Happy New Year! A most welcome one, to be sure. With each new year come new goals, both personal and professional. But your goals shouldn’t just be for you. Your business needs them, too!
Goals keep us honest and give us something to work towards. How do you know when you’ve gotten there if you don’t quite know where you’re going?
Goals are like a good road trip. You don’t just zoom on through and catch glimpses of the scenery as you fly by. You stop at landmarks, check your progress, refuel, pat yourself on the back and move on.
So how do you set good goals for your company? You have to be smart about it. You need S.M.A.R.T. goals:
- Specific: Use numbers and action words to state exactly what you want and how you’ll get there.
- Measurable: You need a way to evaluate your progress with data and metrics.
- Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure (but don’t go too easy on yourself either!)
- Relevant: It needs to benefit you or the company in some way.
- Time-Bound: Set real deadlines and hold yourself to them.
So what should your goals be this year? If you haven’t thought about them already, we’ve put together the 5 most important and opportune areas for growth in 2021. Check it out!
1. Shoot More Video
People consume more video online than any other medium, and that’s even more true for younger folks in the Millenial and Gen Z demographics (many of whom are older than you might think).
If content is king when it comes to marketing, and we strongly believe it is, then video is the king of content. Video has a low commitment-to-entertainment ratio, if you will. A 30-second video can say as much as a 500-word blog post and look better doing it. And believe us, because we love the written word, but it just doesn’t always have the same impact as a well done video.
What’s more, you don’t need crazy production values here to get results with video. Most of us have smartphones capable of taking HD video, or someone in your office does, surely. You can get lots of great video content with just that!
Get in touch with your inner filmmaker and try these ideas out:
- Quick videos of life around the office are great behind-the-scenes looks for social media. Give your customers a glimpse of the people behind the company they love.
- Customer testimonials are a powerful marketing tool. We all read reviews, right? Ask your favorite customers if they’re willing to do a video testimonial, or, if they’re camera shy, get some “actors” to read their reviews on video. You can put these testimonials on your site and even build a campaign around them.
- Animated explainer videos can break down complex ideas and processes with relative ease. If you’ve got a lot to say about your product or a lot to show your audience, then these videos will get the job done faster and more convincingly.
2. Grow Your Email List
One of the most important aspects of growing your business is having regular communication with your potential and existing customers. A critical component of that dialog is your email marketing.
Email is a great way to keep in contact without being too intrusive—we all get bombarded with messages all day as it is. Even still, a good email campaign will stand above noise and draw your audience in.
Your audience is key here. The most beautifully crafted email will fall on deaf ears if you’re not sending it to the right people. Your campaign is only as good as your contact list.
So how do you grow that list? We’re glad you asked!
Some of us still have PTSD from the popup ads of the early internet, but they’re still around and still incredibly useful—if used correctly. Consider these tactics:
- Offer visitors a small discount, freebie or upgraded content (like an ebook or video) in exchange for their email. People love free stuff.
- Use timed popups that only appear after a visitor has spent some time on a page. If they’re sticking around, they’re at least a little interested.
- Make sure the popup ad itself isn’t too aggressive or difficult to dismiss. We’ve been to more than enough sites that black out the whole page with a tiny near-invisible “X” to close it out. Don’t be that site.
Encourage Newsletter Signups on Your Blog
Your blog should be home to regular posts that educate, entertain and delight your visitors. Such is the aim of inbound marketing: draw people in, convince them to stick around, and eventually they’ll buy from you and keep coming back.
Once you’ve got a nice flow going, add a newsletter signup to your blog page—it could even be a popup. You can then send out new blog announcements via email and drive more traffic to your site. Combine this with some bonus content just for your email subscribers, and baby, you’ve got a stew going!
Growing your email list is tough and it takes time, but it pays off big time when your messages are reaching thousands and thousands of already-interested buyers.
3. Drive Up Social Media Engagement
Social media is another critical component of business growth. Whether you use it in your personal time or not, there’s no disputing that a massive portion of your audience is active on one platform or another, if not multiple platforms.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat are a goldmine for businesses looking for a bigger audience. You just have to find which platforms your audience frequent.
