Articles

5 Marketing Must-Do’s Before The End Of The Year

email marketing| Marketing Automation| General Marketing
September 20, 20229 min read

Can you answer this question....

Is your business optimized and ready to thrive in a downturn?

The 5 Marketing Must-Do's

More than ever, marketing tactics and strategy execution will have a direct impact on your ability to gain, maintain and grow your business in uncertain times. It’s time to tighten up the ship with all the things you may have pushed down on your to-do list this year, and get your sales ready for 2023.

What’s going on with your website? Are you happy with it? Does it work? Is it current? Is it easy to understand? Does it generate leads or revenue for you?

What about your (and I know you hate this) social media profiles? Do they explain what you do? Are you regularly sharing content on them? Are you logging in? Are you growing your network?

When was the last time you audited your tech stack? Are you using everything you’re paying for? Do you know when that big $5,000 GoDaddy auto renewal is going to hit your bank? And, do you really need to spend so much with them?  Spoiler alert: you do not.

Since we see these things all. the. time. we've put together a list of 5 marketing things you really, no-kidding, absolutely need to do before the end of the year:

  1. Update your website

  2. Review your social profiles

  3. Clean your email database

  4. Audit your tech stack contracts

  5. Have an action plan to generate business – no matter what the economy does!

MMD (Marketing Must-Do) #1 – TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOUR WEBSITE

You may have noticed your website is not perfect and will never be finished. That’s OK.

But if you haven’t taken a hard look at it in the last 6 months, it’s time for some housekeeping.

Copy edits: Is your message clear? Has your objective changed? Do you have new products or services that need to be added?  

Functionality: Is your site “working”? Are there any dead links that need to be removed? Are there 404 PAGE NOT FOUND errors? Is your website still connected to your CRM? Are your social media links connected? When you google your business – what do you see? Have you posted any new articles or blogs recently? Have you looked to see if anyone has opted-in, sent a message, or tried to buy from you – and is trapped in the back end of your WordPress?  By the way….not getting your website leads is a nightmare. Let’s get that checked right away.

Design: If your website is more than a few years old, it might be time for a new one. Do not be afraid. Let’s talk about available options, timelines and your objectives. There’s a process here but it’s kind of boring and I just want to make a point. Our webdev team does custom HTML with a WordPress section for your blog. So you can have a great design that works for SEO and still keep control of adding your own content and not go broke in the process! All of our website work is under $10,000 with a few exceptions and many are way less than that. Really.

MMD #2 – REVIEW YOUR SOCIAL PROFILES

This is an area where people tend to set-it-and-forget-it. Let’s take a good look at what visitors see when they click on your LinkedIn profile. By the way – that’s the first place people are going to check you out, even before visiting your website. What are they seeing?

We advise getting really specific in your headline. That’s the one liner under your name and it should precisely tell people what you do. It’s the most valuable space in your profile so it pays to get it right. If you are a business owner, no one cares about your title – they want to know what you can do for them.  What does YOUR headline say?

Next, review your “about” paragraph. Is it conversational and easy to read? Or are you heavily using the King’s English and writing in the Third Person? (please don’t do that). 

Your profile header – do you have a custom graphic that reflects your brand or are you still using the default that LinkedIn provides? Are you fully utilizing all the bells and whistles LinkedIn offers? Do you know that you can add sign-up buttons to your profile so people can join your email list? Do you have a Company page to increase your visibility and Search? Remember, LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. These details matter.

On to Facebook, now known as Meta. Have you noticed all the changes there lately? If you are regularly posting, you may have noticed things have moved.  Are you using your personal profile for business? Do you have a business page and understand how to use it? Are you getting stuck when posting a link to content and it doesn’t “render” the image like it used to? Does your video post look terrible? Have you looked at Meta Business Suite?

Google My Business – what’s going on with your profile here? Is it fully completed and accurate? Are you using it to drive customer reviews? Did you know you can post content to your GMB profile and get crazy good search exposure for free? 

Speaking of Google – do you have a YouTube Channel? Maybe you have an old one that you forgot about? Let’s do something with that. Does it need refreshing? Is it connected to your website? Is it open for search? Is there a way you can make money from it? 

