16 Marketing Goals for Your Business in 2016

16 Marketing Goals for Your Business in 2016

Every business needs to have goals. They could be financial, strategic or marketing in nature, but you still need to have them.


I have goals for my business. I’m heading into year 5 of ME Marketing Services and 4.5 years in I have reached a major goal/milestone, financially speaking. Looking towards this next year I need to have more marketing-focused goals to keep up that milestone, which lead to this post. It never hurts to take a look at the goals any business or business owner should have when it comes to the promotion and marketing of a business.


With 2016 rolling in, let’s take a look at 16 marketing goals for your business…


  1. Focus on quality content. This year, focus on the quality, not the quantity of your content. Yes, you’ll need to produce a lot of it to make waves, but put some effort into sharing things that will be meaningful to your community. According to a study by the content marketing company Fractl, “64% of writers wish they saw more infographics, mixed-media, data visualizations, images, videos and interactive maps”. Share the steak, not the mashed potatoes.


  1. Have a content marketing plan. This probably should be first, but this list is in no particular order. Content is a crucial piece of marketing. Roughly 80% of businesses will use content marketing in 2016 and beyond. This is what you publish on your website, share on Facebook, pictures you post to Instagram. You can’t go blindly into content marketing. Have a plan. If you don’t have one, start here.


  1. Find new ways to distribute content. If you’re blogging – great! If not, this is the year to start! This year, find new avenues to get your content out. This could be signing up for Triberr or guest posting on other blogs. You could also tap into your alpha audience and have them ignite your content. BuzzSumo and Fractl analyzed the 1 million most-shared articles within a 6 month time frame in 2015 and found that the top million articles showed that the most engaged platforms, in order, were –  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.


  1. Make something other than Facebook a priority in your social media efforts. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a huge player, but there’s more out there for businesses than the big blue brother. If you haven’t tried Instagram, try it. Maybe venture into Twitter. Branch out this year.


  1. Go offline and do something in-person. You could spend your entire marketing budget and time on just social media and digital marketing, but that won’t reach everyone. Not everyone in your target audience is online, so go to some networking events or attend a conference. Go talk about your business!


  1. Find strategic partners. This could be online or offline. Find others with similar mindsets and businesses that compliment yours. If you’re only handling social media for clients, align yourself with someone who does web design or SEO. I’m sure you have some common clients or potential clients you can refer each other to. Likewise, if you are a brick and mortar store, selling flowers for example, partner with a local furniture store to display some of your arrangements. This is free marketing people, take advantage!


  1. Have realistic goals. Wouldn’t we all love to rake in six figures because of our marketing efforts alone? For some businesses, you may be able to. For some, that’s not realistic. Whatever you do, set a realistic goal. Sure I’d love to make $1 million this year, but realistically that isn’t going to happen. Setting up unrealistic goals will only leave you feeling depressed at the end of the year.


  1. Give away something for free (if you can). Like a moth to a flame, nothing brings in potential customers like free stuff. This could be a 30-day trial or something with purchase, offering something as a bonus or benefit will extend your business. Keep in mind your bottom line though, you don’t want to give away the farm.


  1. Outsource what you can’t handle or are not good at. Look, us marketing people (and business owners too) hate to admit we can’t do it all. We feel we should be able to do it all. Well, we could if there were more than 24 hours in a day and a had a maid at home, personal chef at home, live-in nanny, chauffeur, etc. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but outsource what you are not good at. This could be social media marketing, advertising campaigns, graphic design, etc. You’ll appreciate the time you’ll get back and the knowing someone who is capable is handling it for you.


  1. Be proactive and ready. There’s nothing like having Thanksgiving Week slip up on you and you have nothing planned for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Know what’s coming up for your business and be prepared. Likewise, if you see something brewing (an upset client or something that could be really bad or really good for your business) know what you are doing to do when it happens – have a press release or a campaign ready to celebrate or combat it.


  1. Be prepared for the unexpected. You can always be proactive but there are times things will come out of the blue and throw you off-course, in both good ways and bad. Unfortunately you can’t plan for everything (a notion that drives me crazy, personally) so know the unexpected sometimes happens no matter how much of #10 you do.


