With 2015 here, businesses are scrambling to “optimize” and “revitalize” their marketing strategy. Despite these wonderfully placed intentions, most of these resolutions (like most personal resolutions) will nose dive into the ground within the first two months. The reason for this is simple: you cannot make a grandiose plan without having some sort of strategic year-long measurable plan action in place to support your resolution. If you’re at the point where your team is about to meet internally or with clients to assess a 2015 strategy, make sure that none of your efforts mirror the following list of the top 5 failed resolutions.
1. Increase Brand Visibility
Your brand doesn’t exist in a bubble. It would seem like a common sense thing to say, but the fact is that most businesses think that simply existing makes them worthy of recognition. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do you have to work to establish yourself, you have to work to gain visibility and then increase it. None of this happens by wishful thinking alone, especially not when there are a thousand other brands eager to steal your thunder and cast you in their shadow. Simply wishing fore more visibility doesn’t do much, but having a plan of action that reviews the gaps in your 2014 business projection, does. So start there.
2. Have More Social Media Followers Get More PR
You just have to love when a business tries to increase their followers. Unfortunately, this isn’t Alice in Wonderland and there isn’t some magic pill you can take for social that will just increase your size. To gain followers you’ve got to do some good old-fashion hard work. You need to post everyday, sometimes twice a day if you can, and you’ve got to be creative in your posts. Your posts need to pique curiosity and prod for conversation – and then you’ve got to have that conversation and be unafraid to engage. Everything from your social branding, to your copy, graphics, and landing pages, need to be calculated maneuvers. Even with calculated maneuvers, it will take you a while to see the follower growth that you expect, and once you have it you have to keep spinning that social wheel to keep them circling your brand.
3. Get More Incoming Calls
If your business is service-based, then incoming calls are your lifeline. The average ratio for incoming calls, just like with leads, is one to a hundred. This means that out of every 100 calls, one will turn into a sale. That’s a very modest figure but it’s a safe figure you can use to flesh out your 2015 project and budget. Having an aggressive PPC campaign is the one time that you really need to hire a professional. It’s a full time job that requires a full time strategy. There are no shortcuts around this. Getting calls means getting PPC: it’s a direct connection on the former is heavily dependent on the latter.
4. Get more PR
Getting more PR is a tricky one. In fact, it’s trickier than the other four previous points. With brand visibility, you can take certain consistent measures across the board to ensure it. You can more or less do the same thing with social. Incoming calls can almost be promised with the right SEO and pay-per-click campaigns. PR, however, is another beast entire simply because you have to up your game – because your audience is more sophisticated. To get PR traction, you need to be catering to industry thought leaders, reporters, journalists, bloggers and other leading businesses and professionals to build partnerships that are ripe for promotion. To tackle this, start by identifying your goals and then work backwards to see which route best offers you the access you need to meet that goal.
5. Increase Sales
Finally, the nail in the coffin for failed business resolutions has to be the generic “we need to increase sales” line. However, if you want the sales, you need to treat sales like a business rather than as an aspect of your business; think of it like the heart of your business. You need a sales team or point-person, customer-relationship-management software, a sales funnel, top-notch sales material and a sales strategy that identifies target demographics and how to work them through the sales process. Just like with a heart, you need all parts of it functioning in with symphonic synchronicity; anything less and it fails.
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