Welcome to the end. As the fourth quarter opens, you should already be looking at Q1 and beyond for the next year. It’s time to think about your business plan for 2020.
"Do your due diligence now to get your next year's budget set." - Jackie Pfriender
The fact is, 2019 is almost done. Whatever your goals were, it’s most likely too late to pivot now if you’re not there. All is not lost. Now it’s time to ask what you can do now to ensure 2020 launches with momentum.
"Let's get everything aligned now so that in January we're kicking ass and taking names." - also Jackie Pfriender
One way to bring your 2020 marketing into focus is to check the health of your website. Is your website generating leads and customers? Does your social media align with your website? Is your content relevant to your ideal customers?
It’s a lot to think about as the new year approaches. But it’s not impossible. You got this!
Let’s look at 12 things you can do to your website today to push into 2020 and grow your business.
2020 Marketing Focus 1: Implement Chatbots and Live Chat
Conversational marketing is taking over. Direct, one-on-one messaging is bypassing our clogged inboxes and unanswered phones to become the world’s preferred way to communicate. And better communication means a faster, more efficient buyer’s journey in which you’re uncovering the right questions and tactics to deliver the most relevant message possible to potential customers.
What sounds like a fancy subsection of marketing is essentially the same chatboxes we’ve been using for years (except smarter and sleeker). The progression of AI technology has not only made chatbots an awesome customer service option, they’re also quickly becoming a mandatory requirement of next-level sales and marketing. With the right conversational marketing chatbots in place, you can answer every common question, qualify leads, set meetings and more, while your business benefits from strangers turning into customers, faster.
If you can implement chatbots and live chat, and make them truly conversational like a human, you’re setting up your 2020 marketing for growth.
You’ll want to have someone working live chat to reply instantly. You also need someone to set up your chatbot strategy for success with the right playbooks or plans.
2020 Marketing Focus 2: Measure Your Marketing
Get yourself some visitor tracking software so you can actually see how people are using your website - or not - before you make assumptions and sweeping changes.
We all have opinions. But facts make decisions more scalable. The right tracking software/analytics will inform decision making to remove personal opinions.
BONUS POINTS if you can integrate visitor tracking and marketing automation.
2020 Marketing Focus 3: Become a Video Expert
From brand videos to personalized 1:1 sales videos, getting in front of the camera is critical in 2020. Here are a few ways to use video on your website:
- Video teasers for blog articles
- Welcome videos (that don’t autoplay) on service pages
- Meet the team videos
- Thank you page videos
Videos help keep viewers on your page longer and get to know your brand better. Adding video to your website in 2020 will help turn an average website into a marketing machine.
2020 Marketing Focus 4: Create a Great You Statement
It’s critical that when a prospect, lead or customer visits your website, they know right away that they’re in the right place for the thing that they are looking for. They also need to know that that thing is the thing you specialize in.
This is where a well crafted You Statement comes into play.
Why is it called a You Statement?
Because one of the core principles is to use the words you and yours in the You Statement several times. That way the prospect lead or customer internally takes ownership of the statement they are reading.
Then next thing to put into place is the understanding that the You Statement is a two-part act. Each piece plays a specific role. A great You Statement with both pieces put together looks a little something like this.
Dramatically Improve Your Digital Sales & Marketing Communication.
At Acme Agency, we offer training, consulting, and workshops for businesses, and agencies just like yours around the world.
What’s the job of part one?
To address the elephant in the room. In this example, if you have a problem with your digital sales and marketing communication, you know you are in the right spot. In seconds, you have the buy-in to keep reading.
If not, you go on to another Google search result.
However, if you immediately buy in, this is where part two the supporting actor comes into play. Notice it says the name of the company upfront.
Then we move into the main two to three offerings we want to provide the world.
Last but not least we talk about who we offer those services to and where.
The stripped-down pattern looks something like this.
Part one: Fix Major Problem
Part Two: Company - Services - Ideal Client - Location
You can add your own words around this framework but if you keep the architecture in place you will end up with a strong You Statement.
Your prospects and leads will immediately know what you solve, how, for who, and where. All the things they need to know about to start to build trust and start the conversation with your team.
This framework can work for any company providing any service at any location so, go build your You Statement today and let us know what you come up with.
2020 Marketing Focus 5: Focus on Buyer Problems, Not Product Features
So many times when we get on a call with a sales rep or visit a website, the person or the copy head into the dreaded world of features.
We have to listen or read about how it “the product” can do this and that. How it has this special bell or whistle that will change our life or our business.
They probably even go into how it can do these seven specific things that no other competitor of the product can do.
It’s all about the company and their product or service.
So where does that typically leave us consumers at the end of the call or reading the pages of their website?
Simply confused. And most likely lost.
You see, these sales reps and websites are leading with the curse of knowledge.
They understand the product so well that they intuitively know this bell fixes this problem or this whistle will make this business goal grow quicker. But, we as the consumers do not.
We sit back, think about the conversation we just had or the content we just consumed and then might feel like someone has set us in a cockpit of a 747 and said now fly home.
Who wants an average person flying that plane?!
So what should happen?
Sales reps and website copy should lead with the benefits to me as an individual consumer.
