There are 12 days left of 2018. That’s fewer than two weeks! If you’re like most business owners, you’re thinking about your goals for 2019.
We had a feeling, so we did some research to make the process easier for you. We’re sharing all the homework assignment answers with you.
To make things even easier, we’ve narrowed our list down to the five most important digital marketing things you must do in 2019. Yes, you must do all five of them, if you want to make things happen next year.
Document and prioritize your goals for the upcoming year. Make a list.
According to Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down.
Each goal must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound).
Example of a SMART goal: Sign 20 new clients by December 31st, 2019.
Example of a goal that is not SMART: Sign more clients in 2019.
Goals must also be challenging, but not too difficult. According to a 2016 article in Inc., 92% of people don’t achieve their goals because they’re too difficult or are not appealing. Unrealistic goals are bound to end in failure, which leads to giving up and reverting back to old habits. Set goals that challenge, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Be realistic.
Avoid setting goals that are too easy. Such goals may make you feel good, but they’ll also lead you to complacency. You’ll also miss out on opportunities. Even worse, you’ll get bored and start to think that setting goals is pointless. Now, you’re on a slippery slope toward bad business management.
Don’t set too many goals. Focus on the 20% of big things you can do that will produce 80% of the results you’re looking for. This is the classic 80/20 rule. Plan smart. Save time. Do things that will produce big results.
Aim to accomplish 60-70% of your goals. That’s considered the ideal success rate by most. It means that your goals were not too difficult or too easy. If you accomplish 100% of your goals, that’s a sign that they may have been too easy.
Develop a digital marketing strategy.
This is your plan for how you’ll accomplish your goals. You must plan for the future based on projections and actual information you have from the previous years.
For example, to create a strategy for increasing revenue, you have to look at the previous years’ revenue, growth rates and future industry trends, and determine what you should do to increase your revenue. It’s probably not reasonable to assume that you’ll be able to double your revenue in 2019 without spending significantly more on marketing, if you realized a 5% increase in revenue during the past two (2) years.
The simplest way to do this is to look at each goal and ask yourself what you’ll need to do to achieve it.
More specifically, focus on creating a robust digital marketing strategy. It needs to include all the actions to be taken in order to achieve your online marketing goals. For example, if one of your goals is to increase traffic to your website by 20% by the end of 2019, your strategy may be to run Google ads and/or publish relevant content on your website.
If you’re in the camp of businesses that don’t have a website or don’t have a good one, that must be one of your goals and part of your digital marketing strategy. If you need some convincing, we recommend that you read the top three ways your business can benefit from a website.
Also, consider the fact that more than 80% of people do research online before they buy a product/service in person. This fact alone is enough reason to have a clear digital marketing strategy.
Become the king or queen of content.
Having a great website is a must, but it’s not enough. You need more. Search engines, like Google, expect websites to have fresh and relevant content. They give priority to those websites. Such websites are considered valuable sources of information. Search engines use that information to answer users’ questions. Your website is more likely to rank higher in the organic search results if it has the best and most relevant information.
If the content on your website provides the best answers to questions people are searching for, Google may even include it in the featured snippet. That means your website will appear at the very top of the search results.
Here’s a really easy and effective way to start your content marketing efforts:
- Make a list of all the questions your customers and prospects are searching for online.
- Answer each question with a blog post.
- Disclose as much information as possible, including your prices. Be honest.
- BONUS: Include a short video with each blog post.
This will boost your credibility in your industry and with search engines. Your customers will also start to think of you as their partner in figuring out solutions for their problems. It will not happen overnight, but Rome was not built in a day either. Content marketing is a long-term commitment, but it’s extremely powerful.
To get a deeper understanding of content marketing and learn how to do it well, you should read They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. Once you read the book, you’ll be super excited to get started. If you can only read one (1) book in 2019, this is the book.
Give video a serious try.
This is also one of our goals for 2019.
The verdict is in. People want video. We, as businesses and marketers, shall give them what they want. Otherwise, they’ll go somewhere else.
According to CISCO’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends (2017-2022), online videos will account for more than 80% of online traffic by 2020. More than 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook every single day!
Don’t panic. We’re not suggesting that you go from zero videos to creating super professional videos every single day. That’d be great, but it’s not realistic for most small businesses.
Instead, start with baby steps. Use a cell phone or a camera you own to create short videos for your social media accounts. They don’t have to be super fancy. Just be yourself and talk about topics your customers care about. For example, record a short video about a new product at your store. Tell your customers what’s special about it and why they’ll love it.
Create a YouTube channel for your business. Use it to share videos that educate and answer questions. Think of it as your company’s channel and opportunity to showcase your brand and connect with customers.
Don’t forget to include some videos on your website, especially on the homepage. For this, you should consider hiring a professional to help you. A lot of professional video production companies are fairly talented and can produce a video that will take your homepage to the next level.
Clean up your email list and start using it.
If you have multiple email lists in different places, consolidate them. The final list that you import into MailChimp, Infusionsoft or any other email marketing software should only include people who have agreed to hear from you. They’ve opted in to receive email marketing material from you.
Don’t buy email lists from third party companies. People on purchased email lists have not given you their permission to email market to them. If you contact them out of the blue, you’re spamming them. That’s a big no-no. Your email marketing service provider may penalize you for spamming people.
If you don’t have an email list, start collecting customers’ contact information on your website and at your place of business. You can ask customers to sign up for your newsletter or even offer them something of value in exchange for their email address. Tell people what they can expect to receive from you via email and how often. Keep your promise.
Don’t start building your email list by copying email addresses from potential customers’ online profiles. Just like people on a purchased email list, you don’t have their permission to start email marketing to them. They will most likely think your business is spamming them.
The quality of your email list contacts is way more important than the quantity. People who have given you permission to contact them via email are more likely to read the messages you send and less likely to mark them as spam.
Create a set schedule for your email marketing efforts. Do some research when the best day and time of the day is to send out email marketing messages. Pick a day and time to see how many people open your messages. You can try a different time after some time to see if it’s better in terms of open rates. MailChimp allows you to send different messages to different groups of people. This helps you determine how effective each message is. Experiment to figure out what works the best for you.
Here’s what you must do in terms of digital marketing in 2019:
- Get all your goals in order.
- Create a strategy for accomplishing those goals.
- Start creating content.
- Experiment with video.
- Take email marketing seriously.
And, of course, have the best year ever.
Also, leave us a comment. Let us know if your New Year goals match our recommendations, or if you think we missed something important.