4 Tips for Planning Your 2016 Online Marketing Program

It's always a good idea to take some time to develop a solid strategy for the new year that can guide your future decisions

Although we have still two months left of 2015, Go Local is already planning for our clients’ 2016 programs. In fact, several of our clients already have their 2016 budgets pre-approved. How far along are you? It’s okay to say you haven’t even started yet. We are here to help. Take a look at some of these top 4 tips for tackling the overwhelming project of developing your marketing goals for next year.

Tip #1 – What’s the Big Idea?

This may seem like a basic concept, but taking a step back from the day-to-day grind and establishing the big idea(s) for 2016 is essential to developing a solid plan. Plus, your agency will thank you and love you even more for it. Think to yourself, what are our pain points? Are we getting a large amount of negative reviews? Are users complaining about the functionality of our website? Are our locations getting enough leads? You get the picture. Develop a few goals and work with your team to determine which objectives you are going to focus on in the new year. 

Tip #2 – Dream a Little Dream

Quit reading emails and block off time to dream up new ideas. During our company wide annual meeting we use the last hour of the meeting to just dream. We throw out, any and all ideas that come to our head and write them on the white board. Once the hour is up we take a picture of all of our ideas and start narrowing down the list. Most of these ideas don’t come to fruition but they usually lead to some pretty great concepts that are then brought to life. We have had success with this process, so why shouldn’t you try it? Thinking outside of the box never hurt anyone. 

Tip #3 – Use Numbers

At the end of the day, every idea and recommendation needs data to support it. Therefore, gather some data and spend a little time analyzing your campaigns’ performances in 2015. For example, take a look at your Google Analytics account and check out how much referral traffic social is bringing. Are there certain social media outlets performing better than others? If so, perhaps you need to shift more of your focus to another outlet. Another example is taking a deeper dive into your paid search campaigns. How are their quality scores? Are there some campaigns that could use a little re-structuring in 2016? At the end of the day, the numbers should drive your strategy and help you refine your ideas from the brainstorm session. 

Tip #4 – Get Organized

After you have brainstormed, analyzed some data, and established the big ideas, get organized. Whether you love Excel spreadsheets, like we do at Go Local, or if you prefer a good old Google document, pick something and jot down your plans. Writing things down will help solidify your thoughts and you will probably poke a few holes in your plans that you hadn’t noticed before. Once you are organized and have finalized a plan, get a few other opinions before signing off. It’s always a good idea to get other team members’ thoughts before moving forward.

Overall, it’s always a good idea to take some time to develop a solid strategy for the new year that can guide your future decisions. Whether you take some of our tips or develop your own process, it doesn’t matter as long as you are getting a plan in place. If you are a Go Local Interactive client and are ready to start planning for next year reach out to your Client Strategist and we will get the ball rolling! We are always excited to bounce around new ideas and help you reach your marketing goals. Good luck and happy planning!

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