It’s getting noisy out there. A hyperactive overstimulation of media and content coming at us from every angle.

So, now is the time to take a moment to refine or redefine your marketing plans for the year ahead. Your strategy must be on point, with goals that make sense – and with clearly defined target audiences. Think spectacular digital campaigns, established metrics, engaging content, added value and lots of video. Always sticking to your ‘why’ and prioritising connection. People want to connect – no one is an island.

Make the customer the hero of your stories. – Ann Hadley

Here are just a few things to consider:

1. Look back and reflect before jumping ahead. Review your 2021 marketing plan and ask the question: did you achieve what you set out to do? If yes, claps all round. If not, ask yourself why, how you can do better and be better.

2. Set measurable goals and objectives for the new year, bearing in mind that things shift and change all the time. It’s important to have strategic recourse to follow. Identify how many leads and how much traffic you need to achieve your goals.

3. Learn from your competitors: look, follow and see what your rivals are doing in the same space you are working.

4. Set goals including increasing brand awareness. Generate leads and sales by making sure your customers know about new specials, offers and promotions. Always try to increase your brand’s audience by having your finger on the pulse of what conversations are happening and what people want. Engage with your audience and welcome user-generated content that is honest and authentic. Make sure your site attracts lots of traffic with unique content and run a competition – people love winning things!

5. Embrace the limelight with a solid social media presence. This way you can form relationships with your audience, other businesses and profit from increased visibility.

6. Research your target market. According to Sprout Social, Facebook and YouTube are both prime places for ads, due in part to their high-earning user bases:

The top social networks among Millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube, signalling the strength of bold, eye-popping content that oozes with personality. Women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, which is noted to boast the highest average order value for social shoppers. LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated, making it a hub for in-depth, industry-specific content that might be more niche than what you see on Facebook or Twitter.

Ultimately make sure you are populating the right social channels for your target market.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek

7. You simply must be data-driven and look at reach, clicks, engagement, hashtag performance, and organic and paid likes.

8. It seems rather obvious that your content must captivate and showcase your brand. Video is proving the most valuable content type for achieving social goals.

9. Incredibly engaging video can increase your reach and build your following on a variety of platforms, and can be shared across multiple channels, giving you increased exposure.

10. Be a human. People love stories. Make sure you weave your customers into you narrative. Also very important is that your customers can engage with you and you are available. People invest in high quality brands they like, run by people they like, so creating that friendly connection with a customer is essential.

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. – Seth Godin

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