Welcome 2014! We have such high hopes for you, please don’t disappoint.
Now we don’t see the point in putting together a list of predictions for 2014 as more often than not we’re completely off! What we do know is that in the last few years we’ve seen some major, huge, GIGANTIC changes to the marketing industry, especially on the digital side of things. We also know that things are changing, fast. Which means it’s a lot harder for us all to keep up but alas!
Here are the team’s top marketing tips for the New Year – get your brain into gear and get going with them straight away, time’s a wasting!
We gave each Attacat the task of sharing their top tip on how to make the most of your online marketing in the sparkly new year.
Aim to get rid of your competitors in 2014
The value of being genuinely unique is only going to increase over time and more often than not, it is going to be “Winner Takes All”. This means that you shouldn’t be planning to make incremental improvements over your competitors but instead seeking to take completely different tacks. If there is competition for your overall offering then you need to plan to do something very different. Get started by training yourself in Entrepreneurial Marketing.
Christmas PPC is like a kegger at a frat house and now you must deal with the aftermath
Looking at your PPC account after the New Year can sometimes be like waking up and seeing your living room the morning after a house party. It’s clear everyone had a good time and the night was a total success, but now is the time to tidy. Search traffic can increase exponentially in the run up to Christmas and while your account may have been on target throughout the holidays, all those new search queries people are creating can sift through your account structure in unexpected ways.
Take this slower time of the year to dive into keyword research and tidy up your account by using negative keywords at the ad group level to direct traffic. And vow drink more water; it’s good for you and helps prevent hangovers.
New Year events are crap: set realistic expectations based upon data (use data; make smarter decisions)
Joel & Jane
We say it every year: “THIS New Year is going to be really good”. Then it’s always a disappointment because we build it up too much; we forget past evidence and pin all our hopes on everything working. So for New Year don’t do this with your marketing efforts; don’t put all your eggs in one basket, don’t assume things will work out great, and instead be agile and set realistic expectations based upon the information available. Then you’re a lot less likely to be disappointed by what should be a wonderful 2014.
Sadly we don’t all have Coca Cola-sized budgets, so marketing decisions in 2014 need to be smart and informed to ensure you get the best return on your investment. Looking at the whole of your online offereing, gather and use data to determine what the problem areas are, where your greatest gains are likely to be, and then prioritise around these.
If you’re struggling to convert visitors, do some user testing and surveys to find out why your site is falling short. High cart abandoment? Take a fresh look at your checkout process. Good conversion rate from email – can you capitalise on this further? Is there a high percentage of users visiting your site from a tablet or mobile? Then maybe it’s time to think about mobile SEO and responsive design? These are just some examples but it’ll help you to focus your efforts where they’ll really count.
Ring in the new year with some new products or a new offering
New Year is the perfect time to showcase new products or a new offering, if you can align them with likely New Years Resolutions, even better! Do a bit of research, you’ll hopefully have a whole year of customer data from 2013 – seriously, don’t waste it. By now you should know what your customers want and more importantly what they need, so tailor new products and offerings around this.
Ok, ok , I’ll give you an example: Let’s say you’re a garden landscaping company. Why not offer a bespoke ‘Winter Garden Revival’ service which is tailored to gardens that have been neglected and had a bit of a battering over the winter period? Build great content around this new offering and hey presto, you’ve hopefully hooked some potential customers.
Start looking outside your account for ways to optimise
With Google taking over more control of your AdWords performance through new features such as Shopping campaigns and Return On Ad Spend bidding, the amount of tweaking required in an AdWords account is reducing. But you can still greatly influence the performance of your account by tweaking things outside of it. The price optimiser tool Wisepricer scrapes your competitor’s sites and allows you to optimise the prices on your site, which will change the prices in your product listing ads the next time your ads update.
This may mean you’d want to bid slightly less if you’re reducing the revenue from each sale, but by trying to more accurately measure the lifetime value of a customer, you may find you can actually increase your bids while lowering your prices!
Take a long hard look at yourself (and your customers!)
New Year is a often a time for reflection, so take the opportunity to take stock of where your business is right now. Is this where you want to be? Perhaps your marketing is stuck in a rut or lazing around in that ‘comfort zone.’ In that nice, comfy place it is easy to take things for granted, especially your customers. Well, your customers seem happy enough.. You’re still in business right?
New Year is the perfect time to not take things for granted, so sorry.. that attitude just won’t cut it! If you are taking what your customers want for granted, stop that, because you’ll missing all sorts of opportunities to surprise and delight them (and also for them to tell everybody they know how surprised and delighted they are). And really, aren’t your customers what it’s all about?
A New Year, A Fresh Start
Is your brand/website a bit outdated and in need of a refresh? Well there is no better time than the New Year to rebrand your company.
It was last January when Attacat began its rebrand process. We started small with the logo and the rebrand is something that is still ongoing, it is something that need not be rushed. If you feel that your brand is fine then why not spend a bit of time just looking at your website in general. Are you meeting your customers needs and expectations? Or is there more you could do to gain new customers or create new business opportunities?
Seriously, have a backup plan
If you didn’t manage to create a backup plan before the New Year, make one now! Many hosting providers offer backup options through their control panel, which is a good option if you’re not using a CMS with backup plugins available. Something else to consider when you’re putting a process in place is where your backup files are going to be stored. Are you only saving them to your local computer? If so, have you thought about pushing your files to the cloud? Services like Dropbox offer that little bit of extra security and peace of mind that your backups are safe and readily available.
2014 is the year of mobile…
Dear lord are people still saying this, yup it appears so. So it’s probably worth mentioning that we’re not entering the year of mobile, we’re half way through a decade of mobile. It’s clear that Universal Analytics and Estimated Total Conversions are providing a much clearer insight into mobile performance, but mobile should already be part of your everyday marketing strategy.
So if you were expecting 2014 to kick off with some sort of cataclysmic mobile explosion, then this is for you:
We’ve thrown in a few more for free!
These simple tasks and trains of thought can make a huge difference to the way you think and do in 2014.
- Start drawing up your editorial calendar for 2014 and make sure to highlight up-coming events that will relate to your service or product
- Update your copyright notice or better yet, automate it
- Still blaming Google? Stop it. Aim to build a business that can sustain itself without Google
Now fly my pretties, spend your marketing budget well in 2014 and avoid being eaten up by your competitors.