At this time of year, business owners are executing their holiday campaigns and biggest promotions. It’s easy to get lost in all the holiday decorations and discount signs, isn’t it? You may be thinking that you can’t wait for the year to just end already. That way you can start fresh come January.
Well, not so fast.
Planning for January starts now. In order to hit the ground running once the new year’s eve fireworks fade away, it’s necessary to make plans before the year ends.
Well before the year ends.
You need to review the past year so that that you know exactly what needs to be done to achieve your new-year goals. We’ve got some tips for you to help do just that. Implementing these tips now will help your business thrive in the new year. Read on for our end-of-year marketing tips!
#1: Revamp Your Business Plan
Is your 2019 marketing plan finished? Yes, that’s correct – we said 2019. Finished. It’s crucial to have your marketing plan for 2019 completed before the first day of January. Now is the best time to evaluate your business plan – before the holidays swallow up your time. Starting your 2019 business and marketing plan now gives you time to thoroughly think about what your goals are – don’t rush your ideas.
Businesses go through changes throughout the year. Teammates change, goals change, even the location of your business might change. Did your top employee go on maternity leave? Did the copy machine break? Have you lost or gained a huge client? A lot can happen in a year. All these factors impact your business, whether financially or in other ways. These changes need to be accounted for at the end of each year.
Apart from the tangible items of your business, your brand may have shifted, as well. Did your company develop a new voice or message over the course of the last year? Whatever was important to your brand and marketing identity may not be top priority anymore. Your employees and your audience need to know about these changes. Your content should reflect what your company believes in, so if that changes, your content should change, too.
All of these factors are involved in your business plan. A business plan isn’t simply how the company is going to make money. Your business plan reflects every detail of your company’s initiatives, from the message you want to convey to your clients, to the smallest details like what hours your business is open.
#2: Review Your Budget
What does your budget look like? Did you stick to it this year, or did you go over it some months? Keeping track of your spending, down to the very tiniest of minute details, is a sure way to keep the foundation of your business glued together. Once your finances start to slip, that creates space for any number of items to start losing their place in the foundation, too. Don’t let this happen! Own a hair salon? Make sure you keep track of every purchase of a comb, hair dryer, even dust pans! Don’t let anything slip through the cracks.
Committing to a strict budget can reveal money spent in places that you were never aware of beforehand. You may be surprised at the amount of unnecessary expenses. Maintaining an improved budget in the new year will allow your business to not only keep expenses low, but also track the rise and fall in expenses. A timeline budget offers your business the ability to know exactly when and where finances fluctuate.
Great budgeting and bookkeeping means you know your ROI from each segment of the year. Knowing these numbers offers an accurate perspective to just how effective of a marketing strategy your business has. It’s important to know if your business is meeting its ROI goals each month. You can look back at ROI trends as far as 5 years ago and make adjustments accordingly. Maybe a tactic that worked years ago may work in 2019 – try it out!
#3: Show Gratitude
One of the best ROI is thank you notes! The key to retaining clients is making sure they feel valued by your company. What’s more thoughtful than a festive note wishing your clients a happy holiday? Here’s how to write the perfect thank you note for your clients this holiday season.
It’s also important to make sure your employees know they are important, too. Because, of course, they are! A happy team will work harder for you, resulting in more growth for the company. Rumor has it that you can tell how much the boss values his employees by the taste of the coffee. The perfect thank you gift for your employees might be a coffee machine upgrade!
#4: Set Achievable Goals
While you want your goals to be ambitious, you don’t want them to be unattainable. The sure fire acronym SMART applies perfectly in this situation. Set goals that align with the SMART guideline: make sure your goals are first, specific. The details in your goal need to support real problems and opportunities available within your business. Next, ask yourself if your goals can be measured. A practical marketing goal for your company can be quantified and qualified. For example, a measurable goal would be reaching 1,000 followers on Instagram.
The next necessary attribute for your goals is whether they encourage action. Do your goals push you to improve performance or a certain behavior? This kind of goal can be applied to the culture or any area of your company. Next, your goals need to be relevant to your business. This seems like common sense, but it’s necessary to point out here. Your goals should be relevant to the problem your company is working to solve. For example, if your company strives to help small businesses grow faster, then a relevant goal pertains to how much you increase the profit of small businesses. Lastly, smart marketing goals for your company possess a time-frame.
Let’s use the above example of a company that works to encourage growth among the small businesses in its community. Here’s an example of a SMART goal for that kind of company:
“Implement our innovative payment product to help 50 small businesses increase their annual profit in the next six months.”
This goal is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and has a time-frame. Set goals like these for your company if you want to thrive in 2019!
#5: Stay social!
Having a personal website for your company is the most basic of foundations for your business’ online presence. But your website is only the beginning. In order to be current in today’s society, you need another online avenue. The more avenues you have that drive consumers to your website, the better! Social media platforms are the perfect place to increase your online presence.
Consistency is key. Building your company’s brand on social media takes time, but you can build it faster with the consistency of your content. Staying active on social media means posting every day, at least once a day. As your consumers build familiarity with your company through social media, they will build trust and reach out to your business for solutions.
Ever started looking at someone’s blog, searching for a certain topic to read about, and found that their content library is outdated? How did that make you feel about the company? You most likely decided to try another blog that offers current content. That would be the smart thing to do. In this scenario, your blog needs to be the one that people draw their answers from. You don’t want your blog’s outdated content turning potential clients away. Start 2019 off right by keeping the content on your blog and other social media platforms consistent!
#6: Upgrade Your Content
Not only should your content be consistent, but also current! Content that was written a year ago is most likely no longer applicable anymore. At least, not effectively. The easiest way to keep up with the most recent marketing news and current trends is through social media. Twitter is an invaluable platform for staying up to date on how your company can stay in the loop and current. We definitely recommend tapping in to the resources available to you through social media.
Since Hyperchat Social is all about social media, we want to provide some helpful and easy-to-apply tips for you!
- Take Advantage of Twitter. Twitter offers multiple ways to keep up with the latest marketing trends. You can create your own stream on Twitter with popular social media hashtags. We recommend using specific hashtags such as #inboundmarketing or #socialmedia. You can use your stream to identify which top influencers are using these hashtags, and see what they have to say. Keep track of their tweets!
- Set up Google Alerts. An easy way to keep track of top influencers on social media is by creating a google alert. Select a few terms or influencers that you’d like to follow, set up a google alert, and boom! You can now stay on top of what’s happening in the industry.
- Did you know Instagram has an explore tab? This feature allows you to search what’s happening on Instagram, much like the features we touched on above. Search for terms like social media or #socialmediamarketing and take notes!
- Join groups on LinkedIn. If LinkedIn is your favorite platform, you can stay up to date here, too! LinkedIn is the business hub of social media, so staying active in a group is important for your company! Click here for which LinkedIn groups are perfect for keeping up with current trends.
- Subscribe to social media blogs. Especially ours! Social media blogs discuss the current trends in detail. You can definitely learn a lot about current trends when reading blogs.
- Listen to Podcasts. Catch an interview of today’s top influencers, or listen in to current news.
- Schedule a demo with us! If you need help implementing these tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
We know your business can grow in 2019! Happy Holidays to you and we wish you a thriving new year!