Get Ready to Kick Off 2016 With These Marketing Tips
While there may still be two months until the new year, it’s never too early to start thinking about your next year’s marketing strategy. Resources and budgets need to be allocated with plenty of time to plan ahead, especially at smaller companies. In fact, thinking about your strategy now and contacting Virtual Focused Marketing can save you a lot of headaches down the road — and keep you one step ahead of your competition.
But where do you start? What 2016 trends do you need to account for when you start planning for next year? We’ve got you covered with a few research-backed tactics that every B2B company should be thinking about before 2015 comes to a close. Let’s take a look:
Put a measurement plan in place… for everything.
It’s difficult to measure your success if you don’t already have benchmarks in place. Even if you’re just kicking off your lead generation or content marketing efforts, it’s important to start somewhere.
For example, the 2016 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute found that only 30% of B2B marketers believe their organizations are effective at content marketing — down 8% from last year. However, of the organizations that do believe they are effective, 55% have recorded definitions of what success looks like for their marketing efforts.
Start by listing a few goals for each segment of your marketing efforts (email, lead generation, content, etc.). Then, think about useful ways to measure your progress, whether that’s looking at your month-over-month growth as a percentage or diving deeper into your pipeline metrics. Isaac Payne, Senior Marketing Analyst at Pardot, provides a good rundown of various ways you can measure your efforts in this expert interview. You can also check out this infographic for more information on metrics worth measuring, as well as metrics that should be avoided. Having these metrics on hand can also help you justify that budget request for next year.
Pay attention to your organic traffic.
Many marketers get so caught up in their lead generation and paid programs that their organic efforts fall by the wayside. Now that buyers are conducting so much of their research on their own time — and on their own terms — your organic traffic is more important than ever. Today’s B2B marketing landscape is seeing a drastic shift from “me” to “you,” meaning that buyers are looking for valuable information that’s personalized to their needs, not a generic sales pitch about your company.
Make personalization a priority in 2016. Position your company as a helpful resource to your buyers by using targeted content and personalizing the web experience, and your buyers will start coming to you all on their own.
Invest in video.
According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. While many marketers are reluctant to dive into video marketing for fear of running up their budgets (or running down their resources), videos can actually be produced with very little up-front investment in time or resources, and can greatly benefit your lead generation and thought leadership efforts. In fact, highly-polished and professional videos can be produced with nothing more than an iPhone, and you can construct your own “studio” just by taking a quick trip to Home Depot.
Start thinking today about how you can incorporate video into your content marketing strategy for next year. With two months to prepare, you can enter the new year with ideas in place, scripts at the ready, and equipment on deck.
Revive your database.
The end of the year is a great time to reevaluate the health of your database, whether you’re using a marketing automation tool, an email service provider, a CRM, or another system. There are a number of tools marketers can use to clean out old or duplicate leads — but another great option is to run a re-engagement campaign to extract any lingering value from your database.
You’ve already spent time and money acquiring all of the leads in your database. Before you bid your old or inactive leads adieu, try re-engaging with them using top-of-funnel resources like an infographic or fun blog post. The goal is to revive their interest in your product or service so that when 2016 rolls around, you hopefully have a pool of “new” leads to work with.
These are just a few tactics to get you thinking about your B2B marketing strategy for the new year. Pick and choose the ones that work best for your company, use them all, or check out a few additional ideas here. Good luck!