As we head into the new year, many marketers are in planning mode, identifying top ways to drive more sales and customer engagement in 2016. Digital marketing is becoming an even larger part of the overall marketing mix as we head into the new year. As marketers consider the different marketing channels and their 2016 goals, they also face significant challenges. In a recent post from HubSpot, marketers ranked the challenges based on the company size. At the top of the list is proving Return on Investment (ROI) and subsequently securing budget dollars for marketing efforts. Managing the website has also proven tricky with different properties, multiple use-cases, screen sizes and operating systems.
In our 2016 Digital Checklist, we provide a foolproof guide for marketers navigating the digital landscape as well as innovative ways to continue to increase customer acquisition and retention.
- Analytics are Key. Reporting is a fundamental part of digital marketing. Understanding the metrics allows marketers to see which channels are driving growth. In 2016, plan to determine the proper success metrics to monitor and commit to regular reporting. This will significantly impact the ability to prove ROI from digital campaigns. Here is a handy ROI calculator, provided by Hubspot.
- Content: by and for Social. 2016 may be the year content becomes an integrated part of the marketing efforts. As marketers build longstanding relationships with customers, providing valuable information in the form of eBooks, podcasts, white papers, slide shows and articles becomes critical. The Content Marketing Institute provides many helpful resources for marketers getting serious about this important tactic. This chart offers a simple framework for getting started. Remember, creating great content is just the start. Promoting it to customers through organic and paid social programs takes it to the next level.
- Mobile domination. The 2015 Pew survey on mobile phones states that ⅔ of Americans own a smartphone and 19% of Americans rely on their smartphones to stay connected. As we move into 2016, a mobile business strategy is no longer a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have. For more information on how to “mobilize” your business, check out our recent post about responsive design or my recent post about 2016 trends in mobile.
- Search is still King. Search Engine marketing is still considered the top way to reach and convert customers online. In 2016 marketers will need to increase the visibility of their web properties on Google, Yahoo and Bing by continuing to fund their SEM and SEO campaigns. We also recommend utlizing remarketing for search ads on both Google and Bing. Business.com posted a recent article about what to expect in 2016 on the SEO front, and how other channels will continue to impact SERP’s. Check out our post on the Top 5 SEO mistakes to avoid and How to create SEM landing pages.
- Innovation. According to this cool infographic: Gartner’s 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey, 71% of marketers have an Innovation budget. This will include areas such as virtual assistants, augmented reality and more. Consider setting aside a budget to explore new, cutting-edge ways to engage and delight customers.
2015 saw digital marketing budgets increase by 10-11% and ⅔’s of marketers expect this will rise again in 2016. In order to utilize those budgets effectively, planning is crucial. For a free digital marketing review, please contact us today.