Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Affiliate marketing, Small Business, Social Media | Posted on Dec 27, 2011
How will you market in 2012?
As 2011 comes to a close, we all have one eye looking toward 2012 and the other eye looking at 2011’s past accomplishments. In summary, 2011 really was the year for social marketing. Companies large and small were enamored with the different ways to reach their customers. Whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and all the other great social media applications.
One major change occurred in 2011 that will resonate through 2012, the necessity for social metrics that calculate a genuine ROI/ROE of Social Media. Many consultant have built their companies off of key words like ‘Community Building’ or ‘Customer Evangelism’, now these consultations may be hard pressed for work if they can’t turn those terms into dollars and cents.
With all of the focus on social media marketing this year, I think it was easy to forget about all of our other marketing outlets. For instance, affiliate marketing can be very profitable for both small and large businesses. Affiliate marketing is easy to track and it is much easier to calculate an affiliate marketing ROI. Email marketing is another easily track-able marketing tactic that during all of the social chatter has been under fire. Email marketing may not give you the same return on the dollar as it used to, but it is still a great way to bring in revenue at a low cost.
Here are my New Years Marketing Resolutions – Please Share yours in the comments!
1. Design a Closed Loop Social Plan
This is necessary for 2012, I would suggest that anyone who uses social media should have a clear and concise way to calculate the return. Rather than blindly saying ‘If you are asking what the ROI of social media is, you don’t get social media’ begin to figure out what these ‘product evangelists’ are worth to your company.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love social media (as you can tell that is 80% of this blog’s topic). I could be on Facebook, Twitter and the lies all day if I could, but that will not directly increase my monthly sales. Social media is a top funnel activity, the more you increase your social reach, the more people you can bring into your sales funnel. However, if you are only focused on top funnel activity, you will never convert that nurturing prospect.
2. Increase our Affiliate Program
This year we saw an increase of affiliate sales of almost 600%. This is an astounding number, and other than the commissions we pay out to our affiliates and the nominal fee we pay to Shareasale for using their service, we are making some serious cash. Affiliate programs are great for small and large businesses, but if you are a small business that has digital products, an affiliate program is crucial.
3. Clean and Re-segment our Marketable Contacts List
I have said this a lot lately, ‘The power is in the list’. I don’t think anyone could/would EVER contest this statement. Though there are different methods for compiling a list, the simple fact remains that if you have no one to market to you have no one to sell to. Major strides in inbound marketing this year have shown some great ways to compile a list of qualified marketable leads, and have really helped us in our marketing efforts. My resolution for 2012 is to look at our current list, remove the dead emails and then make sure everyone is where they need to be, i.e., I don’t want to market Social Page Builder Free Trial to a Social Page Build Paid user.
This is a huge task, as any company with a sizable list goes and it may be disappointing to get rid of a few thousand names on your email list. However, it is always quality over quantity. Every email you send costs you money, so why continue to send emails that continuously bounce or are left unopened?
4. Guest Blog more
This year I spent a lot of time blogging here and have written a few articles on sites like 12most. For 2012 I want to feature more articles on some top blogs. This is a great practice for SEO, company branding and personal branding. If you are looking for some quality back links and some more site traffic (and who isn’t) then guest blogging should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list.
5. Create more Videos (Both Instructional/Promotional)
Similar to my 4th resolution this fits into the ‘Content’ camp. As an inbound marketing advocate, it shouldn’t be a shock that I am very interested in content marketing. Videos are a great type of content, and during Google’s Panda update sites with a large video cache were greatly rewarded. On top of saving people from reading instructions or promotional material, videos are extremely shareable.
So those are my 5 marketing resolutions for 2012, what are yours?