Refresh your 2016 online wellness marketing plan with these five New Year’s resolutions that address everything from website marketing to social media, online advertising and email.
1. Market with intention
It’s easy to keep mindlessly posting on social media platforms like Facebook and automatically cross-posting every time you hit “Send” in Mailchimp.
Instead, market with intention.
Analyze your current marketing with questions like these:
On which platforms do you actually engage users most succesfully?
Which platform consistently responds best to your calls to action?
What kinds of content really get people involved? What does “involvement” actually look like?
What kinds of content actually help move people to the next step in your sales process?
What kinds of programs and services are you launching? Which existing programs are you investing in? Which marketing avenues are most relevant and effective?
Then, rebalance your marketing plan to do more of what actually works.
2. Do less to do more
Pinpoint your least successful online marketing tactic — your biggest online fail.
Is it your monthly Adwords budget, with little evidence of success? Is it posting on Facebook, with no evidence of actual engagement or interest? Is it the complete lack of ongoing new website content? Is it your company’s predictable failure to respond to inbound emails from potential customers?
Then, make the hard choice. Drop it altogether — or commit to do it WELL in 2016.
So, if AdWords isn’t generating sales, don’t just trim the budget — cut it entirely unless you’re absolutely convinced PPC is essential. If it’s essential, treat it like the mission-critical marketing tactic you say it is.
And if your wellness business isn’t willing to commit to responding to inbound emails, don’t put an email address on your website.
Yeah, I know that flies in the face of everything you’ve ever heard. But think about it for a second. Why do something that will only turn off prospects? Instead, tell them you’re committed to live interaction, and make sure the phone’s always answered by the second ring.
3. Don’t let a digital bandwagon run you over
Instagram, Snapchat, mobile apps, Twitter, Google+, yadda yadda. — I’m looking at you.
Wait and see what works, and what doesn’t. Don’t be quick to jump on fads — the latest app, a new social media platform, or even a website design concept like parallax design (a current fad) or sliders (yesterday’s fad).
Let companies with mass market products and enormous budgets figure out the best way to actually market on, say, Instagram. Give WordPress plugin developers time to come up with great mobile tools for WordPress. Give platforms like Facebook time to figure out different ways to market in their ecosystem.
Then, once best practices and lasting capabilities emerge, jump on the bandwagon. Learn from their mistakes so you can make fewer of your own.
4. Balance your website, social and email presence
Make 2016 the year that you focus your efforts to improve ROI while diversifying them to reduce business risk.
Understand that the only thing you “own” online is your company’s website (and any cloud or mobile apps you’ve launched). You have almost complete control over those assets.
Everything else — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, PPC advertising, search engine results optimization, guest blogging, commenting on other organizations’ content, etc. — is borrowed or leased.
You may spend tremendous amounts of money, time and mindshare on it. But you don’t own it or control it. And all it takes is one change to one algorithm to bring a wildly successful business to its knees. For example, did you know that everyone in a Facebook group receives event notices — until the group exceeds a certain size? Bad news if you count on Facebook to promote your free seminars.
This means: don’t put all your eggs in the social media basket. I know it’s free, I know all that posting activity FEELS so good, like you’re really getting a lot of marketing done — but worst case, it’s not all that effective, and best case, you’re jeopardizing your business.
Instead, narrow your focus to one or two social platforms where your ideal customers tend to concentrate. Drill into the capabilities of that platform so you use it as fully and effectively as possible.
Use the time, mindshare and money you free up to strengthen your email marketing (STILL much higher ROI than social), and keep your website fresh with engaging and unique content.
5. Manage for results
It’s a four-step process:
1. Set your priorities, using Resolutions #1 – #3
That includes which channels and platforms you’ll focus on, plus itemizing the related marketing deliverables and putting them on a timeline.
2. Hold weekly progress meetings with your marketing team
What’s on track? What’s slipping? How can you get it back on track?
Warning: don’t cancel these meetings just because things are hectic. And don’t let them deteriorate into general “catch-up” sessions. The agenda should be dictated by that plan you just developed!
3. Hold monthly results meetings to review metrics and other analytics
What’s working as planned? What’s exceeding expectations, and what’s falling short? Most important: why?
4. Hold quarterly meetings to tweak and tune your plan
Daily and weekly and monthly changes are too fast — marketing needs time to work, and you’ll make mistakes if you switch gears before you actually have any data.
On the other hand, three months is enough time to draw some conclusions, review what you’ve learned so far, and tweak accordingly.
It’s a brand-new year, folks! Make 2016 the year you feel GREAT about your online presence!
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