Beginning in January, many company owners, entrepreneurs, and even seasoned marketers plan their marketing plans for the next year. But we’re here to tell you that you should start planning your marketing strategy for next year right now, or at least within the final three months of this year.
7 Stages To Creating A New Year’s Marketing Plan
It is not necessary to develop your marketing plan for the new year all at once. Consider the following seven measures to take.
When the third quarter ends, we’re generally focused on holiday promotions, completing year-end targets, and potentially cleaning up financials for taxes, not to mention our personal responsibilities. Marketing planning for the new year may be low on the priority list. However, this is an excellent opportunity to begin planning by reviewing prior results.
Reflecting on the previous year is significantly more beneficial while it is still fresh in your memory, free of the distractions of the holiday season, or after the first of the year when you still have vacation brain. Also, if you start early, you won’t be tempted to postpone it, and you’ll have time to review your objectives, performance, and return on investment from the previous year. This will assist you in developing a good strategy for the future year.
Need some inspiration to get started on your planning? According to a recent CoSchedule report:
- Why marketers who have a defined plan are 313 percent more likely to succeed
- When marketers plan projects and campaigns ahead of time, they are 356% more likely to call them a success.
- Goal-setting marketers are 376 percent more likely to report success.
Use the steps below to get started on your new year’s marketing strategy.
Examine Last Year’s Objectives
The first stage is to evaluate your original marketing plan against your objectives and overall performance. While the year isn’t yet finished, you may assess your performance in the first three quarters. Take note of your key performance indicators (KPIs), goals (which you’ll need to remember to calculate your total ROI), and overall efforts.
Your goal should be to get a high-level understanding of your marketing success. Did you achieve your goal of increasing revenue by 10%? Where do you stand if you want to quadruple your social media followers?
Bottom Line: Were your objectives last year realistic? If so, how can you expand on your achievements this year? If not, you must conduct additional research to determine why and modify your strategy accordingly.
Your prior year’s goals will assist you in defining your new targets and directing your approach to achieving them. The following phases will assist you in developing particular techniques for your marketing strategy while also analysing prior results.
Ascertain That Your Marketing And Business Objectives Are In Sync
Too frequently, entrepreneurs or company executives prioritise marketing just to cross it off their to-do list, and they have no idea why. “Every company is expected to have a social media presence, right?” they reason.
The fact is that every aspect of your marketing strategy must complement your entire company’s objectives. Marketing should move the needle in some manner whenever you invest time and money in it. Examine your alignment by reflecting on the preceding year with your objectives in mind.
If not, you may modify your marketing approach for the new year to meet your company goals.
Part of this planning process should include developing the important pillars of your new year’s marketing strategy, i.e., what do you need to accomplish next year to reach those goals? Can you check things off the list that failed in past years? The following are examples of common marketing pillars:
- Social media management and participation
- Content creation
- On-site SEO keyword research
- Paid advertisements, such as PPC and paid social ads, as well as landing pages
- Email promotion
Make a list of the pillars of your marketing strategy. As you go through the following phases, evaluate your progress and decide whether to continue or pivot to a different technique.
Redefine Your Target Market (Or Don’t)
Who responds to your posts? Who is reading your newsletters? Who reads your blog posts and discovers them organically? Your target audience is the solution. You may believe you have a thorough understanding of your ideal consumer or client, but in fact, this is always changing. Your target demographic will shift as customer tastes and preferences shift. Alternatively, you may have overlooked a distinct population that may profit from your company.
The good news is that you can get data that shows you who has interacted with your marketing over the last year. This may assist you in redefining, updating, and expanding your target personas for the new year. To get demographic information, go to:
- Social Media: The insights portion of social media sites, usually under “audience” or “following,”
- Website Analytics: Examine your site’s statistics to discover visitor demographics. Your dashboard’s accessibility is CMS- or platform-dependent. Check the instructions for Google Analytics or Squarespace.
- Email Marketing Platform: Most companies that do email marketing will give you statistics about your subscribers and information about your campaigns.
- Third-Party Platforms: Check for analytics in any other marketing tools or platforms you employ. You could learn more about your target audience.
If you know who is already engaged with your brand, you can use that information to influence your marketing strategy for the coming year. Make sure your content is customer-focused and addresses your audience’s requirements and interests. More than half of B2C marketers (54%) develop content for four or more audiences, according to the same CMI survey.
