New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t confined to individuals: even companies can benefit from a fresh take on things. One area that deserves special attention is the marketing department.
With rapid changes in marketing trends and the evolution of new technologies to communicate with customers and track engagement, it’s more important than ever to prepare your marketing department for the year ahead. Here’s how you can get started.
A solid strategy is to integrate marketing into other key departments, such as sales, new product development, and even human resources.
This advice will surprise those who regard marketing as a function that’s independent of other company areas. Within technology firms, marketing is loosely defined as the bells and whistles added to a product once it’s ready to launch or even after it’s gone to market. The reality is that it should be an integral part of the product development process from the get-go.
Good marketing is interdisciplinary. When all departments work together, the following benefits are realised:
- Sales messaging that aligns with the company mission and value proposition
- A product that speaks your customer’s language and addresses their pain points
- A product development plan that prioritises the features most important to your users
Make Better Use of Social Media
At the beginning of 2015, We Are Social delivered the following social media statistics:
- Close to 2.1 billion people have some form of social media account
- Nearly 1.7 billion people actively use those accounts
It’s safe to assume that those numbers have increased over the past year, which is enough reason for success-minded companies to take a closer look at their own social media practices.
To make the best use of your company’s social media profile, ensure that your marketing team is planning its Facebook, Twitter, and other posts at least two weeks ahead. If the team’s expertise is not social media, hire an outside expert to assist until your employees complete the appropriate training or the company hires its own social media marketing guru.
Blogging was once exclusively for digital diarists, but now it has important benefits for businesses too. Well-written and informative blog posts will:
- Drive traffic to the company website
- Increase the business SEO/ SERP
- Present your brand as an industry leader
If the company website doesn’t have a blog, set one up immediately.
Your marketing department should be posting at least one to four interesting and useful blog articles a week. If the company doesn’t have an in-house copywriter, outsource this task to a skilled writer who understands and correctly delivers your message.
Improve SEO Practices
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of applying principles and guidelines to a site’s design and content so that it enjoys greater search engine visibility. Some SEO techniques are relatively easy, like creating content that makes ideal use of your preferred keywords. Others are a little more advanced, such as setting up and optimising local business listings (e.g. Google Plus Local and Yahoo Local) and exchanging mutually advantageous links with local businesses.
If your marketing department requires expert support, ensure that you partner with an SEO company that has a good track record, takes a sound and ethical approach to SEO, and has reasonable rates.
Get Into Pay-Per-Click
Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is now a staple in most digital marketing toolkits, and with good reason. PPC lets you reach your target audience immediately, while organic traffic created by SEO can take time to appear. Those who click on your ad are actively looking for your product or service.
As an added bonus, if certain adwords (PPC version of keywords) are not working for you, you can ‘turn them off’ and try different ones.
If you are new to PPC, Google Adwords Express is an easy introduction to setting up and running adword campaigns. For more sophisticated strategies, consider hiring a certified PPC expert or company.
Not to be confused with spam, email marketing campaigns serve two important business functions:
- Keeping your company in touch with its client base
- Retaining client interest with new products, specials, and promotions
Exciting and relevant marketing emails, sent on a regular basis, will ensure that customers stay loyal and buy regularly.
Today’s consumers expect first-rate experiences from every company they interact with. Perfecting your marketing department will allow you to acquire new customers and keep loyal ones by creating the most engaging experiences possible.