Best Digital Agency

2016 Marketing Checklist

By Alaina Shearer, President and Founder

You make personal resolutions for yourself every year, but what about your business?

Your resolution could be something that requires as little as 10 minutes out of your day. Or, it could be something more significant, like a website redesign. It could also be something that’s more ambiguous, such as changing your frame of mind toward a tactic or toward a person. Maybe you resolve not to be so stuck in your ways as a manager.

I’ll give you a personal example. Two years ago, in January 2014, I made a resolution for Cement Marketing. Finally, after four years in business, I bound myself to actually marketing Cement. Don’t ask me why I had ignored my own marketing for so long. I blame it on the sheer lack of time. I had a young toddler when I started Cement and every working hour had to be devoted to clients, not my own business.

In 2014, with more time on my hands, I made a very specific resolution to blog all year long and to also increase search rankings for targeted keywords. The resolution quickly turned into a habit and I blogged all year and into 2015. And, clearly, still am.

The results? Pretty darn good.

Just Google our name for any number of terms like “Ohio SEO Agency” or “Columbus Marketing Firm” and we’re even climbing for my latest conquest, “Columbus Ad Agency.” The resolution has stuck and here I am, still blogging and marketing Cement on a consistent basis two years later. I should also note, our business has grown year over year by 30%. What started as a resolution has now become a very profitable habit.

My 2016 resolution has be shaking with butterflies and all kinds of nerves. 

This year, I am resolving to put myself out there more. Public speaking is something I do quite often and quite well. Traditionally I have always done so upon invitation only. I have yet to actively seek out speaking engagements at popular conferences or events. And I have yet to create videos for Cement, host webinars or podcasts. I have been hiding out, when, my public persona is – for whatever reason – well received and likable.

My excuse hasn’t been lack of time or focus, it has been my own personal fear of public speaking and just generally “putting myself out there”.  This year, I am going to get over it, bite the bullet, and be more aggressive. I’ll either hire an agent or be my own. To start, we are producing a series of videos for Cement. Look for those soon!

The fact that my resolution challenges me, gives me goose bumps, and makes me incredibly nervous means I’m onto something. You have to push yourself and your business, always. Otherwise, you won’t know what was possible if you hadn’t.

What are your marketing and advertising resolutions for 2016? Here are some suggestions:

  • Update your LinkedIn. Commit to something you can easily manage. How about one LinkedIn update a week? And then on off days, be sure to “like” or “comment” on someone else’s post. LinkedIn is fantastic, but only if you use it on the regular.
  • Have one networking lunch per month. Get out there and meet your mentors or colleagues face to face at least once a month. Lunches, coffee dates or happy hours are outstanding for building lasting connections in our fast paced virtual world.
  • Commit to an organic and/or paid search marketing plan. I say commit because often, smaller businesses especially, do only the minimum in this arena. Instead you need to commit to a long term search marketing plan.
  • Redesign that website, already. If it needs to be done, it needs to be done. The Internet isn’t going anywhere and your users demand and respect a clean, clear user experience. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
  • Try something new. Incorporate something new into your marketing strategy, or internally for your team. Don’t care what it is, but trying new things keeps us mentally sharp and focused. For me, in 2015 it was Slack. My team had to twist my arm to get me to start using it. But now, I can’t imagine our company operating without it.
  • Revitalize a digital channel. Email marketing, Facebook advertising? Which one have you been ignoring? Commit to doing it this year.
  • Create a content strategy. We offer these for our clients, but you could also create one yourself. Start the year with a plan you design and then stick with it! Without a content strategy, you and your marketing team are liking struggling to measure ROI and your message is likely also not reaching the right audience at the right time. Consider putting a plan into place.
  • Audit your own work. Maybe, personally as a manager, you hate reviews or finding out you may have missed something. But remember not one person or a few people on your digital team can possibly cover all of this digital marketing stuff. There’s just no way. We have a team of 13 and still even confer with outside third parties when we can’t cover something in house. It doesn’t mean you’re weak when you ask for an audit, it means you are wise and helping your team to know their on the right track.

Let us know if we can help with your marketing resolutions. And best of luck!