  1. Try something new for your business. If you’ve never really spent much time making videos, start! Wanted to advertise in something local – go for it! Go outside your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe it’s time to update your branding (stay tuned this June for ours!) or your website.


  1. Find a business mentor. Having a mentor is something that is very underrated. All business owners and marketing professionals need to have someone they can look to. This could be for advice or guidance or for help in an area they are struggling with.


  1. Be a mentor. If you have the knowledge and know-how, mentor a new business owner or marketing professional. I do this through the internships my business offers. It allows college students to get real-world experience before they actually enter the real world.


  1. Make it a point to track everything. To see the full-scale results of your marketing efforts, you need to track the analytics (Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, etc.). Make sure you know what’s working and what’s not. Analytics is the first place to start.


  1. Have fun. Marketing is fun. From campaign creation to seeing the fruits of your labor, no matter how small, marketing is the fun arm of your business. Enjoy it!


Whew. 16 is a lot, but all of them are attainable by any business, regardless of the size.


What goal(s) have you made for your business this year?

8 Fun & Easy Holiday Marketing Ideas

8 Fun & Easy Holiday Marketing Ideas

The holiday season is the time of year that businesses can be made or broken. Many businesses, such as retail, depend heavily on the holiday season that runs mid-November through New Year’s Day. This is one time of year that you should not skimp on the marketing! The holidays make marketing so much fun – the contests, the deals, the relevant engagement – everyone needs to get into the spirit!


Here are some of the holiday marketing facts (source: Adept):

  1. The days from Black Friday through Christmas pull in 50-100% more revenue compared to shopping days throughout the rest of the year.
  2. 78% of shoppers used the internet for holiday research last year.
  3. 1 in 3 retailers dedicate 31-50% of their total online marketing budget to holiday efforts.
  4. US retail e-Commerce will grow 16.6 % this holiday (up from a 15.3% increase in 2014).
  5. 86% of retailers expect their 2015 online holiday sales to increase.
  6. 22% research a product on their smartphone while in store.
  7. 72% of millennials research online before heading to brick and mortar stores.
  8. 49% of shoppers view products in person, then find cheaper prices online.
  9. 27% read online peer reviews of a product while in store.
  10. People who shop both in person and online spend 66% more than those who only go to stores.
  11. On Black Friday, mobile sales accounted for 27.9% of total online sales.
  12. Email marketing drove 27.3% of orders on Black Friday in 2014
  13. 65% of marketing emails were opened in 2014.
  14. 1 in 5 shoppers made a purchase after opening a retailer’s email on their mobile device.
  15. 2,013,943 social media “discussions” on retailer channels happened on Black Friday in 2014.
  16. Last year, e-Commerce orders coming from social media grew a staggering 202%.
  17. 20% of online shoppers say that Facebook helps influence their decisions.
  18. 10% of online shoppers say that Pinterest helps influence their decision to buy.
  19. Only 1.7% of E-Commerce orders on Black Friday through Cyber Monday came from social media (including FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest).


Now that you know the facts, how does that factor in to your marketing plan? Here are 8 tips to help…

1. Get festive!

You want your business/brand to be relevant, so that means “decorating” your social media accounts! Change out your Facebook cover photo to something Christmasy (if you celebrate that) or have your Twitter background be a field covered with snow. Show the world that you are ready for the holidays.


2. Post interactive content.

Ask questions each week, share favorite holiday memories.  Connect with your market on an emotional level and get to know them.

Dear Santa SOMS

3. Give sneak peeks.

People like to have exclusivity. If you are offering a deal in your brick and mortar store, offer it to your social media fans or email list a day early. If you are debuting a new product or service, leave bread crumbs so they are hungry for it when you debut it.


4. Offer a discount or special deal. 

You do not have to do this to be successful, but sometimes this will help you convert those browsers into customers. It can something for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It could be a month-long discount on a product or service.


5. Utilize your email list!

Your email list is almost like gold. These are people who have said they want emails from you – use this wisely! Segment it and send carefully crafted messages. Send email list-only deals. You have a captive audience, so make the most of it!


