Happy New Year! As we all shake off the excesses of Christmas and look ahead to 2020, a lot of people are starting to think about what they want to do differently when marketing their business.
In this blog I’ve written some New Year’s Resolutions for anyone looking to improve their marketing in the next 12 months. For post NYE hangover implementation.
Yes, I know, this sounds awful and complicated. It doesn’t have to be.
What is SEO, I hear you ask? (You’re not alone, over 2 million people Google that every day).
In the words of marketing God Neil Patel:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”
Basically, Google is smart, but there is a LOT of content out there. In fact, 250 new articles were published on WordPress in the time it took you to read this sentence.
Running an SEO audit and fixing any issues shows Google what you’re talking about, and gives your site the best chance of being found.
Making sure your pages have good titles, descriptions, the images have tags, you’ve got good linking going on- these are all quick fixes to help you make sure you’ve got the basics and aren’t missing out on easy, free, traffic.
2. I am going to work out exactly what I’m selling, and to whom
For lots of established businesses, this sounds kinda patronising, but it can be very easy to gradually move away from the core purpose of your business and the problems you are looking to solve for your customers.
It’s good practice to review your value proposition and messaging at least a couple of times a year, and talk to your customers at least once a quarter to check what you’re offering is still resonating. Go back to Tim Ferris and Start with Why.
I’ve done a whole blog post on messaging workshops, but it’s also really beneficial to get in a room and review your business plan, target market and customer profiles.
I’ve seen lots of companies set targets for the year by adding 30% to the year before, or use the same target list year after year. It’s also very easy to follow the money.
Here’s a scary fact- I’ve turned down so much business in the last 2 months that my ‘disqualified’ pile amounts to more than my full time annual salary before I went freelance. Because they weren’t the right fit for what I’m trying to achieve and who I’m trying to help.
Let’s get this straight. You want repeatable, scalable, great fit businesses, where your product or service solves a problem. Just because your company can do something, doesn’t mean it should. I recommend reading ‘Win without pitching’ for more on this. Sorry to be harsh, but if you can do everything, you can’t do anything. Here’s more Neil Patel.
3. I am going to post regular content
I am not asking you to hire a full time content marketer. I’m not asking you to give up your weekends to write really lengthy blog posts and publish multiple times a week. I’m asking you to set up a basic schedule. I post every Tuesday. I write long blog posts because I’m a writer and I like writing. You can do 500 words. Get your customers and network in the habit of expecting something from you once a week.
Write a list of ideas. If you really hate writing, get someone to do it for you. You will only be seen as an expert and a thought leader in your space if you share your knowledge. And once you’ve started, keep it up! It’s like all New Year’s Resolutions- the bigger you go, the more likely you are to fail. So start small. 500 words, every Tuesday or Wednesday.
Of course, there is a TON more to content marketing than this, but I see so many founders and small businesses get overwhelmed and bogged down in the weeds of making it perfect, ranking for the ideal keyword, only posting when they can be sure they have the bandwidth to promote it perfectly- don’t get stuck in this trap. Start somewhere. Start with writing something every week. Once you’ve got that habit going, then work out how to optimise it.
4. I am going to share the content I already have
So you’re in the habit of writing content. If you’re lucky, you’ve been doing it for a while. Next up- get better at sharing it. Re-use it.
Here’s a tip.
When you think you’re being annoying, your customers have just started to notice you.
I like to use an editorial calendar for this for myself and my clients, and I’ve only scratched the surface with how I can repurpose stuff I write.
Here’s some quick ideas:
In fact, I’m so passionate about this I wrote 42 ways to promote your content.
5. I am going to ask for help
Just a few years ago I was TERRIBLE at this. I think marketing is a hard place to be- it can be hard to measure, it can be hard to justify, and proving value to sales is really tough!
I suffered a lot from Imposter Syndrome while in marketing initially, and when you have imperfect systems for measuring your impact it can all become..well..a little woolly and subjective.
There’s an epidemic of fear when asking for help at work, but if you don’t ask questions, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Be brave!
You can’t be an expert in everything, so make a network of people. You’re no less the awesome marketing leader for asking experts in their field, even if it’s only for verification and back up on your hunch.
That’s all for today folks. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to include the gym, and they don’t have to be huge and insurmountable. Get in touch if you want to chat through your marketing strategy for the New Year and how you can use content to supercharge your efforts.