The end of the year can mean a lot of things for your business. You might be in the process of evaluating your current team or reviewing your internal processes, and you’re likely reviewing your financials and other performance metrics. It could be a time of high stress or potential relaxation depending on where you are in your industry or career. No matter what the past 12 months looked like for you, one thing that should be on your to-do list is to prepare your marketing strategy for the year ahead.
Your marketing strategy is vital to meeting your business goals, so you want to start the year off strong rather than play catch up later on. As we head into November, it is a perfect time to reflect on your past efforts and make plans for what’s to come. When you think about this past year, what were your biggest achievements, and what maybe did not go your way? Were you spending your budget wisely? What did your competition look like? Asking yourself questions like this and following the tasks below will help you create your own year-end marketing checklist to set yourself up for success in 2023.
1. Evaluate Your Current Content and Plan for The Year Ahead
To start, you will want to review the content you have previously put out into the world. The most effective way to evaluate how the content performed is to take a peek at your website and social media analytics.
For social media, look at what content got the best engagement and figure out the trends or circumstances as to why that was the case. Knowing if your success was from posting at a specific time or if it was especially relevant material that resonated with your audience will be valuable to know when creating future content.
When reviewing your website, you’ll want to check on key performance indicators (KPIs) like bounce rate, session duration, most visited pages, and more to get a better understanding of how people are interacting with your content once they land on your site. It is a great time to audit your website to find any broken links, update photos or page content, and see what improvements you need to make before 2023. It’s also a great time to check for a consistent tone in line with your brand identity. If you do find inconsistencies, remember to fix them as you refine your content.
2. Know What Is Happening in Your Industry
Another great way to prepare for the future is by checking in on your competition and others in your industry. If that is something new to you, here are a few easy ways you can start.
Check Out Your Competition
Checking in on competitors is something you should be doing throughout the year, but now is a great time to take a comprehensive look at what they did well and what areas you may have an advantage over them. Compare your business to your top competitors by looking at their website, social media pages, and other platforms to see how they position themselves, who they are targeting, and how users interacted with their content. Also take note of the content topics they cover to see if there is anything you might want to include in your own strategy.
Look at Industry Trends
Research some specific trends in your industry. Are there any upcoming changes that will affect your business or organization, certain topics you’ll want to be talking about, or new styles to integrate? Knowing where things are headed is essential to staying relevant and could give you a leg up on your competition.
Prepare for New Technology
Technology is ever-changing, so staying on top of new resources and platforms will allow for a more seamless transition while everyone else is playing catch-up. This might include software updates for the systems you use or new features on social media platforms.
3. Break Down Your Budget
Listen up because this one is crucial. You will want to dig into your marketing budget and see how you spent your money this year. If you use paid advertising, check to see what performed well. You may find that Google Ads were outperforming Facebook Ads. Maybe you increased your website traffic with boosted posts on social media. Depending on what was and wasn’t successful, you will be able to see how you can adjust your budget for the upcoming year.
If you are concerned about spending too much of your budget in one part of the year, divide it into quarterly or even monthly chunks. Doing this allows you to continuously review your expenses and not use up the entire budget too early. Basically, you need to revise and reallocate your spending as needed to create the most effective marketing campaign moving forward.
4. Reconnect With Your Company Internally
After you’ve completed the first three tasks, you should have a clear idea of what worked well last year and what your areas of opportunity are moving forward. An important next step is looping in your company leadership. Making sure your marketing goals match company directives and confirming you have buy-in from your company leaders will make for the most effective strategy and will minimize kinks along the way.
5. Get Support Where You Need It
By now, you probably have a massive to-do list and are wondering how you are going to get everything checked off. The main thing to remember is that not everything needs to be completed in a day. Rally your team together, divide up tasks, and create a timeline so everyone knows what to expect. This is where reconnecting with your company can really help to establish your forecast and priorities for the upcoming year.
If there are any areas where you need some extra support, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance. Whether it’s improving your SEO, planning your social media content, or promoting your business with paid advertising, Webspec’s digital marketing experts are ready to help you thrive in 2023. Contact us today if you are ready to get started!