It’s that time of year again when you’re snapped back to reality from working away on projects for 2014-Q3 by a Christmas song on the radio. Yes, there are less than six weeks left of 2013. So let’s look at a few ways in which 2014 is going to make 2013 look like small potatoes by making your marketing more efficient:
1. Identify your best clients and find more like them.
It’s time to move from just trying to gather all of the clients to paying attention to the relationships that you’ve created with your best clients. Determine how you’ll define ‘Best Client,’ follow your relationships with them through the sales lifecycle, and look for ways to better refine your message so that you’re spending your time connecting with the type of client that really needs you and that you best serve.
2. Respect social media.
Social media is growing up fast and it’s time to let it move up from the kids’ table (commercials that could run on TV are now premiering on Youtube). It’s not good enough any more to simply push your traditional media campaigns out to social media platforms as an afterthought. It’s time to integrate social media into your overall marketing plan. This means making a check sheet, calendar, and campaign plan for all of the content that you post to social media. It also means turning your social media presence into an efficient lead-generating machine.
3. Calculate ROI for content.
Remember how the word ‘brand’ slowly seeped into the mainstream from its former marketing jargon pool? ‘Content marketing’ is on a similar path. And with more and more marketers turning into content creators and more and more publishers turning into agencies, it’s going to be important to not only track your content, but also determine its value so that, as 2014 rolls on, you can increase the quality of your content for your audience and stand out from the noise.
4. Make friends with brands that share your audience.
As long as we’re talking about content marketing, consider how much more effective your content would be if you made friends within your brand’s ecosystem and let them contribute to your content marketing campaigns. As long as you and your friends share the same audience why not lead the conversation together (this is actually a really old money-saving idea on which retail outlets operate)?
5. Replace the focus group with real-time online interaction.
If you have to cut your marketing budget anywhere they start by canceling a few focus groups. In stead, find ways to listen to the conversations that your sales team is having with your clients, create a ranking system for the opinions that your audience is sharing in real time through your social media, and pay attention to how your peers and competitors are reshaping the language in the conversation. The truth is still out there but now your focus group is a tweet away—and they’re willing to talk now for free!