As we approach the end of the year, marketing goals are looming. Whether you’re behind on your goals, ahead of them or just trying to stay on pace, determining how to maximize your efforts is important. There are a number of tactics you can use at this point to accomplish what you set out to do at the beginning of the year. Let’s explore those.
How to Crush Your End of Year Marketing Goals
Before we fully dive in, let’s think about the big picture.
There are two major components of marketing: creation and promotion. In order to start marketing something, you need to first make sure you create offers, write content and build out your conversion funnel. Then, you can promote it, developing paid advertising campaigns, sending out emails, posting on social media and performing other activities to get your content in front of people.
Both of these components tie into reaching your marketing goals. If you don’t create content, you won’t have anything to promote. Without anything to promote, you won’t be able to attract site visitors, and you won’t generate leads, MQLs, SQLs, opportunities, customers or revenue.
Alternatively, if you create content but don’t promote it, no one will ever see it. If no one sees your content, you won’t have a way to align your company as a solution to your prospects’ problems. Without both components working together, you won’t be able to accomplish your marketing goals.
With this in mind, let’s explore the tactics you can use to maximize your potential and accomplish your objectives. To make the most of what’s left of this year, we suggest you:
Shift From Creation to Promotion
When it comes to inbound marketing, people following the inbound philosophy tend to concentrate on content creation. At New Breed, this is normally the case. We want to build out content so our visitors can find valuable answers on our website. However when doing so, we recognize that content creation is a long game. With that in mind, we promote our content as well.
As the end of the year approaches, now is the time to shift your strategy away from content creation. We aren’t suggesting you stop creating content, but you should simply allot less time to it. You need to produce results within the next few months if you want to meet your end of year deadlines. By shifting your strategy to promotion, you can do just that.
If you write a blog post today that’s intended to bring in new customers, it’s unlikely that you can get it indexed on Google, help it rank well, attract new visitors to that post, convert them and nurture them through the sales process in the next three months. It might happen eventually, and you don’t want to ignore the long-term stuff, but if you’re behind on your goals, you need to focus on short-term initiatives that will drive results now.
Leverage What’s Worked Well in the Past
We already mentioned that your focus should shift from creation to promotion. At this point, you may be wondering, “What should I promote?”
Basically, you should promote your existing content. What has worked well in the past? Target those offers. If you know a few pieces of content perform well and attract your intended audience, leverage them.
Unless you are well ahead of your goals, the end of the year is not the time to take major risks. You should lean on your tried and true content to bolster results.
Beyond your existing content, you should consider what methods and channels have worked well. Should you focus on promoting your offers via email? What about on social? Would paid advertising be a better medium?
By taking into account what’s worked well previously, you can optimize your outreach moving forward.
Evaluate Your Budget
Before you actually begin to promote anything, you should evaluate your budget. Try to see if there’s any wiggle room. Are there any places you’ve allocated funds that no longer need it? Are there any areas that aren’t producing great results?
Hopefully, you’ll find some money to spend. If you do, consider redistributing some of your budget to paid advertising.
If you’ve been running paid ads, then you’ll have a little bit more funding to produce results. Invest in the ads that are performing the best. Target those with the lowest cost per contact that are most likely to generate customers.
Alternatively, if you aren’t already using paid advertising, start doing so. Paid ads don’t take long to get set up — especially if you have some existing content to leverage. It’s also a great way to get your content in front of people.
Develop Time-Sensitive Content
So, forget what I said about creating content for a moment. Generally, you should avoid creating content with the intention of generating immediate results. You should already have some existing content you can work with to produce results by the end of the year. If you don’t, though, there are a few things you can produce to secure quick wins.
For example, you can host a webinar. A webinar is a great way to drive urgency. Since it’s a scheduled event, you can center your promotion around a specific date.
Webinars are also relatively quick to produce. Rather than spending what can take months to develop a long-form, gated piece of content, you could theoretically put a slide deck together and run a webinar within a week. You might not be able to drive a ton of traffic if you do it that way, but it’s possible.
To ideate your webinar topic, think about what’s currently happening in your industry. Focus on what people care about today and consider discussing trends or seasonal topics.
Webinars are not the only content you can generate, though. Blogs can also help you reach your goals. Take this post for instance. We are discussing a seasonal topic, “How to Crush Your End of Year Marketing Goals.” We are attempting to provide value at a critical time in the year. Another example is our, “How to Run an Effective Sales Kickoff (SKO)” blog that we promoted at the beginning of the year. Producing blogs that are time-sensitive in nature can prove useful.
Alternatively, you could write about a current trending topic to generate website traffic. For example, conversational marketing is a popular subject. So, we’ve written several blogs about it, like: “What is Conversational Marketing?” and “6 Conversational Marketing Playbooks You Should be Running.” A good rule of thumb is only to create a blog on a topic if what you have to say is valuable. It’s not wise to write a blog for the sole sake of drawing clicks.
Before starting to create any content, first consider if it’s worth the time and effort. Will it contribute to your goal? If not, save those ideas for after the end of the year.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Whether you’re leveraging existing pieces or creating new offers, you should thoroughly promote your content. Get it out in front of as many members of your target audience as possible. For instance, Derek Halpern suggests spending 80% of your time promoting content and 20% of your time creating it. To do this, you do need to have a sufficient supply of content already created.
To start promoting your content, you can send emails out to your contact database. If it’s something that’s shareable over social, post it there.
Of course, it’s important to note that you should space out how often you send emails and share content. You should certainly promote your content, but you don’t want to annoy your audience. There’s no use reaching a goal by attracting a handful of people while alienating the rest. Be thorough but not excessive.
You can also boost your content through paid advertising. One tactic we suggest is positioning your content in front of a specific audience by using retargeting ads. Basically, you can create lists of people who previously visited your content. From there, you can serve people from the list social media or search ads, pitching offers that relate to what they’ve already consumed.
For example, if you created a list of people who read your blogs about a certain topic, say marketing goals, you could send them retargeting ads promoting a gated offer about marketing goals. In this way, you can reach people who have previously demonstrated interest in your offerings. The key to a retargeting strategy is to ensure the content overlaps enough to remain relevant.
Besides using external channels, you should promote your content internally through your website. You can change calls-to-action (CTAs) on your blogs to focus on relevant content offers. For example, if we were to produce a webinar about marketing goals, we could create CTAs and place them on blogs like this one to drive traffic to the webinar.
In addition, you could produce pop-up forms that appear when site visitors reach different pages within your site. For example, if your goal is to elicit more blog subscribers, you could arrange a pop-up form that prompts users to subscribe to your blog when they enter your site.
Alternatively, you could build a chatbot situated on a particular page that could direct visitors to specific offers, pages or actions. For instance, if you wanted to help your sales team book meetings, you could have a chatbot that provided visitors with a meetings link once they reached a certain point in the conversation.
Overall, you should promote your offers through both internal and external channels.
If you’re trying to reach your end of year marketing goals, you probably want to drive traffic to your content. In turn, this will allow you to position your company or product as the solution to your prospects’ problems.
To drive traffic, it’s helpful to create a sense of urgency. Essentially, you need to communicate to your audience that they have a limited amount of time to take advantage of your offers.
Beyond that, you need to make sure your content is actually in front of people. Promoting it through email, social media, paid advertising and your website is extremely important.
From there, you need to monitor your progress towards goal attainment. If you want a way to track your whole funnel and determine how many leads you need to generate to hit your revenue goal, download our Marketing Goals Calculator Template to get started.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.