You can’t just show up one day and start posting all willy nilly—don’t be sharing memes and forwards from your aunt on Facebook. As with all things marketing, you need a strategy to be engaging and make the most out of your time on social media.
If you’re active on social media and posting the right content, your audience will flock to you, engage with you, learn more about you and what you offer, and share with their friends.
Try these ideas out:
- Talk about your industry, not just your brand. Constantly posting about yourself gets old fast. Share industry news and blog posts and talk about trends—anything that’s relevant to what you do.
- Start a conversation with your audience. People love to interact on social media. That is the point, after all: to be social. Ask questions for your audience or start a Q&A session so they can ask you; post little quizzes with a prize for the first right answer; comment on their comments. Just be creative and have fun!
- Be authentic and post with feeling. Social media is not usually the place for uptight corporate stodginess (save for maybe LinkedIn). Hang loose, use exclamations and emojis, bust out some relevant reaction GIFs. If you feel a little out of touch with the internet zeitgeist, don’t worry and just lean into it.
4. Run More Ads
While we’re on the subject of social media, there’s a whole nother game going on right on the very same pages: paid ads. You’ve no doubt seen them everywhere, even if you don’t notice all of them—they’ve become sneaky like that.
Each of the major social media platforms have their own ad-serving systems that give you all kinds of options to rope buyers in. In-feed videos, promoted posts, image carousels, big banner ads—the choice is yours. You can even run multiple ad types for the same campaign.
Target Your Ads
Social media ads are not a “spray-and-pray” affair, though. You pay for every view or click of your ad. You’re shelling out good money for real estate on a hypercompetitive market, so don’t waste precious dollars advertising to people outside your audience.
Luckily, these platforms also allow you to target specific demographics and give you feedback on the potential reach of your ad. If it’s too big, you’ll blow through your ad budget quickly with few if any leads. If it’s too narrow, no one will see it. Know your audience and deliver the best content to them.
Retarget Your Ads
For even more effective ads, you can set your campaign up to show an entirely different set of ads only to people who have reached a certain trigger goal, such as these:
- Anyone who’s visited your site in the last 3 months
- Anyone who’s visited a particular page within the last 30 days
- Anyone who’s viewed 50% of a video ad
- Anyone who’s added items to a cart but didn’t check out
Folks like these have shown interest in your company or product but haven’t committed yet. Single them out and convince them with retargeted ads!
5. Boost Your Sales
We bet you’d never think of this one, huh? We kid, of course. This is basically a natural extension of striving for the previous 4 goals. Everything you do should be with the end goal of boosting sales and growing your business.
- Video is the king of online content. Sprinkle them around your site and include them in social media posts and email campaigns.
- Growing your email list and delivering outstanding content keep you in regular contact with your audience and customer base.
- Social media engagement allows you to interact with your audience more directly and have a little fun along the way. Make new friends and they’ll spread the word for you!
- Targeted ads let you specify whom your ads are shown to on any given platform. Retargeted ads let you follow up with those who’ve visited your site or otherwise shown interest in your company.
Remember to make these S.M.A.R.T. goals to hold you and your team accountable and give you the best chance for success.
Reach for the Stars! We’ll Help Get You There
These are not lofty goals we’re talking about here; they’re fairly easy to reach, and they pay huge dividends. Still, you don’t have to go it alone. You have lots of other things to worry about.
If marketing strategy isn’t your strong suit—and we’re sure you have other wonderful qualities—fear not! That’s where we come in. Barge Marketing puts strategy first in everything we do.
Our onboarding process uncovers everything we need to know about your company, brand, product, audience, competition and more. We build customized campaigns using strategies and tactics we’ve honed over the years.
Don’t entrust your company’s success to just anyone. We know strategy and we know success. And we’ll be with you every step of the way. To see how Barge Marketing can help you, contact us here, chat with us online or call us at 614-907-7577.