After the hectic year that we’ve all had, we can’t believe that 2021 is fastly approaching! However, the B2B business year is not quite yet over. During the last few weeks of Q4, it’s time to buckle down and start planning for how to achieve success in 2021. In this blog, we’re going to set you up for success by providing you with end-of-year marketing planning tips that will help you go into the new year with confidence.
1. Set a budget
This might be obvious, but you want to create your marketing budget before moving into Q1. To do this, take a look at what you spent in 2020, what your return on investment was (check out our blog all about ROI!), and any adjustments that you want to make moving forward. Take into account any financial mistakes that you’ve made during the year, including any campaigns or programs that maybe didn’t do as well as others. Determine why these things didn’t work out as you planned, and understand how you can improve it moving into the new year. It’s important for you to decide where you want your business to go and what getting there will look like before strategizing your budget.
2. Review your content
Analyze the content that you have created and published this year to help you build your Q1 content calendar. Make a note of the content that performed the best and what your customers engaged with the most. Use these high-performing pieces of content to brainstorm more ideas and understand what made it successful. Try to replicate the process that you used to create this content, from the target audience to the way you distributed the content, and more. Additionally, you should take the time to review content that performed poorly and try to understand why it didn’t perform well.
A great idea for content planning is to revisit older pieces of content and revise them for the current day. Posting an updated version of the previous content will also give you the opportunity to tweak your target audience, headlines, and SEO keywords to get a higher response rate.
3. Study your social media performance
Make sure you’re also understanding your content posted on your social media platforms. Look at your analytics from the platforms you’re using and understand what worked best for your business and what your customers interacted with the most. Also, this is an opportunity for you to perform a quick cleaning of your social accounts. Follow those within your industry and other industry-related accounts, and unfollow accounts that do not fit this criterion. This will help you to stay connected and up-to-date with the latest information and trends in your industry.
4. Keep an eye on your competitors
This is something you need to do year-round, not just in Q1. Watch their marketing content, website, and social media channels and identify what their competitive advantage is. Once you’ve identified this, see if there’s any way you can replicate their advantage in an innovative way.
5. Create clear objectives for the new year
Set objectives and goals for your marketing strategy that are clear, measurable, and have a specific timeline. After identifying which objectives you’d like to meet, develop a strategy on how you’re going to meet them.
6. Revisit the purpose of your brand
Think of this as a brand refresher to yourself. Re-introduce yourself to the details that make your organization stand out and develop your marketing strategy around these details. This will help you to find new ways to communicate your company’s mission and vision to your customers through every interaction.
7. Set your focus on impactful projects
It’s important to understand which projects and activities make an impact on your business and customers, and shift your focus to them. Avoid trying to spread your team and your budget too thin, and instead focus on planning to make an impact.
8. Communicate your marketing plan with your team
Once you’ve created a well thought out marketing plan for the new year, your next step should be to communicate this plan with your team. Everyone in the organization should be aware of what your strategy is going into Q1. Starting off the new year and a new quarter with effective communication and team alignment is always a great idea – and it will set you up for success for the rest of the year! Your colleagues can also give you feedback on anything they want to add or anything you could revise. They can also help you in your marketing efforts throughout the year by promoting your content themselves.
9. Ask for support within your organization
You may be able to come up with great ideas on your own, but there’s no harm in working together with your team to brainstorm an incredible marketing plan. Put together a small team within the organization that will collaborate and creates strategic processes and arrangements for developing a strategic marketing plan.
As we approach the end of 2020, now is a great time to reflect on the year and decide where you are currently in the marketing plan that you created for this year, how you got here, and what you can improve on for next year. You don’t have to follow the same plan. In fact, it’s better if you have a new and improved version based on what you’ve learned throughout the year – including how to navigate your business during a global pandemic. Also, you don’t need a huge budget to make an impact in the new year, but you do need to understand what your budget needs are. Additionally, you need to understand what type of content will work best for you in 2021 and how to push your company’s vision forward, as well as what your marketing budget will look like to make it happen.
Take some time in the last few weeks of 2020 to sit down and create an end-of-year marketing plan that will set you up for success as we move into 2021. If you need help creating an end-of-year marketing plan for your B2B business, we want to help you! Contact our principal revenue generation expert at firstname.lastname@example.org