Whether you’re making adjustments to your business’s current marketing plan, or you are looking to start from scratch, it is never a bad time to start thinking about the year ahead. It could really save you from scrambling later on because you procrastinated!
Choosing to wait too long to plan can result in unrealistic expectations, team goals that don't align with company objectives, and a marketing team scrambling to throw something together as quickly as possible instead of focusing on top-quality output.
While reviewing the budget in relation to your annual marketing plan, you might be looking at some numbers and are thinking, “Wait a minute, can we actually afford this?” Or perhaps you have more money to invest this year in various areas of your marketing plan that you did not have in years past, but are not exactly sure where to put it. By creating attainable annual goals for the coming year, you’ll have your 2022 marketing plan and budget locked and loaded before you know it. Here are some ideas and suggestions that we hope will help you get the ball rolling...
1. Focus on Investing, Not Spending
When it comes to establishing your budget, reimagine your use of the word “spend” from your marketing vocabulary. Instead, try replacing it with the word “invest,” and educate all departments on how that investment supports company-wide growth plans. Afterall, investing in a consistent, thorough, and quality marketing strategy is investing in the short and long-term success of your business. And by adopting and then encouraging a mindset like this will help your business’s higher-ups further legitimize the role and value of your marketing plan.
2. Position Yourself as a Trusted Resource
One of the best ways to do this is through your content marketing efforts. And within the next year and beyond, the trend of creating custom, quality content that lives within your website is likely going to be more important than ever. With our digital landscape constantly evolving and advancing, people will be more and more selective about what they consume, as their expectations will increase. So if you haven’t yet, we highly recommend that you start upping your content and inbound marketing efforts now to better connect and reach your target audience!
Adding more robust and educational content through blog posts and articles are an excellent tool for building strong SEO and thought-leadership for your business. Still, at the same time, they can be designed to be more interactive. For example, you can add quizzes, games, and questions (which tend to do exceptionally well) to your blog, as a way to up your content game in the next year. Another great way to up your content marketing game is by adding ebook campaigns to your marketing plan. Doing so provides a valuable resource for your prospects and customers that positions you as the authority on a particular topic. This is just another way to provide value to your customers while effectively gathering customer contact information, and positioning yourself well ahead of your competition.
3. Pay Attention To Trends
Looking at the next year, make sure you review trends that you weren’t necessarily privy to last year. Yes, you should always be alert to developing trends within your industry, but now is just as great of a time to do a general overview, and to do your research accordingly. Pay attention to what your customers wanted and engaged in the last year and make that important as well.
Speaking of trends, some current marketing trends for your business to consider adopting in the next year include the following:
- Become a Thought-Leader in Your Industry
- Give Your Content a Unique Twist
- Adopt Marketing Automation
Invest Time (and Money) in Building a Strong Brand Image
4. Leave Some Wiggle Room & Be Flexible
There is a difference between being proactive and reactive. Yes, you should be both. If you are intentional with the marketing efforts for your business, you are most likely going to need to adjust your plan and budget in the next year. So, keep an adaptable mindset. While partnering with trusted marketing experts through some sort of agency, you will be provided with expert advice on where your efforts will be best spent. And being able to roadmap clear, strategic marketing and growth plans following something like the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing for the coming recovery, requires adaptive and nimble planning so that necessary moves are easier.
5. Don’t Ignore Video
You know or you’ve probably heard… video is hot. It's no secret that consumers use video as an important part of their buying experience and will reward the companies who use it with sales. So, why isn’t your business using it somehow in their marketing efforts? Your video doesn’t have to be slick and professional and it doesn’t have to be long and involved. Shorter (1-2 minute) videos that feature your own internal subject matter experts will help humanize your business. People will build a relationship with your team and turn to them for professional advice.
People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. And video gives you a way to connect and form relationships like no other media can. Video doesn’t have to be fancy, or stressful to produce, but with a creative vision and well-thought-out strategy, video content will strengthen your brand, generate new leads, and position you as an industry leader.
Planning Ahead? Expect Success.
You know what they say: new year, new you! Well, we like to say, new year, better you! And taking the step in building out your marketing plan for the next year is one way you can better your business by effectively helping it grow towards its goals. Our team of marketing experts at fuze32 would love to help you develop your business’s annual marketing plan to help you get the best results out of your time and efforts! Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more.