They should know what our roles, goals, and challenges are and then start with how the product fixes or impacts each one of those items. If you know most of your customers have these specific four problems, talk about the problem, how to fix it, why it is important to fix it, and then how the tool plays a part in the story you just took them on.
Don’t ever expect the consumer to connect the dots. Make sure you have created a well-crafted path from their brain, their pains, to the benefits of your product and or services.
An easy way to get into this mindset is to think about “solving over selling,” leading with empathy and caring, and have a goal of simplifying anything complex and educating. Add value into the prospect, lead, or customer’s life.
2020 Marketing Focus 6: Become a Content Machine
One theme for a 2020 Q1 jumpstart is double down on content. But not just quantity. We’re talking quality.
One of our team members said, “I was recently inbound-marketed-to and didn't realize it until well after I made a purchasing decision... because the content was really that good.”
This means writing for story, relevance and the right platform. It also means thinking about the customer journey and serving them where they are.
Quality content creation is critical for business growth in 2020.
2020 Marketing Focus 7: Focus on User Experience
In addition to the customer journey, think about the user experience overall. How can you make the user experiences super frictionless?
When you focus on user or customer experience to remove as much friction as possible, you’ll increase customer delight, a big part of the inbound marketing methodology that fuels a powerful marketing flywheel. This strategy will become even more important next year.
2020 Marketing Focus 8: Optimize for Mobile
When it comes to mobile, it’s more than just design… think about the WHY. Why would someone be on your website on their phone?
Is your business something they want while they’re driving somewhere? If there’s an immediate need for your product or service, don’t bog them down with marketing content on your home page. Get right to the point and give them what they need.
If your customers are researching on their phones, and they are, then make sure the mobile experience is tailored to smaller screens.
2020 Marketing Focus 9: Test Your Conversion Points
Another way to make sure your website is set up for 2020 success is to consider where on the site users can convert from visitor to known contact. Test out different conversion points as it fits their needs. This could include pop up forms, chatbots, general forms, calls to action (CTAs) and more.
As you test what’s working and what isn’t, make adjustments based on results and data rather than opinions and marketing “best practices.”
One example would be your CTA designs. If you’ve always heard that red works because it gets their attention, but you find that images work better for your audience, then use those instead.
2020 Marketing Focus 10: Implement Social Media
When businesses consider social media marketing, they often slip into the "traditional marketing" mindset of interrupting prospects who use social media by broadcasting their message.
For your 2020 marketing plan, we’d suggest shifting that to more of an inbound mindset. This should include ensuring your social icons are easily found on your website. But then it’s also a shift to social listening.
You should use social media to listen for things that are happening in your industry. Look for prospects asking advice on a topic you're well versed in.
An important part of leveraging social media for business is to understand the conversations that are happening online that are related to your industry. Recognize how and where you should respond, and work to share content that reinforces your position as a leader.
BONUS TIP: Explore new ways of storytelling in social media like Instagram video, LinkedIn live, stories and others. A test doesn’t have to lead to new business immediately. If you can increase engagement with new social tools, you’re moving forward well.
2020 Marketing Focus 11: Optimize your Google My Business
Maybe you created or claimed a Google My Business listing at one time. But when was the last time you touched it?
With this listing in Google, you’re spoon-feeding information to the world’s largest search engine to improve your local SEO. Schedule time in 2020 to give it some regular love and attention.
Here’s a great tip to optimize your Google My Business listing for better visibility and conversions both: Utilize Google Posts.
You can login to your GMB and click “Posts” to write one. These posts appear on your Knowledge Graph as short blocks of text, often with a featured image.
Use your posts as selling tools. They usually feature promotions or a new product. Don’t worry so much about stuffing keywords here, as some studies have found that doesn’t really influence your ranking.
HACK: Since only the first 100 characters show up, be sure to be succinct and put the most important points in the beginning.
Optimize each post’s photo. The best image size is about 750 x 750, and be sure to keep it square, not rectangular.
HACK: Be mindful of the dreaded “cut-off.” Google might clip off the top of your photo, so make sure that you choose a picture where the main action happens in the center to avoid hiding parts of faces or your product.
Remember to repost every 7 days. Because each post expires after a week, ensure you actively log into your GMB account to post often— just like you would on any social media network.
2020 Marketing Focus 12: Focus on Context
When an ad speaks our language and really understands us, we’re more likely to buy. Whether it’s seeing the latest fashion in an Instagram post or finding a gift our kid would love for a gift on Facebook, when it matters to us we see it.
The same goes for content on a website. What if you could ask your website visitors who they are and what they need, then served them content that matched that?
Here’s an example.
On the Impulse Creative home page, you can choose from a few options that align with our buyer personas. Then you choose why you’re visiting us. If you’re a CEO looking to generate more leads, then you’ll see content that reflects that. Or if you’re a sales professional who wants an ABM strategy, we’ll offer sales information when relevant.
Context will make visitors feel more welcome and take your 2020 marketing plan to a new level.
Make sure you’re getting ready for 2020 now. Not sure you’re on the right track? Set up a conversation with a growth strategist and let’s make your next year the best yet!