6. Give back.

I believe all businesses should donate to charity (whether it’s time or money). During the holiday season, share what you support or support something new. Do boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Donate to Toys for Tots. Adopt a local foster child. Take a group of your employees and do a shift at a local soup kitchen. Show that you are more than a business and that you truly care and want to give back.

7. Use some traditional marketing.

You will always have a segment of your market that is not online. Make sure to infuse your online holiday marketing plan with some aspects of traditional.

8. Have fun.  

It is the holidays after all. Show some holiday cheer and have fun with your fans and those who come into your office/store.


Are you ready for the holiday season? What tips would you share?


Popularity is not always an indication of quality

Let’s just call it what it is – “Best of” contests are nothing but a joke. They are nothing but advertising ploys by newspapers and magazines to sell ads in special sections. I can say that because I worked in newspaper advertising and I ran several of these contests.


But that’s not what this is about. This about the ones who fall for the fact that being dubbed the “Best of” something actually means they are the best of that particular category. Now, some, a rare few, truly are, but they are few and far between.


These local “Best of” contests are just popularity contests, much like being named Homecoming Queen or Prom Queen. It’s who can get the most votes. It’s not based on your quality of work or work product. Not even a business’ reputation. It’s who can get the most people online to vote for them. And I won’t fall for it or beg my friends and family endlessly to do it. Therefore, I never win and my competition always does and always will.


And that pisses me off to no end. Because I know I’m better when it comes to social media & digital marketing.


There I said it. Actually, I typed it. I know I am. Look at my work product, look at my client list. Look at who calls me up to ask for my advice, asks me to collaborate on local projects, sit on committees….they are calling me, not them. And yes, I cringed when I typed that out because if you know me, that’s not something I would normally say out loud.


Yet, I’ve never been awarded a “Best of” title in my town.


My clients have won “Best of” titles and my company has had clients win the “Best Website” and “Best Facebook Page” categories for some of these local contests but does ME Marketing Services or myself take any credit? Nope. We are never mentioned nor do I ask to be. Why? Because it’s about my clients. Maybe that’s where I fail – because I don’t seek the “fame and glory” some of these other local companies do. I currently partner with one of the region’s oldest local marketing company (who came to me to outsource social marketing for a client, by the way) and they works like I do – for the clients, not seeking the credit or praise for himself or his company. THAT is how a business owner or company should work.


Yes, I published a few posts asking for votes for this “Best of” contest. I hated doing it. It felt so wrong. To be honest, I only did it because these other competitors were doing it and I figured I might as well.


“Best of” anything should be based on WORK PRODUCT AND REPUTATION, not popularity. If I win an award of any kind, I would hope it would be based on that. I work hard to walk the talk and produce for my clients and because of it, 2016 is looking to be our best year yet.


I firmly believe that respect is a lot more important, and a lot greater, than popularity. – Julius Erving

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Social Media Reach

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Social Media Reach

If I had a dollar for everytime someone asked me how they could extend themselves online, I’d be super-rich. Well, maybe not super-rich but definitely rich.

Every business, when using social media, wants to get the most return on their time. Once you’ve established the basics and have that rolling, there are other things and areas you can branch out into to keep the growing exposure going. When you get to that point, and you will, here are three actionable ways to extend your social media reach –

Use hashtags.

Hashtags are a great and easy way to have more if your posts found. Just be careful and not use more than 2-3 hashtags in one post. You don’t want to be the one to overkill it. Using a hashtag will make your post searchable and if you happen to use a popular hashtag, you’ll see more traffic to that post and your account. Hashtags are also a great way to hold social media contests, brand your posts and communicate with others. #HashtagsRock

Participate in Tweet Chats.

Tweet chats on Twitter is an amazingly great way to connect with new people and extend your brand on that platform. There are tweet chats for just about every topic under the sun. They can move fast, but are always centered around a hashtag (see above). Whenever I’ve participated in a tweet chat, I’ve always walked away with more followers and more exposure to my brand. The best site to use when participating in a tweet chat is www.tweetchat.com.  To find a chat to particpate in, check out Tweet Reports, Twubs, or this Google Spreadsheet.

Collaborate with Other Businesses.

