It’s time for a whole new year of building your business and maximizing your marketing efforts. Join Surefire Local for our marketing predictions for 2023 and our tips on your 2023 marketing strategy.
Let us help you get a head start on your marketing strategy for 2023 and see where you can make time and money savings and refine and optimize your marketing.
Two Predictions for 2023
We’ve dusted off the crystal ball and had a good look ahead. Here’s what we think is coming in 2023:
Prediction #1 – Software & Integrations Become Even More Essential
Look at any marketer or business owner’s to-do list and there’s always so much to do. You cross one thing off and more tasks appear. It really is never-ending.
While we can’t take away your to-do list entirely, our prediction on software and integrations could help you save some time. You might even make your budget go further, too.
Here are some statistics that show you where your business might be losing time and money:
- “Marketers are using an average of 21 marketing and advertising platforms, and 79% of marketers say it’s important to have a cross-channel overview of performance and business impact.
- “43% of marketers spend a week or more every month preparing data, and only 31% of marketers are very confident in the accuracy of their data
Just read that again. 21 different marketing and advertising platforms to log into and out of each week or even each day. 21 different platforms to learn just to be able to do your job. And that’s the average. Some marketers are clearly using more platforms than that. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.
What’s even more worrying is the length of time taken to prepare data, the lack of easy access to it, and how few marketers are confident that they’ve got it right.
- “Only 32% of marketers have daily visibility into performance, and 74% of marketers cite that key stakeholders face challenges accessing data and insights.”
- “When asked to assess the state of their marketing organization’s data and analytics infrastructure, more than half of marketers rated them as average or poor.”
Given that marketers need to rely heavily on data to make good decisions about where to spend their marketing dollars, those statistics are worrying. Especially when marketers know they need to keep control of their marketing spend, and that they need a clear overview of their marketing activities and their results to do that.
Without the right software to produce clear reports, statistics, and data on each aspect of marketing, marketers are working in the dark and making best guesses at what to do next, rather than basing their plans on a firm foundation of real data.
- “Marketers’ top priorities for the next year include optimizing marketing spend, gaining a strategic view of all performance, and having better insights to understand and engage customers.”
- “79% of marketers agree that it is important to have an overview of all cross-channel marketing activities.”
Instead of working like that, what if you could simplify everything and sign onto one straightforward all-in-one platform? What if you had software that automated your reports and analytics for you to free up your time? You’d only need to sign onto one platform each day and get a full overview of every aspect of your marketing. Your learning curve would be cut because you’d be able to deeply learn just one piece of software and make the most of it, rather than juggling multiple platforms. And instead of taking days to get your data together from multiple platforms, and even then not being sure it’s accurate, you could just let our software pull everything together for you.
We predict you’d have an easier time and waste less of your budget when running your 2023 marketing strategy, if you rely more on the right software.
Prediction #2 – Optimize for a “digital-first” customer journey
In pursuit of success, local businesses are increasingly looking to engage, measure, adapt, and optimize every touch point of the customer experience.
To optimize your customer journey and guide people successfully through your sales funnel, you need pinpoint accuracy in your data and to be able to measure success and failure at every point in the customer journey. You need to know what is working and what isn’t, so you can stop throwing away marketing dollars on things that don’t work and focus your spend on what brings you success.
To do this, you need a strategy for your customer and performance data that moves at unprecedented speed and scale. You need a complete overview of every aspect of your marketing, and you need to quickly and easily be able to pivot and adapt based on the real data coming from your marketing software.
In addition, use automation to save time, take some of the items off your to-do list, and delight your customers. With the right software, you can automate content scheduling, social media posting, and email marketing, ensuring that your content and marketing plan is adhered to. More than that, automation ensures that you’re posting and contacting customers consistently. This assists your SEO efforts and keeps your company top of mind for current and potential customers.
With quality software, you can segment your mailing list and direct personalized and targeted offers to customers. Make them feel like VIPs with offers based on what they’ve already bought and what they might also like. Show them that you understand who they are and what they want, based on the data you’ve gathered and customer behaviors as they travel through your sales funnel and visit your website.
If you’re not optimizing for a “digital first” customer journey, we predict that, come 2023, you’ll be behind your competitors and missing out.
Creating your 2023 marketing strategy
Once you put the right marketing software in place, you can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on what you do best, instead of wasting time juggling software systems and attempting to bring together data from multiple platforms.
You can then focus on creating your 2023 marketing strategy, secure in the knowledge that you’ll be planning and executing based on accurate data, not on guesswork.
Begin planning for 2023 by firming up your foundation:
There are four key building blocks to pay attention to:
Building Block 1: Your website
Your website is the cornerstone of your online presence. It’s where you send leads to start taking them through your sales funnel and converting them into customers. It’s the hub of your SEO efforts. It’s your storefront on the internet.
