How many BIG marketing goals did you have going into 2016? Of those, how many were met or exceeded? Each year, many small businesses make bold goals much like people who have BIG New Year’s resolutions. But just like most new year’s resolutions, many marketing strategies also falter before the snow leaves the ground. Why is that?

It’s fine to have fresh, bold plans for the New Year, but simpler changes can be more plausible and beneficial to small businesses who are looking to do more for less.

On those lines, hopefully, WPMktgEngine’s blogs, attractors, and emails helped you meet your 2016 marketing goals, or at least have set you up for a killer 2017.

I’ve always been fascinated by how seemingly small things, applied in a focus and targeted way, can effect huge changes.  Like dropping a pebble into a pond, and watching the ripples move ever outward.  As we’ve seen with ourselves and many customers, when they can focus and effect small changes, and give up trying to boil the ocean, they get real results.  And they can expand from that solid base.

By making small, simple adjustments to your 2017 marketing strategies, you’ll position your company for a better chance to reach your personal and professional goals. It’s never easy to make changes to your strategy, especially if you’ve been content with past results; however, a few subtle changes may be all you need to elevate your status as a trusted and valued resource to your perfect potential customers.

Here are 5 simple marketing goals to focus on in the New Year:

#1 Analyze Your 2016 Metrics

Data is to marketers as an electromagnetic field is to sharks. Data is a powerful tool that hones your navigation and guides your business in the right direction – which is, typically, up. It can reveal your biggest weaknesses and strengths and can provide you with critical information to ensure your digital marketing strategies hit their mark.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Which marketing channel provided the most engagement?

How many of your marketing tasks were automated?

How many of your emails landed in the inbox?

Which marketing channel provided you with the best lead-generation rate?

How many of your leads stayed engaged past 6 months?

By reviewing your metrics based on these questions among others, it will help you discover key performance indicators that’ll drive a more targeted strategy in 2017.  If you’re left scratching your head because you can’t get to those metrics from your current marketing technology — we should talk!  This should not be difficult.

#2 Leverage Marketing Automation Tools

Everyone from skilled craftsmen to marketing gurus use tools to create assets that provide some transformational benefit for not only themselves but also their businesses.

There are more marketing tools to choose from than ever before. And if you didn’t add a marketing automation tool to your marketing toolbox in 2016, now’s the time. It’s the only way to level the marketing playing field.  See Why Small Businesses Need Marketing Automation to Survive.

For example, there are a wide variety of tools that help with everything from email marketing to CRM to website building and maintenance. But beware, trying to piece together individual tools to perform multiple tasks can be daunting. Oh, and those damn tech headaches can be a motivational killer.

Tip: search for a single-source marketing automation tool that handles all or most of your marketing tasks.

By implementing automation tools, you can save time, make more informed decisions (because of the integrated metrics), and generate the lead engagement results you’ve been dreaming of.

#3 Focus On What’s Working

Your marketing strategy should be diverse but not in the sense you’re casting a wide net to capture anyone who swims by. Have a diverse strategy with focus and purpose on what has been working. Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t try new things.

In other words, don’t continuously keep redefining your lead generation strategies by frequently changing course whenever any new shiny object [new training] hits the market. The problem isn’t that we get “shiny object syndrome,” the problem is that many marketers get whipsawed into thinking they must keep incorporating every new training to stay relevant.

You should focus most of your time and resources on the strategies and tactics that have worked best in the past and build upon those as you head into 2017.

For example, you may have achieved great success with content marketing in 2016. For this reason, you’ll want to build on the same in 2017. It may be time to cut back or refocus other strategies and tactics, those that aren’t generating the results needed to grow your business, and build more successes that will get you the results you need.

This is really tough to do when you may have a boss that wants to continue with a failed strategy because they just don’t know any better.  They have pressures too.  That’s why having the data that allows you to lay out a solution, supported by facts, can be your strongest ally — but you’ve got to have the data and analytics to support your plans.

#4 Surround Your Brand with Great Storytellers

Everyone is drawn to emotional stories, yet most content lacks any emotional appeal. Most marketers see their content as a sales vehicle, deprived of any personality and storyline.

Many of the Fortune 500 companies have started hiring professional storytellers in hopes to connect their brand with their audience on an emotional level. Also, many agencies have tied their wagon to this migration and have started training other professionals in this fine art.

Content has been and always will be king of online marketing. What you need to realize is that the content you need to produce is rapidly changing from a corporate-centric broadcast to more of a harlequin tone.

When it comes to engagement, it doesn’t get any deeper than through a great story that helps your leads see a problem from a new vantage point.

#5 Get Help 

I get it, you only have so much time in your day. While it would be nice to spend hours crafting emotional content while answering to your audience’s demands, we all know this isn’t realistic.

If you’re a one-person show and lack the backing of a robust team to help with marketing tasks, it’s time for a change. This doesn’t mean you have to hire an agency or fill your business with interns (which oftentimes just puts MORE work on your plate). Instead, you can search out tools that will help you become that marketing team.

If you want to avoid the same pain points you experienced in 2016, it’s time to start thinking about setting new marketing goals and implement those changes to put your company in a position to succeed in 2017.

 

Happy New Year

 

About Jason Hoelzel

Freud would've diagnosed him as a "walking conundrum." We just call him Jason. He's a blossoming copywriter and marketing automation specialist who enjoys surfing, golfing, sarcastic bantering, and eating boatloads of guacamole. Jason has the ability to turn any frown upside down with his clever one-liners and radiant smile ;)

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