by Sunny Branson, General Manager
As we approach the end of the year, it’s important to take a look back and think about what worked and what didn’t in content creation and marketing communication over the past year. How could things be improved for 2019?
To start, we suggest taking an inventory of your content marketing efforts for the past year. Were you heavy on press releases but light on social media? Were your efforts a bit light in a region where you’re hoping to expand? Were you hitting your key themes for SEO? Were your messages consistent across all communications vehicles?
Taking an inventory of the past year is a great way to start planning for the coming year. Here are some things to think about as you consider your 2019 planning.
- Competitive Positioning
How does the market view you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see opportunities … or threats? Are there perceptions that need to be changed? To whom are you losing sales and why?
- Forward-Looking Goals
What are your goals in 2019? Are you looking to penetrate new markets or delve into new regional territories? Will you be launching new products or services? Do you have an acquisition on the horizon? Thinking all this through will help you define your priorities.
Based on these priorities, what events make sense for your business? There are a lot of industry trade shows, but you shouldn’t feel as if you must do all of them. Which ones will help you reach your goals? Once you have identified target events, start thinking about which events warrant content-creation projects, such as a trade show preview document, application note, conference presentation, etc. Will you have big news at show time? If so, perhaps a press conference or one-on-one press meetings are in order.
- Social Media
Where have you seen the best results? What types of posts get the most attention? Are there specific campaigns you could schedule? Are you considering new social media tools? Do you need to change your social media strategy? If you haven’t been active in social media, it might be time to re-evaluate the importance of social media in your overall marketing strategy.
- Media Spending
You might think PR is better than advertising because editorial is more credible, and we would agree. But even with a crack team of PR pros working round-the-clock, you can’t get enough coverage to be everywhere all the time. With paid media, you can. And it doesn’t have to be traditional print advertising. Your media spending could include digital banners on a website or newsletter, an email blast to a subscriber list, a speaking slot resulting from sponsoring a conference, or a webinar you put on with a publication promoting it to its subscribers.
So, think about where you get the most bang for your buck. Should you consider webinars or e-books? What about training sessions or speaking opportunities? All of these options have merits on their own, but an integrated plan comprises a mix of some if not all of those components.
Great content shouldn’t live only once. It should be augmented and repurposed everywhere to draw in and engage customers. For example, think of a white paper posted to your website. Take that great content and leverage it everywhere you can by turning it into new marketing tools. A successful marketing campaign takes all kinds of layers: press releases, articles, social media, email marketing, advertising, etc. The endgame is to drive people to your website, where your own inbound marketing and sales efforts can then take over.
If you think we can help your company with 2019 planning, then get in touch. We’ll show you how to strategize, plan, and execute communications that get results.