You’re probably in the process of creating your marketing strategy for 2017, but aren’t really sure what to change. If you saw growth in 2016, what things contributed to that growth that you need to do even more? If you struggled in 2016, what do you need to do differently so that you do grow in 2017?
What we change in our strategies depends on what we learned from last year and what trends are happening in the next year. I recently wrote an article on the 16 business marketing lessons that I learned from 2016, which heavily influences the decisions I make it 2017. This article outlines the specific things I’ll focus on in my business this next year, and I think they’ll be helpful to you too.
Based on the lessons that I learned in 2016, here are 17 practical marketing and design tips for you to do in 2017.
1) Overall Marketing Tip for 2017
It’s not about you, it’s about your customer. So much of marketing and design is focused around pushing out messages about your brand. Instead, focus on understanding, empathizing, and solving your customers’ problems.
Social Media Marketing Tips for 2017
2) Post native content
Don’t post the same thing to all your social media channels. Each social network is used differently. Learn what kind of content your audience actually interacts with and create specific content for that platform.
3) Publish live stream videos
Live stream video is now available on all the major social media platforms. They are prioritized in feeds, and give you a chance to show a more human side to your brand. Schedule in regular times to do short live stream videos, but don’t over plan it.
4) Evoke emotion
Instead of just giving information, create a feeling. The reason social media is so addictive is because certain posts make people feel good and they crave it more. Create posts that make people feel good consuming and feel good sharing.
5) Use social media yourself
Many social media marketers don’t use social media themselves. So they end up posting content that they think people will like, but actually don’t. If you want to know how people use social media and interact on it, use it yourself as a person, and take some notes on the types of posts that you respond to.
Email Marketing Tips for 2017
6) Create multiple optin offers
A single email optin offer isn’t going to be as effective in capturing the most leads. People who come to your website are at different stages in the buyer’s process, so one offer won’t appeal to all of them. Create different offers that target different interests and buyer stages.
7) Create custom welcome sequences
Just like you have different optin offers for different visitors, you should also have different email welcome sequences. Visitors that subscribed did so for different reasons, so you need to speak specifically to their interests. Create a unique 3-5 email welcome sequence that takes the user from what they originally signed up for to what action you want them to take next.
8) Have a conversation
People are so inundated with marketing emails that the chances they will open yours and read it are pretty slim. So use email for what it was originally intended – communication and conversation. Tell stories, make jokes, and ask questions – write emails people enjoy opening and reading.
9) Send with personality
People like receiving emails from friends, not companies. Write in a very personal tone and sign it with somebody from the company. This could be the CEO/president, one of the executive leaders, or even the people who are responsible for specific areas in the company.
Blogging & Content Marketing Tips for 2017
10) Do basic SEO for your articles
You want your webpages and blog articles to be found on Google. Yet most companies overlook the oldest and easiest method for ranking in search results. Just do good, basic SEO on all your pages and posts and you’ll see a dramatic difference. Take a look at this SEO Checklist.
11) Write about your customer, not your company
I see a lot of company blogs and websites write about themselves – their products, their services, their updates – and expect their customers to be interested. Rewrite your copy to focus on your customers needs – their situation, their struggles, their desires.
12) Quality and consistency over quantity
Many companies start off very aggressive with blogging, but then it fades away to being very sporadic. Plan to publish good content consistently, even if it’s less frequent.
13) Repost old content on social media
Don’t just post your blog article once the social media and forget it. Repost existing articles every few months. It gives those old articles new life and helps fill upf your social media marketing schedule.
Website Design Tips for 2017
14) Make your website fully responsive
On many of my websites, up to half of the visitors are browsing on a mobile device. It’s not good enough for your website to just have a “mobile version,” it needs to be fully responsive for every screen. The design and user experience also needs to feel natural on every screen.
15) Use universal symbols
There are certain symbols and icons that are commonly used on websites that users have become accustomed to. For example, three horizontal lines indicate a menu, or a down arrow indicates a download. Using these icons alongside text buttons or as a replacement to them Will help your visitor navigate your website. Learn where to find free icons to use.
16) Simplify your colors and fonts
Many websites have a scattered and overwhelming appearance because there are too many fonts and too many colors. Consider using only two fonts and two colors for your website. Learn how to create good color palettes and font pairings.
17) Simplify your options
Presenting too many options to your visitors often results in less action being taken. This comes in the form of having a slider, multiple links and buttons, or a large and complex navigation menu. Reduce the number of things a visitor can click on to increase the likelihood that they’ll actually click on something.
These are the steps that I’m taking to grow my business in 2017, and I know they’ll help you grow your business as well. If you haven’t already, take a look at the 16 marketing lessons I learned in 2016.