If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that consumers are using digital channels more than ever before to interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. According to a study by Google, during the initial year of the pandemic alone, customer interest in online shopping and how to make purchases online doubled worldwide. For this reason, improving your digital presence is key to reaching new customers.
And, while most businesses recognize the importance of improving their digital presence, they often feel overwhelmed by the task. With numerous channels to optimize and dozens of opportunities for enhancements, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll cover practical month-by-month tips for improving your digital presence in 2022. By breaking down the process into 12 smaller segments, you can reach the end of the year with a revamped, upgraded online presence.
January: Set Your Goals Based on Where You Are Starting
At the start of the year, the first thing to do is to set goals for the year ahead. To do so, begin by understanding your current position.
What areas do you need to improve this year? Set goals based on areas where you recognize your online presence is weak or areas where you have a lot of room for opportunity.
Examples for goal ideas include the following:
- Building a responsive website
- Ranking organically for local keywords
- Increasing your conversion rates on paid ad campaigns
- Increasing social media engagement
Make sure that as you set your goals, you also put into place a method for measuring your progress. For example, it is not enough to set a goal of ranking for local keywords. You also need to ensure you know how you will measure your progress, as well as a specific metric you want to reach by the end of the year. Keep in mind that this is your first go at setting these goals. It is acceptable to set a goal without knowing whether or not it is achievable. You can readjust these goals as the year progresses and gain better insights into what you can and can’t do.
February: Revamp Your Website
For February, make your focus your website. Because so much of your online presence will funnel back to your website, it is critical to optimize your website before the rest of your work begins.
As you revamp your website, assess its current state and look for areas of improvement. Ideas include the following:
- Create a website that is easy to navigate on any device. Test out your current website experience. How easy is it to navigate on a tablet, a cell phone, and a desktop? If you see areas for improvement, prioritize this work over the course of the month.
- Look for ways to create a more engaging experience. This could involve updating headings or developing more compelling calls to action. The goal is to create a website that pushes customers to take action.
- Optimize your website for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves everything from creating the right content that ranks for keywords to ensuring fast page load times. If you and your team aren’t sure how to optimize your website for keyword rankings, consider hiring a marketing agency to assist you with this foundational work.
- Set up campaign-specific landing pages. Previously, if you have been funneling all of your digital marketing campaigns to the same landing page, use the month of February to set up campaign-specific landing pages instead. By creating landing pages for individual campaigns, you can increase your conversion rates by ensuring consistency in messaging. For example, if you are running a Google Ads campaign offering a discount on oil changes for first-time visitors to your service center, you don’t want to send those leads to the same landing page as leads from a campaign targeting first-time car buyers.
March: Set Up and Optimize Your Social Media
For March, turn your attention to your social media presence. Social media is becoming an integral component of a robust digital presence. In 2020 alone, ad spend on social media channels totaled close to 132 billion U.S. dollars. By 2024, ad spend on social media is projected to reach the 200 billion dollar mark.
By setting up and optimizing your social media channels, you can increase your exposure and lead generation while opening up another channel of direct communication between your brand and your target audience.
With the large number of social media channels available today, you might not have the resources to invest in them all. As you look at each channel, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- Which channels will help me reach them?
- What are my engagement goals?
This can help you determine which channels are the best spend of your marketing dollar.
April: Cleanse Your Data
With the basic components of your online presence set into place, spend the month of April focused on your data. As the old saying goes, “Bad data in, bad data out.”
In the case of your digital presence, your data will play a critical role in how effective your marketing campaigns are. Your marketing campaigns will be negatively impacted if your customer management system is cluttered with outdated contact information. Additionally, if you have not yet segmented your customer lists, take the time to do so.
When you clean up your data sets, you can run highly targeted campaigns by removing redundancies and ensuring you have accurate customer information. This allows you to improve upon messaging and deliver a personalized experience to potential customers.
May: Build a Content Calendar
Once you have your building blocks in place and your customer data cleaned up, it is time to shift your focus to the content you’ll be creating across digital channels.
