I love the beginning of a new year. It feels like the page is going to turn and there is so much possibility just around the corner. I always have grand plans for my business and often those plans go by the wayside by February or March. It is very hard to keep moving forward once you start to feel overwhelmed and marketing is very overwhelming.
Last year in January, I planned out my marketing calendar to best maximize results and minimize my burnout. It drastically changed how I felt about my marketing. I had four steps that I followed for marketing success:
1) Break the Year Into Segments
The first thing I did was to break the year into three-month segments. I found that I could not plan any further out and stay excited and moving forward. Also, I did not really know where I would be with my marketing needs 9 months out.
2) Make a Plan
This is where you make some serious marketing decisions. Here are some questions to get you going:
- What forms of social media will you be using?
- How many times per week will you post?
- How many blog posts will you write per week?
- What sort of content will you use on your blog?
- Will you use any paid advertising? If so, what?
- What is the goal of your marketing efforts? More leads, list building, blog traffic. Determine your goal and make your marketing work for that.
After working out the answers to all these questions, get your calendar and start scheduling. After you have a completed calendar in front of you for the next three months, get to work.
3) Work Ahead
This is SO important. I cannot tell you how many times I miss one blog post then it turns into a week, and before long, I am months behind. Marketing is the first thing to go when you are busy with your planning activities.
I try to work a month in advance when it comes to blogging and social media. It gives me some breathing room when I can schedule posts in advance. Do what you can, if it is a week in advance that is great, just give yourself a little wiggle room in case you become so busy with your clients that you cannot tend to your marketing activities as much as you would like.
4) Analyze Results and Adapt
Finally, make sure that you are analyzing your results. If you are blogging 3 times per week and there is no one visiting your blog, then you should look into your SEO. If no one is engaging with your social media posts then maybe you are not posting anything of interest to your audience.
I used to feel so amazing when I had all of my blogging and social media posts DONE, then I realized no one was actually reading or viewing and it was heartbreaking. Make sure your work is propelling your business forward. There are a number of ways you can measure this; Google Analytics, social media engagement, mailing list opt-ins on your newsletter list, etc. Whatever your primary marketing goal, your measurements should be a reflection of that.
What are your marketing goals for this year? Share one of them in the comments!
Today’s post is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Wedding & Event Planning in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and previously worked as a marketing consultant for wedding industry professionals. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.