The beginning of the year is a great time to pause, reflect and plan how you’ll enhance your business. Here are five simple ways you can improve your communications and marketing efforts this year.
1. Take stock with a basic SWOT analysis
A key tool of the trade for all professional communicators, a SWOT analyses is a simple way to create a snapshot of your business, how it’s going and where you should head in the future.
Think about your current communications and marketing efforts, then brainstorm under these headings:
- Strengths - What’s working well? What will you repeat from last year? How could you refine it further?
- Weaknesses - What’s not working? Should you remove it from the equation or try a different approach?
- Opportunities - What opportunities could you make the most of in 2018? What new ideas could you try?
- Threats - What keeps you up at night? Are there any big changes coming your way? How can you get ahead of the game and respond to them?
2. Check out the competition
- Who are your competitors?
- What have they been doing well?
- What aren’t they doing well?
- How are you different from one another? How do your unique selling points differ?
- Are there any gaps you could fill?
- Are there ways you could work together?
3. Research future trends
- What new marketing platforms are launching in 2018?
- What are some of the predicted marketing and communications trends?
- Could these apply to your business?
- How could you use these platforms/trends to your advantage?
4. Get strategic and map it all out
How do you plan to promote your business in 2018? At the bare minimum, you should have a planning document containing a clear picture of:
- Your audiences
- Key messages
- Channels, approach used on each and frequency of use
- A calendar – this might just be a month by month snapshot of campaigns. Ideally you would drill down each quarter and plan specifics – from social media content to advertisements and how everything works together.
You also need to think about how you will resource what you’ve planned. Who is responsible for each of your planned tasks? Can your planned approach remain consistent and sustainable with your given resources or do you need to have a re-think?
5. Ask for a professional opinion
Now is the perfect time to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your current approach, your 2018 plans and how your communications and marketing could be improved.