THE BLOG
11/10/2016 01:52 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2017

Is Your Marketing Plan Ready for 2017?

It's almost Thanksgiving, and that means it's time to get your plans together for how you will generate even more revenue in 2017. Whether your business counts on holiday shopping to boost revenues, or it's a ghost town in your office after Turkey Day. Regardless, it's time re-boot your small business marketing efforts. You want to look at your revenues for the year, who were you top customers or product sales, and you'll want to evaluate your close ratios to see what closed and and how long it took. As you look toward the new year and think new plan. Here are some ideas for updating your marketing plan for 2017.

Fine-Tune Your Marketing Plan

A strong marketing strategy is key to ensuring your product is seen by your potential customers. A good starting point for doing this is reassessing your market by answering some fundamental questions:

  • Are the trends changing in your market?
  • How often do people buy the types of services you sell?
  • Are there any new market opportunities for 2017?

Your answers will help you shape your marketing strategy. When you have done this, it's time to define your ideal customer:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Geographic location
  • Type of work they do
  • How often do they buy

When you have identified your ideal customer, the next step is to determine what leads them to make a purchase. Are there any new benefits you can highlight? What you're ultimately trying to do is illustrate more value to the customer. You must be solving a problem. Maybe it makes the morning routine smoother or it makes something cheaper, easier or faster. You're helping the customer envision achieving a goal by answering the question, "What's in it for me?"

Knowing the competition has never been more important than in today's global, always-on marketplace. You have to identify what makes you special, different, or better. One excellent way to help define your competitive advantage is to ask customers why they chose you. Then, with your small business marketing strategy in place, you're ready to explore which marketing channels you want to concentrate on in 2017.

Is it Time For A Content Refresh?

Content marketing and social media marketing will be essential framework holding up the small business marketing structure in 2017. And just as you have an overall marketing strategy, you need a content marketing strategy. Ideally, the new year is a great time to launch new content or channel try quick videos on snapchat, if you target customer is using the social channel.

Some small business owners think that because content marketing is essentially free, it's not worth devoting time to. But the truth is, the less money you're prepared to spend on content and social media, the more time you will need to devote for it to be effective.

Whether you focus on LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, there is no substitute for high-quality content. For example, Instagram advertising became huge in 2016, and the importance of imagery to telling your brand story can hardly be overestimated. When it comes to content marketing, quality always wins out over quantity.

Maximize Opportunities in 2017

Go into 2017 with a plan for how to market your business more effectively using a strategic blend of digital and non-digital channels. Content is still king, so try something new to mix up your content. All digital marketing has costs associated with it, in terms of money, or time. Be mindful that you only need two social channels to build a powerful brand online, just be sure that you look at your Google Analytics to see where your best referral sources are for your website, they will tell you which social channels to focus on.

Social media marketing can't be an afterthought for small business anymore. It should be elemental in your overall marketing strategy for 2017.

This article was originally published under the title Gear Up Your Small Business Marketing for 2017 on www.succeedasyourownboss.com