You may also discover that your present targeting is still correct, which is wonderful news since you can be certain that your marketing will be effective next year.
Find The Most Effective Material
While you’re at it, go back over your social media postings and website material to find your shining stars, or your best-performing or most popular content.
Don’t feel obligated to browse through a complete years’ worth of social media postings. Take it month by month and identify the best-performing articles. Fortunately, most social networks make it simple to locate them by looking at numbers from past months.
To examine Twitter postings for each month, for example, go to analytics, pick tweets, and sort by the most recent tweet. You can do the same on Facebook by going to the insights page, selecting any of the metrics (Likes, Reach, Actions on Page, etc.), and then sorting by date. All you have to do is browse through to select the finest ones.
The goal of this exercise is not to be thorough but rather to provide a high-level overview of the types of content that worked well during the year.
For example, if you observe that product videos get the most response from followers each month, you may make more in the new year. Perhaps your blog’s gift recommendations get the most organic traffic. Incorporate comparable subjects and ideas into your content schedule for the next year.
Existing Material And Marketing Should Be Repurposed And Updated
Creating content, whether it’s visuals for social media, blog articles, writing for advertising or landing sites, or even product descriptions, takes time. You don’t want to squander great material by posting or sharing it once and then forgetting about it.
When you look back at your previous year’s marketing while simultaneously evaluating the efficacy of that material, you may identify which content to reuse, repurpose, or refresh. If a social media post did well in February, there’s no reason why you couldn’t change the caption and reuse the visual.
Updating content may be very beneficial to your site’s SEO performance. According to a Hubspot case study, upgrading outdated content quadrupled monthly leads and boosted organic search views by 106%. Furthermore, you are gaining greater value from previously completed tasks. For a comprehensive look into content upgrading, see Neil Patel’s tutorial.
Choose Which New Channels And Techniques To Test
When you zoom in on your year’s marketing, it’s simple to identify where you fell short. Maybe you haven’t tried TikTok yet, or your video material is missing.
You should also undertake competitive research at this stage. Examine comparable firms in your sector, evaluate their digital presence, and ask:
- Where do they spend their social media time?
- What kind of material may be found on their website?
- Have they run any promotions or campaigns?
The most important aspect of competitive research is identifying success and engagement. The audience of a rival is also your audience, so look at what their followers are interested in, search for comments on blog articles, and so on.
Check To See If Your Message Is Genuine
The previous year undoubtedly kept everyone on their toes. However, one aspect of your marketing that you cannot afford to overlook is authenticity, both in your message and in your relationship with your audience.
According to Stackla, modern customers, purchasers, or clients desire authenticity – 90% say that it influences which companies they prefer and support. According to another Sprout Social survey, more than half of customers (57%) will increase their spending with a brand to whom they feel connected, and 76% would choose them over a competitor.
People who support your company want to hear what you have to say, why your product or service will solve their issues, and to see the person behind the screen. According to the same Sprout Social study, 70% of customers feel more connected to a business when its CEO or staff are engaged or visible on social media.
As You Prepare Your New Year’s Marketing Approach, Be Confident In Your Selections
It is much simpler to allocate resources and money for the next year if you have determined the success, efficacy, and ROI of your efforts. Too frequently, managers or company owners (particularly SMBs and solopreneurs) state they will audit or analyse their past year’s marketing. Then it gets pushed lower down the to-do list.
When you take the time to thoroughly evaluate your past strategy – data, analytics, KPIs, what pushed the needle, and the outcomes from when you pivoted during a worldwide pandemic – you’ll feel a lot more secure about investing in your future growth. This can be done by hiring someone else to do the marketing work, putting more time and money into existing channels, or trying out new methods.
Determine Your Marketing Goals For The Coming Year
Your new year’s marketing plan only has to be as intricate or in-depth as your individual company’s requirements. Don’t be intimidated by creating a yearly strategy; it may be as basic as estimating your monthly PPC budget and the number of social or blog articles you want to produce. It might also be a unified strategy for your marketing team that directs your efforts and ensures that all channels and messaging are consistent. It all depends on your company.
When planning your marketing strategy for the next year, consider what worked and what didn’t, since this will serve as the basis for your future roadmap. Trust me, if you get started right away, it will be a lot simpler and a more beneficial workout!