Before we get too deep into 2013, here’s an all-important top 5 to-do list that will invigorate your plans for the year ahead.
- Review your metrics: Accurate research is everything. Review your key performance indicators annually, and confirm that your research and reporting are in line with the organization’s stated goals. If your reports aren’t illuminating useful trends, make adjustments that fit your strategy. Also, examine the forms and data-collection criteria you use to ensure you aren’t missing a chance for gathering new information from clients. Consider creating visually driven reports that will engage your team in meetings and give senior management at-a-glance analytics.
- Refresh your homepage and blog: This no-brainer easily falls off everyone’s list. It’s great if your site has been recently re-designed, but you have to keep it fresh for visitors. Stale homepages discourage regular traffic from exploring your content on a deeper level. Fresh visuals, automated slideshow functionality and “related content” widgets are among the ways you can engage people in your organization’s latest news. If you can meet the demands of delivering content on a regular basis, a weekly blog is a great hook for pulling in traffic.
- Think mobile, act local: Pay attention to your mobile stats. Remember the 2010 Morgan Stanley report that predicted mobile’s dominance over the desktop by 2015? Well, we’re getting close, and you need to be sure that your content and its delivery are optimized for this exploding audience. If your mobile stats are low, find out why you are lagging and fix it. Maybe it’s time for an app, which provides instant access to your message and is the go-to solution for reaching audiences on the move.
- Embrace marketing’s convergence with social: Communications today depends on social media. As social matures, we’re seeing that it’s more than a Web 2.0 technological novelty. We all still need media releases, press conferences and media contacts, but it’s also time to build serious strategy around social tools. Social is more than a delivery system — it’s a marketing platform with unlimited potential for engaging audiences. Take the time to develop creative solutions for sharing your PR message and implementing your marketing plan. Set aside budget to hire dedicated social personnel for your team. Use social media to build value with your audience.
- Understand new technologies: Four years ago, we were all scratching our heads about Facebook’s value to business. Now there’s LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and more. Many of them are indispensible PR tools. You may not find a need for every social platform today, but it is absolutely necessary that you know how the channels work. Marketing strategies morph with time, and you never know what social tool will be useful to your campaign in the future.