Keeping your digital new year’s resolutions

Promising you’ll take up new marketing strategies in 2016 is one thing. Sticking to that promise is another thing entirely

Keeping your digital new year's resolutions

Many of us make new year’s resolutions every January – but few of us actually stick to them. As we say farewell to another year and have 2016 in our sight, it’s time for brands and businesses to have a think about what digital commitments they can make to better their online presence over the next twelve months – ones they can actually follow through on and bring real value to people’s online identities.

If there’s one key lesson that brands and businesses can take away from the last twelve months, it’s that the digital market has become highly saturated with content. Naturally, this has created challenges but at the same time it’s created more opportunities than ever before.

If you haven’t set your new year’s resolution already, it’s worth reflecting on how your strategies have fared and the challenges you have faced over the last year. It really pays to be prepared, so think back and set yourself in the best possible stead now before they potentially arise again. 

With that in mind, could you have been a little more organised this year? The digital world is fluid and unpredictable, so it’s impossible to be prepared for every eventuality. However, as we know, it’s also a busy and noisy marketplace. With a bit of preparation, brands and businesses can stand yourself in a better place to be heard above the clamour.

Building a content plan sooner rather than later is key. You don’t know what will be around the corner, so treat it as a work in progress document. Feed into this over the year, review it month by month but make sure you stick to what you schedule meticulously. Without a plan, how can you ever tell if you have been a success?

Be aware of what the industry has in store and the potential opportunities that lie ahead in 2016. We know that the use of ad blockers is going to increase, which will mean more traffic diverted to Facebook for advertising and Apple will significantly strengthen Siri’s position in terms of search engine marketing, which will both create new opportunities and reach new audiences.

Look beyond your own work. What can we learn from the mistakes others have made this year? In honesty, there have been enough of them. Errors were made, especially when it came to the lack of thought put into the content produced.

I’ve seen an innumerable number of marketers with a clear lack of audience insight and understanding, which ultimately saw their content fall on deaf ears with no return on investment. Remember: target the right audience, with the right content, at the right time. Don’t create content for content’s sake – your audience will not thank you for it and you will be digitally punished by the algorithms that determine ranking.

Where others have failed, understand what makes for engaging content. Content may be the key to driving traffic to your website but make sure that it’s authentic and aligned to your brand’s wider marketing strategies. Audiences won’t respond to sales-y, slapdash content – make sure it is genuine,  reflects your business in the best light and has an real end purpose. Canon fodder content is not a sufficient strategy for 2016

Much like promising ourselves we’ll eat a healthier diet, go to the gym more, or pack in the smoking, when keeping digital new year’s resolutions you’ve got to be in it for the long game. Investing in these solutions needs to be undertaken with a long-term perspective in mind. There is no quick fix to increase engagement.

So invest a little time in mapping out the next twelve months as early as you can. Work out what you want to achieve, who you need to reach and what platforms and channels will help make this happen. If you have these questions in mind when setting your digital new year’s resolutions and you stick to the promises you make your brand and business, you can expect a successful year ahead. 

Adam Smith
Adam Smith

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