Finding a like-minded and focused business to partner up with can expose you to a brand-new audience. Of course, make sure it’s not the competition, but finding a business that targets who you want to target can open new doors. A no-brainer example would be photographers and florists. Doing joint blog posts or sharing each other’s social media posts will put each of those businesses in front of each other’s audiences, thus extending their reach to a whole new fan base. Business partnerships like this can usually be mutually beneficial. Just make sure you’re not doing all the work.

You can put as much or as little time into each of these three ways as you want. Each of these will extend your reach on social media and expose you to brand new fans.

Have you tried any of these and had success? Comment below and share your experience!


This post was written for The Southern C and has been republished with permission.

5 on the 5th Interview - Mojca Mars

5 on the 5th Interview: Mojca Mars

This month I want to introduce you to someone I was recently introduced to, Mojca Mars of Super Spicy Media. Fellow social media peer and friend Ian Anderson Gray introdiced Mojca and I via Twitter. She is located in Europe and doing some awesome things on that side of the pond for businesses and their social media. I have enjoyed getting to know her and you will to!

Name: Mojca Marš

Title: Social Media Consultant

Company: Super Spicy Media

Website/Blog: http://superspicymedia.com

Twitter handle: @mojcamars

Question 1: Why did you choose to work in this industry?

Because I was good at it and I saw that the demand for good and effective social media managers and consultants was high.

At that time I was still working at the advertising agency, that was, before I got fired. I saw big companies creating their own Facebook pages and they suddenly needed someone with different skills to run that for them. Our agency didn’t do social media management so when I got fired, I started writing my own story.

Before I got laid off I was already helping a friend who had an ecommerce site manage his Facebook page. The results were good beyond belief. We were soon competing with bigger companies in the same space and that’s when I got hooked and been hooked ever since.

Question 2: How do you keep continuing your education and staying up on all the latest trends and changes?

I read, discuss and test. I read an enormous amount of articles about social media, books about it, watch videos. I also discuss about social media with my colleagues if I get the chance. What worked for them, what were the results? But the most vital part of educating is testing. I truly enjoy testing different approaches on social media, observing results and making conclusions. I publish those conclusions on my blog and educate others on that topic.

It’s hard to balance out the educating and working part, but both has to be done if you want to stay at the top of your game.

Question 3: What do you love the most about working in your industry? What bothers you the most?

I absolutely love the fact of how social media has changed the marketing landscape. Companies and brands can now connect with a user on the other part of the world within a few seconds. Even the smallest companies can achieve major successes on social media if they choose the right approach. I love to teach companies and brands on how to achieve that and go beyond the goals they set up for your business.

But what bothers me the most is industry’s lack of tracking social media analytical reports. A lot of social media managers rely on their gut feeling and create content without any insight into analytical reports. I’m definitely not saying that everything should be created based on analytical data (if that were true, we would probably all sound like a bunch of robots), but data shouldn’t be as ignored as it is today. It plays a vital part on a successful social media strategy, we need to accept that.

Question 4: What is the hardest situation you’ve encountered in your business and how did you handle it?

I mean … I had clients leave me at the beginning of my journey, I had to let clients go, I was dealing with late payments, I dealt with failed campaigns but I don’t think this would even qualify as hard. I perceive these situations as different tests. All of us are going through situations like this, the winners are the ones who will persevere.

Maybe I have a problem of taking these situations too easily. I always take a step back, acknowledge that things aren’t as hard as they may look at first and solve problems efficiently. I don’t want to spend my time thinking about the problems, but I find a solution and move on.

Question 5: What is the best business advice you’ve been given and why has it stayed with you?

Charge more. I have read so much content on charging more by Brennan Dunn and that changed my perspective and business in a way I couldn’t imagine. After constantly reading his content I decided to make drastic changes in my business. Based on the results clients were getting from my work I realised I’m seriously underpricing my services.

I completely changed my business after it. I created different packages, my proposals got an update, I started communicating differently and that enabled me to double my income in just a few months. The best thing of all? I attracted even better clients and even though I raised my prices significantly, they were a lot happier than previous ones.

One for the road…

Bonus: If you could come back to life as any person from the history, who would it be?

Steve Jobs. Because he was a badass.  


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