Equally important, it’s private online real estate that you own, and no one can take away from you. We’ve recently seen what can happen to a major social network in very rapid real-time with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Twitter may or may not stay in business, but it is a salutary lesson for marketers and business owners. Imagine if you’d built your whole online presence on that platform and it suddenly went away. You’d have no way of contacting your customers and nowhere to send them for more information. All that work you’d put in, possibly for years, would be gone because you built your online presence on someone else’s platform. That’s how important your website is. With your own domain name, website, and email list, it doesn’t matter what any social media platforms do. You can still run your business and reach your customers.
With a top-quality, attractive, well-optimized website, you know your business is on solid ground.
It’s worth regularly reviewing and optimizing your site to ensure that it’s fast loading, responsive on all devices and browsers, and that it guides your site visitors to exactly where you want them to go and pushes them to take action.
Regularly go through your website as if you were a visitor. Check your navigation and how your site looks and feels from an outside view. Is it easy to find everything? Are there clear calls to action? Can you see how to get more information and to take the next step as a customer? If you have a checkout option on your site, does everything work smoothly?
Get your website right and you’re already moving in the right direction for a successful 2023.
Building Block 2: Business directories
There are thousands of business directories on the internet, many of variable quality, but your business does need a presence on the main, high-quality business directories, such as Yelp and NextDoor, including your Google Business Profile (GBP).
It’s not enough to just have a listing, however. Just as you optimize your website, you need to optimize your business profiles.
Many directory listings, including your GBP, offer the opportunity to add quality images, great, keyworded copy, reviews, opening hours, service listings, and more.
Take advantage of every last space where you can write something. Select the right categories for your business and ensure you’re being clear and upfront about what you offer your customers and why they should buy from you. Put your keywords in any titles and at least in the first paragraph of each section.
Images really matter too. They should be clear, attractive, good quality, and relevant, showing off what your business does and how good your premises look.
Business directories, particularly Google Business Profile, are excellent for aiding your SEO efforts. You’ll often find that your business directory listings come up very high in the search engines, perhaps even above your website and social platforms, simply because of the established authority of well-known business platforms.
Your GBP in particular can help you appear in the local map pack and assists you with appearing in local search. Your business will also be listed if anyone searches for “your type of business + open now”, as long as you have your opening hours listed on your GBP.
You can also ask for, manage, and reply to your reviews in many business directories and your GBP for important social proof.
Your business listing may be the first thing a customer sees about your business, so make it count and review and update your listings regularly.
Building Block 3: Social media profiles
Your social media profiles are another opportunity to promote your business and impress potential clients. Just like your business profiles, you need to fill in every part of your profile and make it clear what you do and why people should buy from you.
Use keywords and appropriate hashtags to get attention.
Social media can be automated but it isn’t completely set and forget. You do have to be there and interact with your followers too. People love it when you like and comment on their posts. It helps them to feel important to you and a part of your community.
By all means, set up automation for some of your posts, especially for older evergreen ones that you want to draw attention to. It really is a great time saver. But there’s no substitute for posting live and engaging with your followers.
Encourage reviews here too. Facebook reviews are extremely important and can have a huge impact on potential clients.
Start 2023 off right by reviewing your social profiles, perhaps giving them a fresh new look with new banners and profile images, and ensuring they still reflect your business and who you are.
Building Block 4: Digital ads
Paid advertising can really take your business to the next level. You will need to experiment with different images and ad copy to find out what works, but you can get an excellent return on investment and more easily drive traffic to your website and your current offers.
Again, we’re back to data. You need to know your audience and what they want in order to create high-performing digital ads. On Google and the social media platforms that offer ads, you can select demographics, local areas, and more to tightly target your audience. You can even target competitor audiences to help you find the people that are likely to buy from you.
Look at your current audience data and your buyer personas to help you set up and run the right ads that will appeal to your potential customers.
Do your research before you start and 2023 could be your year.
Now you’ve got the basics down for your 2023 marketing strategy, next add in the things that make it all stick together for a strong foundation:
Optimization Tactic #1: Content
They don’t say content is king for nothing. Great content is vital for every part of your marketing efforts.
Your content is what helps you climb the search engine rankings. It’s what guides people to your sales funnel and helps them make their way from curious to sold. It persuades and influences, establishing you as an expert in your field and your business as the one to trust.
All that to say don’t skimp on content creation. It does take time, but it’s well worth the effort. And even here, software can help you plan, create, and schedule your content, so it doesn’t have to be all on you.
Start right at the beginning with your buyer personas and a review of your current content. How does your content look right now? Have you covered all the topics and keywords you’d want to cover relating to your business? Are there any gaps where you need to add more content? Which are your most popular topics and posts?
What content types does your audience prefer? Are they huge fans of long-form articles or do they prefer quick tips? Do they prefer to watch videos, read, or listen?
Thoroughly check out your content performance to date and look at how you can improve for 2023.
