December is my favourite time of the year: it’s a time to take stock of where you’ve been and where you want to go.
This period in particular is quite an exciting one because Shout & Co. will be venturing into its 2nd year of being, so now that the groundwork has been laid, the opportunities are endless. This next year won’t be about starting something now, but about growing - and that’s an awesome spot to be.
So if you’re looking to use this holiday period to work on your business instead of just IN it, here is guide to setting yourself (and your business) up nicely to take on 2019.
These will ultimately help you decide how to structure your digital marketing activities to support your overall focus for the year. So if you’re needing ways to bring all of your digital marketing activities together into a cohesive communication strategy, you’re right where you need to be.
Start at the end. Counterintuitive I know, but stay with me here. Imagine yourself 12 months from now: where do you see yourself and your business? What’s the ONE big thing you want to achieve by the end of 2019? Is it to have finally employed a team? To make a certain amount of turnover? Is it to launch your business in a new country?
This goal will be the overriding, guiding focus for the year.
Next, focus on the actionable steps you need to take to achieve your annual goal. What do you want each quarter to look like and how will all 4 of them play a role in making this year a success?
The beauty of this is that it helps break down huge goals into easier-to-manage chunks of work. For example, if you’re wanting to launch your business into a new territory, your first quarter goal could be to decide where that will new territory will be. Quarter 2: researching the legal and tax requirements. Quarter 3: securing resource and travel to make it happen as well as planning your entry. Quarter 4: producing stock as per your forecasted requirement, shipping it and putting in place your territory-specific digital marketing plan.
You guessed it: looking at how each month will unfold to deliver the quarterly goals.
At this level, you will want to include any holidays, events, key periods of your business calendar to ensure your digital communications support and reference them.
I go to quite a specific level of planning - here, my overall digital marketing approach is built. At this point, I’m looking at the very minutiae that build my digital communication so I tend to spend the bulk of my time here:
How do I want my weeks to look? What will I be doing on each day to deliver results by the end of the week? For example on a Monday, I’m going to plan my content for the week. On a Tuesday, I’ll be doing a live video on Insta and FB to share social media insights. On Wednesday, I’ll be publishing the blog post on Tuesday’s live video etc.
What insights do I want to share (and create a content schedule to help me)
When do I want to send out newsletters? What day? How often? I’ll also prepare the content I want to share and tie it back in with the above activities
What lead magnets will you use to grow your database?
How will your sales funnel operate?
When will I look to run FB ads?
What is my Google AdWords to do list?
Basically looking at the small day to day tasks that might seem immaterial but ultimately drive results.
Now you can build your digital marketing strategy. Once you know WHEN you want to talk to your audience, how often and why you want to talk to them, you can start to build your HOW.
What are the most effective ways to craft your message to support your annual, quarterly and monthly goals as well as implement your weekly schedule?
How often will you talk to your audience on social media?
How will you curate your newsfeed to be inviting and inspiring?
What tone of voice do you want to adopt?
What hashtags will be most effective for you?
How do you want to create and manage stories and highlights?
What visual collateral do you want to have for your business? Do you need all new product photography? Do you need video content?
Have your calendar handy and ensure to capture any key dates in your plan that might affect it: school holidays, planned travel, public holidays, etc.
Once you’ve created a plan that flows together, start inputting the activities into your calendar. I like to colourcode things, for example green for newsletters, red for meetings, yellow for live videos, purple for blog posts. That way I can see at a glance what I need to do, when. These dates will signify when you want to “publish” these digital activities so you work backwards to ensure they’re completed in time. They become mini deadlines that you need to hold yourself accountable for.
Eliminate distractions during your planning session. Consider it an investment in yourself and your business so safeguard it from external influences that may want to get involved.
Do it when you’re feeling relaxed and inspired. Forcing it will only result in sub-par planning and you’ll likely forget or overlook something.
Use unlined paper: I find it allows for creative ideas to flow a lot easier and naturally than lined pages do.
Create a to do list from your planning session: do you need to contact Shout & Co. for all new product photography? Do you need to brainstorm new hashtags? Do you want to spend more time researching how your competitors are communicating with their audience? Then get to work getting through your list.
For any help with your:
product styling & photography
food styling & photography
newsletter drafting and development
digital marketing strategy
social media work
Get in touch. Let Shout & Co. take care of it.
Images shot & styled for Biddy + May and Camille Co.