MMD #3 – CLEAN YOUR EMAIL DATABASE

Somewhere along the line, you probably bought or signed up for a CRM like Mailchimp, Hubspot, Constant Contact, Salesforce, Active Campaign, or Keap (formerly known as Infusionsoft). Ideally you’re using it and getting full value. If you’re not using it, hopefully you’re not paying for it every month, because that is a drag.  

CRM’s can be complicated if you’re not in them every day or don’t love the work. Not everyone finds joy in a CRM! What you will not be told during the purchase process is – you are going to need a skilled person to set it all up, get it connected to your domain properly, import and manage your data and set up workflow automations for you.  And that’s for starters. Most things fall apart at this stage. 

Let’s get under the hood and find out what is and is not happening with your CRM. Are you using what you’re paying for? (more on that in the next step.)  What does your customer data look like? Is it complete? Has it been checked for updates lately? When you send an email, do you get tons of bounces and are you taking steps to get those fixed or deleted? Does your email marketing get opened? If so, at what percentage rate? What are you doing to grow your email list? What are you doing to get more people to open your email? Are your sales people updating their contacts and deal flow in the system without fail?

We work across many different CRM’s with our clients from small to enterprise. If email marketing is important to you - because it is the most affordable/highest return marketing you can do for your business – set some time aside to get it cleaned up and functional. If you’d rather have a root canal, hire it out.  Once some basic maintenance and setup adjustments are made, you can start running effective campaigns that will grow your business.

MMD # 4 – AUDIT YOUR TECH STACK CONTRACTS

When you did your taxes or last month’s P&L were you surprised at how much you’re spending every month on Sales and Marketing SaaS products? Your providers LOVE the recurring revenue you’re giving them. And woah, does it add up fast! Do you have some of these services?

graph of marketing tech stack softwares

I can guarantee right now you are paying for services you either don’t need, aren’t using, or could get for free.  We see it over and over again with our customers. What’s on your list? 

What service brings you the most value? What do you feel you have to have, but hate using? What’s the most expensive thing you pay for and is there a better alternative? 

For multi-year contracts, make a list of end dates. And be sure to spell out the cancellation process. Just this month I got burned by an auto-renewal that cost $800. THAT will never happen again! One of our clients (with our help) avoided a $20,000 renewal because we set a reminder AND noted the 30-day notice window. Some of these companies are easy to get out of and some are downright diabolical. It pays to do annual auditing and cut out what’s not making you money. And if you can’t cancel something right away, let’s plan for when you can.

MMD # 5 – MAKE A PLAN TO GENERATE BUSINESS NEXT YEAR NO MATTER WHAT!

Here’s where I’d like to point out most people have been worried about and obsessing over “the next economic downturn” since 2016. And before the whole pandemic thing happened, people were making money in the market. Who knows what’s next and there’s not much we can do about it anyway.  But we can make a plan.

No matter what happens, money will still be spent in your business category. You may have to work a little harder for it and you certainly need a plan to get there even if it changes. And it will change because plans always do.

If it doesn’t make sense to do a deep and specific annual plan or you just can’t see that far, we suggest quarterly planning with a KPI dashboard to track progress.  

What’s your main objective in Q1 23? How much business do you need to do? What steps need to happen to get there? What campaign can you run that will generate the business you want? 

Here’s what we did for one client. I’m super compressing in the interest of time, but you’ll get the idea.

The Goal:  3 new clients a month in a specific high dollar product area.

The Plan:  Social media messaging, email marketing, webinars with a strong call to action, targeted website content, Whitepapers with Landing Pages, Search, Referral Partner Incentives, YouTube explainer videos. All elements connected together in coordinated effort. 

The Measurement: A robust KPI tracker of exactly what was done and specific results that were generated, review progress weekly, make adjustments. Discuss. 

Does this sound like something that could work for your business?

If you’ve managed to read all the way to this point, you must be interested in growing your business no matter what the economy does next year. 

You don’t have to go it alone or dump more work on your already overloaded staff! These are all things Hicks Marketing can do for you so you can spend more time closing deals, talking to customers and working on your business and less time fighting with all the small details. 

Get a Quickstart Marketing Huddle or simply get on my calendar to talk about what Hick’s Marketing can help you with today! 

Back to Blog