Create a fresh content plan that will take you through the first three months of the year. Establish how often you’re going to post, what you’re going to focus on, and your goals for content creation. Review your plan near the end of each quarter and then plan for the next quarter based on your analytics and what’s working for you.
Ensure you’re covering your audience’s needs and creating content in formats that work best for them.
Do this foundational work now and it will pay dividends next year, when you’ll find it much easier to write and publish your content consistently because you already have a plan in place.
Optimization Tactic #2: Reviews
Reviews are important at any time of the year, but here again, it’s worth reviewing your reviews, if you will. Take a look at how you get your reviews currently and see if you’re missing any ways you could get more. Do you have more reviews on Facebook than anywhere, but hardly any on your Google Business Profile? Where do you have gaps in your review process and in where you’re getting your reviews? How much time does it take to request reviews and to consistently reply to them?
With that information on hand, you can then plan your time better for 2023 and ensure you keep consistently asking for reviews and responding to them.
The quantity of reviews matters because most people won’t look any further back than the last four weeks of reviews. If you don’t consistently get new reviews, you’re likely to be losing customers to competitors that do.
Of course, the quality of your reviews matters too. You need more than just “great, thanks,” or “yes, good,” even though those reviews do help. Ideally, guide your customers to leave a more detailed review of what they liked and why. Ask them questions when you request reviews. People love to give their opinion and it makes them feel valued that you want to know.
Give people the option to add a photograph of themselves or even a video. If potential customers can see that real people have provided a review, it’s far more convincing and persuasive than anything you can say.
Your star rating matters too. Many customers won’t even look at a company that has less than four stars. Even as much as adding a quarter of a star to your rating can make a big difference.
Managing your reviews can take a lot of effort, but with our all-in-one marketing software, you can request reviews, manage them, and reply to them all from your dashboard.
Optimization Tactic #3: Local SEO
With local SEO, of course, you need to have excellent copy with well-chosen and placed keywords. You need to optimize your landing pages for SEO, including your title tags and meta descriptions.
However, in addition, you can also add local schema markup or structured data to your business website. Doing so helps Google to crawl and index your site more effectively. It ensures that crawlers can understand what your page is about and that the search engines can display relevant snippets of information in the search results, with possibly more information provided than the standard blue link and a meta description.
With better descriptions in the search engine rankings, you’re more likely to get people clicking on your website because they can see how your company is relevant to what they’re looking for.
Choose the right schema category for your business so that Google can understand your website more easily and then ensure you have the correct schema.org sub-properties on your site.
This may be more of a job for your web developer, but it is worth doing due to the possibility of appearing higher in local search and having better, richer listings in the results that attract more visitors to your site.
Google has a full guide for developers on exactly how to add structured data for local businesses.
Optimization Tactic #4: Branding
A yearly review of your branding can also start you on the right foot for 2023. Take a look at your company branding guide, if you have one, and check that what you’ve got still suits your company. You may have added or removed services or even changed the direction of the company and you need to ensure that your branding still reflects who you are.
If you don’t yet have a written set of branding guidelines, now could be a good time to create that document. With clear guidelines, everyone in your company can easily see what they need to do. It helps to ensure that no one uses the wrong fonts or changes the colors on your logo. You can specify the proportions of your logo too and the sizes allowed, along with your palette of brand colors, a style guide for content, visuals, and more.
While that may seem unnecessary, branding really does need to be consistent, whether it’s on your website, on company workwear and offline marketing materials, or on your social media profiles and business directories.
If you’re not sure, imagine Coca-Cola’s famous logo with its curly script if it suddenly slanted the wrong way or if, in some places, they used a different shade of red. People would notice and comment. It would look sloppy and incorrect. Not everyone would spot why the logo didn’t look right, but it would have a subliminal effect of making them feel uncomfortable. That’s the last thing you want for your business. You need clear, consistent branding everywhere, and checking your branding and your guidelines in preparation for the new year can help you get that.
We hope you’ve found our 2023 marketing strategy tips useful. If you’re feeling like we’ve added an awful lot to your to-do list, don’t worry. We have a plan to help you with that too.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
While you’ll still have to do the planning and some of the implementing, let go of many of the tasks on your to-do list by taking a look at our business intelligence marketing software.
Instead of signing into so many different pieces of software and platforms, sign into just one with our all-in-one software for managing every aspect of your marketing. Learn just one platform that can help you plan, create, and schedule your content, your social media posts, and your email marketing.
You can manage your reviews and reply to them too, and update over 80 business directories and your Google Business Profile without ever leaving our dashboard.
And instead of juggling reports and data from multiple platforms, sit back and let our easy-to-use system pop out instant reports and highly detailed analytics whenever you like on any part of your marketing. Count on our software to give you accurate data and analytics that you can rely on when planning for 2023, and every other year after that.
Why not book a demo with our friendly team and see how we can help?