I know you are thinking 2014? It is still 2013. But we are half way through 2013 and, actually it’s time to start preparing how your company will market itself in 2014. Each year digital marketing techniques are changing, along with the audience and how they are interacting with companies online. From when I started online marketing to now, my job has changed so much. Gone are the days of just putting keywords on your site and showing up on Google! Digital Marketing is growing and changing so now is the time to begin preparing your digital marketing strategy in 2014….

Everything is Evolving

Not only is the Internet getting faster and becoming more accessible but so are the devices we use to access it. A client recently told me they didn’t want to invest in updating their website design or change their marketing plan because “if it isn’t broke why fix it”. This client happens to be an online clothing store so I responded, “The clothes I bought 4 years ago still fit me, why buy new ones?” He looked puzzled by my response but then told me that trends/colors change, new designers are now available and new clothes make people feel great…Exactly!! Online trends have changed, new techniques are available and newly designed sites look great. Businesses need to look at all their digital marketing options and plan to try some new things.

Prepare Budgets and Timelines

Most people would be unable to research, plan, prep and pay for a 2 week trip to Europe only 30-60 days from when they would like to go, right? But for some reason every year in November/December people begin planning their marketing efforts that are supposed to start in January. When you don’t give yourself enough time to research, plan and budget for the following year you end up doing what was done in the past and not trying new things. Let’s be honest, no one wants to take the same vacation to the same hotel and do the same activities every year, year after year; so why do we let ourselves do this with our marketing efforts?

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Almost every client can recite 2-3 businesses that they consider their competition and what they like or dislike about their digital marketing efforts. But what does the competition say about your business? Do they like it? Do they try to replicate it? You don’t want your business to be behind or always take tips from the competitors. Take a risk and try something new! Good or bad it will be beneficial. If successful, then you discovered a new marketing initiative with little competition and have generated business. If unsuccessful, then you learned something new and can tell others with results that it didn’t work.

If the points above have not convinced you (or your executives) yet, consider the points below.

  • Have You Prepared a Plan for Mobile Users? – What content and calls to action do they want to see when they land on your site, and how will you get mobile users to your site in 2014?
  • Update your Site – If you built your website 2-3 years ago, now is the time to consider some website updates. If you built your site 4+ years ago you probably need to consider redoing the whole site. Additionally, make sure your digital marketing strategy in 2014 contains the budget for website updates.
  • Search Engine Algorithms Have Changed – When is the last time you updated the optimization on your site? Have keywords changed? Did you implement Author tags or Structured Data? Are you sure you removed all negative ranking factors that could be on your site?
  • Embrace Social Media – It isn’t going anywhere and it isn’t just a fad. If your company has not embraced Social Media yet, you need to! Even if you don’t believe people will like/follow your business- people are researching you and you need to be in control of your brand message on social sites.
  • Paid Advertising Opportunities – You can track and target anyone and anything. If you tried paid search years ago and believe it doesn’t work – try again! You will be surprised by the opportunities you could be missing out on for a very low cost.

Bayshore Solutions can keep you ahead by helping you analyze of all current techniques and results now, completing a competitive assessment, researching new opportunities, helping to identify a budget and the putting the plan into action.  Get started with Bayshore Solutions on planning your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2014 now!!

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