We wanted to offer our readers some great marketing guidance for 2012. it’s our gift to you. So let’s get started on putting that marketing calendar together to make sure you reap the benefits next year! Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Figure out what goals you want to accomplish. Take a look at the month of January. What goals do you want to focus on for that month? What events will be taking place?
Example goals: Bringing in 10 new leads/week, improving your SEO via the company blog 4 times/month, pulling in a certain amount of sales through your online store, etc.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to be specific. If the goals you set turn out to be unrealistic then you will know how to tweak those goals to become more achievable in the upcoming months.
Step 2: Now that you have set goals set for the month it’s time to start mapping out how you will achieve them. What marketing channels have worked best for you in the past? Take a look at the stats for each marketing channel you use and evaluate which ones have proved to be the most profitable.
Example: If you’re looking for a specific number of new leads for the month you might want to check out Google Analytics to see who is visiting your website and where they are being referred from. Are people finding your site through organic searches? If so, you might want to put more emphasis on your blog and focus on writing SEO optimized posts. Or are your referrals coming mostly from Facebook? If so, you might want to up the amount of time you spend interacting with related pages, fans, posting informative links and posts, etc.
Step 3: Once you’ve finished your research on what marketing channels have worked for you in the past and assigned them accordingly to your set goals for the month, you can now start the creative process—coming up with original and interesting content.
Example: Let’s say that you are going to focus on an SEO optimized blog in order to bring in a certain amount of leads for the month since people seem to be finding your site by organic searches. Look at the keyword searches in Google Analytics and note which keywords are used the most. Do they fall in a certain subject matter? Are they broad or very specific? Brainstorm ideas that fall in line with those relevant keywords. Think of ways to craft interesting and informative posts based around the keywords and subjects related to them.
Tip: Also note the geographical influence of your site viewers. Do most live on the west coast? East coast? Just a few states? Just the state your company is based out of? Keep that information in mind when brainstorming your ideas. The more information you know about your site statistics the more you can create ideas with them in mind which will ultimately lead to more views, more leads, and more sales.
Step 4: Schedule. Decide how often you need to spend time on the marketing channels you’ve chosen for each goal you want to achieve and schedule time increments accordingly.
Example: For a blog it is best to post regularly and as often as you can. It’s suggested to post at least once a week, any more than that will help you with your goals even more as long as the content is valuable and informative. Look at what days people visit your site and pick one of those days to post each week. For other marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., do the exact same thing in determining how often and when to post content. Facebook and Twitter are most effective when used regularly on a daily basis.
Tip: Just because you figured out what day is best to post for one week doesn’t mean it will always be the best day to post. Check your stats regularly, note changes, and edit your posting times to fit accordingly.
Step 5: Apply steps 1-4 for the next few months after January. Plan a brief outline and once you start analyzing what works and what doesn’t work during the month of January you can apply what you’ve learned towards the outline for the following months.
Tip: Even if you don’t have concrete schedules for months after January it is important to at least establish what goals you want to accomplish for those months. Having that outline will give you something to work with rather than having to start from scratch and create a brand new plan every single month.
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