November 12, 2021
8 mins read
Which Areas of Your Marketing Strategy Do You Need to Focus on for Q4?
8 mins left
We’re on the last leg of 2021. Hard to believe, we know, but we’re already a third of the way done with Q4. If this news has you feeling a bit like Gordon Ramsey but without the talent, the temper, or the ability to keep all of your pots from boiling over, you’re not alone – we get it. So keep calm, chef, you’ve got this!
With only two months to go until we close out the year, plans for 2022 are well underway (or, at least, they should be) and you’re gunning for one final Marketing campaign effort in 2021. What area are you going to focus on? We’re thinking it’s time to have some fun with this process, after all, the holidays are around the corner and the last thing any of us wants is to be targeted with stale, recycled tactics. So what’s our plan you say?
We’ve all taken enough BuzzFeed quizzes, personality tests, lucky draws, etc., to know that sometimes, certain pieces of content come across our screens at exactly the right time. Maybe, just maybe, this is it for you today.
Let’s start with the basics: do you know your company’s founding date/anniversary? If not, go ask your manager or someone with a good amount of longevity in your Slack circles. Got it? Great! Now here comes the fun part: take a look at the graphic below and see what the Gods of Marketing have determined should be on your to-execute list for this November/December.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you to your own devices with a word you probably see quite often in a million different contexts and that doesn’t ring any bells on its own (we’re not monsters). Here are some quick ideas you can take as inspiration and adapt to your own business/approach for each of the months/categories listed:
New year, new you! Nothing says fresh start like a freshening up of your brand, and November/December are GREAT months to plan and put into place the assets you’ll launch in 2022. Gather the creatives in your Marketing team/company/agency and get their feedback on what part of your branding could use a makeover, especially if you’ve launched new products or services and your customers could use a reminder.
February might be the shortest month of the year, but the Digital Marketing category probably has the widest breadth of any on this list. Have you ensured that ALL of your customer communication channels are optimized? You work hard to come up with stellar outreach programs, and it’s probably a good idea to run an inventory of every Digital outlet (like your Marketing Automation platforms) and double-check it’s all in tip-top shape for your prospects and customers to receive your messaging as designed.
The inevitability of the Metaverse is knocking on our door, and Social Media cannot be neglected on any Marketing intent. Social platforms have become the catch-all channel for customer service, PR, community engagement, and much more. Social is such a big deal, we actually have two tips for you – 1. Audit your strategy to ensure you’re reaching your customers with the right content on the right platform (please, don’t serve the same content across all channels); and 2. Get your team trained on paid content and social ads. Thank us later.
As Google continues to roll out updates to its algorithm, there is one key component that remains critically relevant for your website, and that’s content. Your blogs, videos, infographics, whitepapers, etc. should all meet a high bar for guaranteed quality and to show off the latest and greatest your company has to offer. Remember to stick to topics that reinforce the value that you provide as part of your portfolio, and always be authentic.
Two months may be too short of a time to come up with a brand new product, but if you’ve been considering adding something to your offering, this is your sign to try it. You can pilot a beta version to your top clients, while documenting the process and teasing it to gauge the interest from the rest of your customer base. It’s a win-win!
People have been craving a return to normalcy since last year’s unprecedented shutdown, and outbound efforts can do the trick with your audience. Whether you try an email campaign or some out of the box direct Marketing efforts, this is a critical time for customers to feel seen and heard. Spruce up your ads, do away with traditional components that are seen as too annoying or aggressive, and get your prospects to provide feedback so that you can establish a new cadence of communication.
If you’ve been a bit aggressive with your outbound strategy recently, then it might be time to let things simmer and cool down. Instead, start planting some inbound seeds so that in 6-9 months you can harvest the fruits of your labor. Patience, as with all good Marketing strategies, is a virtue here. Rushing in to try to secure the deal will only scare your prospects off; instead, gradually solidify your presence in your target accounts peripherals and you’ll ensure that when they begin looking for a new solution, they’ll find the very best of you.
Referencing back to Mr. Google, it’s worth having a resource (or an agency) that is dedicated to understanding the updates to the algorithm and can quickly implement new guidelines. Long-tail keywords, interlinking, and ensuring your pages have consistent wording so that Google’s legion of crawlers know to recommend your content before the competition’s. Impressing our search engine overlord’s algorithm spiders is no easy feat – it’s a precise science with very little room for error. Once your effort is up to par, add some budget to the mix and you’re sure to get way more hits.
We know you’re probably tired of hearing about how 70-85% of all content consumed lately is video – but are you tired enough to do something about it? Most of the companies we see on the struggle bus with video content are just over-complicating the assignment. Like Gary Vaynerchuck says, “document, don’t create.” If you’re having a hard time thinking of interesting concepts or don’t have a lot of budget for a quality production, then just record your journey and find a way to package it for those who are following your journey. And don’t forget to add captions to make the content friendly for all audiences!
Did you forget to get your network involved these past few months? Tis’ the season to get your influencer program up to par and mobilize the troops on your behalf. Like any other category on this list, there should be a healthy budget assigned to this area – but don’t get wrapped up in the money conversation. A lot of influencers are happy to collaborate if the exchange/offer is comparable, and as long as both audiences (your company’s and that of the influencer) match, a lot of magic can happen with very little funding involved.
Keeping your database clean is a best practice for many reasons, but at this point it’s also a matter of compliance. The most important thing you can do to ensure proper data maintenance in the long run is to have consistent nomenclature and categories so that everyone with access to the database can use it effectively and deploy the right approaches at the right time. Use these last two months of 2021 to clean up your data, get rid of any potential risks, and make sure your efforts are getting to their corresponding targets; otherwise, you’re not just screaming into the void.
We’re hopefully approaching a place where we can get back to in-person events (knock on wood!) soon, but don’t discount the power of a virtual or hybrid moment with your clients. If you can offer them an experience they’re interested in, this moment could impact your pipeline. If your client base is local and your city governance allows for in-person gatherings you can handle, this is the time to plan an event that will knock your customers’ socks off and get them ready for a buy-in (or at least a reference or social media shout-out).
Two months sounds like a long time, but this period is also interrupted by our biggest holidays of the year across the globe. If your founding month led you to a strategy that rang a bell and you walk away from our list with an idea to implement, that’s great! If not, try other months – your birthday, an anniversary, a gotcha day, anything – or, heck, read through them all! We’re sure you’re bound to find a blind spot in your planning with this list.
Content Marketer, Demandbase
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