It’s that time of year — the time to make New Year’s resolutions for 2023. As work slows down around the holidays, it’s important to seize the opportunity and consider improvements to your marketing plan.
Whether you work in the industry, you’re a client, or you’re just a forward-thinking businessperson, now is the time to take a hard look at all aspects of your public relations, advertising and marketing.
Of course, you should have personal resolutions too. We can all get more exercise and lose some of that holiday weight!
But let’s focus on PR, advertising and marketing for now. Here’s a 10-item checklist:
- Update your brand story. In business, you need to have a story — what you do, why you do it, and for whom. But you also need to keep that story fresh for your target audience, so that people feel like your business is dynamic and changes with the times. Perhaps your story is outdated and needs a fresh look. Keep it new and exciting!
- Figure out your budget. Are you over or under it? Are you spending enough money on PR, advertising and marketing? One approach is the 5% rule, meaning that you spend between 2-5% of your sales revenue on PR, advertising and marketing. And one way to save money is to identify the channel that works best for you, and focus on just one of those three.
- Review your business plan. Keep the particulars up to date: Goals, strategies, and tactics. Make sure the strategies and tactics are working to achieve your goals, and not just being done to be done. To that end, do you have a measurement dashboard to determine your ROI on those strategies and tactics? And is it based on data?
- Remember your target audience. Never forget the consumer on the receiving end. The end user is the most crucial person in business, so take time to consider their wants and needs. Perhaps the target audience has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe you need to expand it. Consider the end user’s “problem,” and then be the solution. The customer is always right!
- How’s your social media looking? You should be posting regularly, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly (at the very least). A content calendar needs to be in place too, so you can keep track of what’s being posted and what should come next. Tailor your content to grow engagement — not just fans and followers on paper, but true engagement. You want people interacting with your social media posts every time.
- Take stock of your employees. Your employees are brand ambassadors for your business. They should add immense value, growing their respective networks like you hopefully grow yours. After all, your network is your net worth, so encouraging your team members to connect with people in the community helps boost your overall brand in the end.
- Thought leadership matters. From speaking engagements to opinion columns and LinkedIn articles, you need to position yourself as an expert in your specific field, whatever that may be. That conveys credibility and legitimacy to your target audience. Thought leadership is what ultimately gets the end user to trust you, since you’re the go-to person who knows the business and the end user, and how to keep them faithful over time.
- Keep your friends close, but your “enemies” closer. Keep track of what your competitors are doing in your industry, and how you can learn from them. Perhaps your business may become more efficient and effective like theirs. Social media is one way to keep tabs on the competition: If they’re running PR, advertising, or marketing campaigns online, maybe it’s time for you to do something similar too.
- Don’t shy away from feedback. Your website should essentially serve as a collection of feedback, allowing your target audience to ask questions, find answers, and even leave reviews. Data-driven insights are “sexy” as competitive differentiators. Try collecting the “most-asked questions” and responding to them through your website. This is also important for search engine optimization (SEO) — Google needs to know that your website is very active.
- What are your top priorities? With a new year right around the corner, you want to establish the most important priorities for your business and then work to address them. That’s how you make 2023 even more productive than 2022. Happy New Year!