With the New Year just days away, we are wrapping up the final preparations, goals and dreams for the year to come. For most, on that list (somewhere close to the bottom or perhaps scribbled in the margin of your notebook as an after-thought) is something like: website or social media or online presence with a million question marks around it.

We put together this resource for you as a place to start in thinking about your online marketing strategy. Before you go breathing into a paper bag, let me break this down into a few simple steps that you can follow to set you up for success in your 2018 online marketing strategy.

#1 – Tools to track website traffic and performance. This is the number one place to start. If this isn’t in place, you have no way of tracking the performance of your social media or email marketing efforts. There are fantastic and free plug-ins for WordPress sites out there, our favorite being Jetpack. Get this tool installed in your WordPress site, with the free version, you’ll enjoy site stats and analytics and automatic post sharing on social media platforms.

#2 – Search engine optimization (SEO). A lot can be done here but a few things you should be focusing on if you’re just getting started: consistently posting to your website, keeping your plugins up to date and installing a free WordPress plugin such as Yoast. Yoast will analyze each of your pages and give you tips for each to improve SEO, it also allows you to easily edit your meta descriptions and page links.

#3 – Social media. Once the tracking tools are in place, you can tackle the social media piece.

  • The biggest thing you have to establish here is: what is the purpose in posting on social media? To drive traffic back to your website? Get them to sign up for your emails? Who is your target audience? What does your target audience want to see? Do you contend with your competitors in the social media space? Take a good bit to work through these questions, this will drastically shape the direction you take social media and what your content will look like.
  • Plan it out. At the end of each month, take one hour to plan out your content for the month ahead (date, picture, caption, hashtags). Don’t overuse hashtags but instead, think creatively, make them as targeted as possible to get in front of your ideal customer. What’s happening in your industry? What holidays are coming up? Can you afford to do a product giveaway or two per quarter? Use these things to your advantage.

#4 – Creating an email marketing list. Let’s start with some stats from a great article on email marketing that you can find here.

If you have 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter – this is what you will get:

  • 435 people will open your email
  • 120 Facebook fans will see your message
  • 40 Twitter followers will see your message

With those odds, you can see why having an email marketing strategy is incredibly important. It DOES NOT get you out of doing social media, so don’t hear me wrong here.

This begs the question: what do I share? How often? You’re already creating content for social media and hopefully posting at least a few times on some form of a blog on your website. Think of this as a way to share those resources. Choose images and graphics that you’re using on social media in your email campaigns, share offers, ALWAYS have a call to action and link your website and social media profiles. MailChimp is user-friendly and easily integrates with WordPress websites.

We are here to serve you. If you have questions about any of these things, we would love to run through your questions that you may have individualized to your brand and industry. Don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation.