Out With the Old, in With the New: 4 Ways to Refresh Your Marketing Strategy in the New Year

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By Aimee Woodall

Can you believe another year has almost passed?  Just like your wardrobe or messy garage, there are some things that should not follow you into 2015 and some that should stick around.  The same is true with your business marketing strategy.

Out with the old and in with the new, I say!  Here are four things you can do to tidy up your marketing in 2015:

The old:  Delegating your social media to your intern.

The new:  Crafting a strategic social media plan.

Instead of leaving your social media success up to chance, invest the time and resources into crafting a strategic social media plan.  This will take the form of two different strategies:  an operational plan and an editorial plan.  An operational plan lays out the mechanics behind a social strategy—when, where, and how content is shared and an editorial plan gives direction to the content being posted.

Don’t only think about what you are posting or how you are posting the content; think about where your brand is living online.  Does your insurance company need Pinterest?  Maybe not.  Stick to the social networking sites that make sense for your audience and don’t take on more than you can handle.

Being strategic about social media will alleviate headaches, like missed networking opportunities, and will help create a cohesive brand.

The old:  Overusing the press release.

The new:  Targeting the media contacts that make sense—with personality!

Reporters are very busy people with deadlines throughout the day.  Chances are, when they receive your fourth press release for the month, little attention will be paid.  This is not to say that the traditional press release isn’t important, but it should be saved for monumental announcements that require a traditional approach.

Instead of bogging down your work day with writing multiple press releases, identify the media contacts you want to reach and draft a quick email with the top three to five points you want to convey.  Ask them if they would like more information and let them know you want to be a resource.  You will be more likely to get a response, even if it is a polite “No thanks.”  And “Voila,” you’ve started creating a relationship that will last.

The old:  Give back occasionally.

The new:  Make giving a part of your brand.

There are multiple benefits of placing social responsibility and giving at the forefront of your business.  For example, if your business receives regular requests for donations and you aren’t tracking this, you’re missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity.  Chances are, you’re also missing out on an opportunity to make a greater impact with the same level of effort and commitment.

Using what is already working, create a giving framework that maximizes your charitable contributions and the impact it has on the community.  By thinking strategically, tracking your giving, branding a program, and making your customers aware of this commitment, you will be on your way to creating countless opportunities for public relations and brand awareness.

When we think of New Year’s resolutions, getting fit or being more organized are our go-to pledges but forgetting about marketing is a mistake.  It will take a little effort but letting go of some old habits and adopting some new tactics will put you on the fast track to making 2015 a successful business year.

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Aimee Woodall is the owner of the Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based creative agency specializing in non-traditional public relations, social media, and experiential marketing. Contact Amy by phone at 832-971-7725, by email at [email protected], or visit the website at www.theblacksheepagency.com.

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