tailor your content to them and generate new content ideas. And manage the whole content creation process from your dashboard!
- Schedule and monitor your social media interactions and engagement.
- Manage your email campaigns, monitor click-through rates, and see your most engaged customers.
- And so much more!
Why not book a demo of our software and find out how Surefire can help you?