Building a content calendar will help you remain focused on your digital strategy for the rest of the year. This should include a detailed outline of what content you will be publishing to social media and your own website.
The following are examples of content to include on your calendar:
- Social media post topics
- Blog post topics
- Video post ideas
When you create a content calendar, be sure to also take the time to determine who will be responsible for executing the content. Additionally, if you plan to use marketing spend to boost any content, create an estimate for budgets.
June: Benchmark Your Progress and Reassess Goals
Having reached the middle of the year, it is time to benchmark your progress and reassess any goals you set in January.
During this process, make sure to request reporting on all digital channels from internal and external teams. This should include reporting around:
- Keyword ranking
- Google Ad campaign metrics
- Social media ad campaign metrics
- Landing page conversion rates
As you look at the first six months of the year, it is important to adjust goals as needed. In some cases, the goals you set at the start of the year were too liberal or too conservative. Now is the time to create more accurate and detailed goals for the latter half of the year.
July: Test Out a New Campaign
As you shift into the second half of the year, spend the month of July testing out a new campaign. With your foundation set, you can begin to gather data on what is working well and what still needs improvement.
For example, you could use the month of July to run a sales event campaign. You could use this campaign to target a segmented customer list that you have built based on the success of the first half of the year. You could also use this campaign as a chance to see how well your newly optimized website and social media channels are performing.
August: Hone Your Email Marketing Strategy
For the month of August, shift your focus to your email marketing strategy. Email marketing will prove to be an important player in 2022. According to a forward outlook on 2022, Forbes cites email marketing as gaining in relevancy due to three major trends:
- The personalization of emails
- The automation of emails
- And the privacy of emails
Make sure that if you aren’t already utilizing email marketing as part of your digital strategy, you do so going forward.
If you are already using emails in your marketing strategy, use the month of August to create a more personalized approach to your email marketing through improved messaging and audience segmentation. Additionally, focus on creating an automated process for email marketing, allowing you to set a campaign into motion without constant manual labor on your part.
September: Ensure Brand Consistency
Over the course of the year, as you have built up your digital presence, how well have you kept your brand and messaging consistent across all channels?
For September, take time to assess your brand image across all digital platforms. Make sure that no matter where a customer first encounters your brand, they will have a consistent experience.
Key areas to focus on include:
- Making sure that all digital channels utilize the same logo, brand colors, and fonts
- Ensuring that you portray your key brand values on all channels
- Aligning messaging
- Looking for consistency in data management across channels to help keep customer data sets clean
October: Prepare for Holiday Events
As the year draws to a close, it is time to prepare for any upcoming holiday events. Use your data from the course of the year to build out targeted customer lists for end-of-the-year campaigns.
This is particularly important for businesses that host holiday sales events. Many customers will begin their research for holiday purchases months in advance. By beginning your digital marketing in October, you can slowly begin to build a list of warm leads that will be eager and ready to convert over the holiday season.
Additionally, you can take this time to build out content for the holiday season that you can automate to post during this hectic time of the year. With many employees taking time off between November and January, it can be helpful to use October to prepare things in advance.
November: Take the Time to Showcase Customer Appreciation
Your digital presence is about more than just ensuring that your brand shows up for important keyword searches or that you channel new customers into your sales funnel. It is also about building relationships with your customers to develop long-term brand loyalty.
Use the month of November to shift your focus back on your customers. Showcase your appreciation for all that your customers have contributed to your business throughout 2022.
This can be as simple as posting a thank you video on your social media channels or mailing a thank you note to your customers. The goal is to solidify trust between you and your customer base.
December: Wrap Up Campaigns and Pull Reporting
As the year draws to a close, it is time to wrap up ad campaigns that are in motion and pull final reports. This is when you get to see the benefits of all the hard work you did throughout the year.
As you pull reports, look for key trends, such as:
- What channels led to the best conversion rates? These might be worth doubling down on next year.
- What landing pages performed best? Look for similarities in these landing pages that you can replicate in 2023.
- What were your worst-performing ads and channels? It might be worth further optimization efforts or even cutting down on spending in these areas.
- What customer segments brought you the greatest return? This can help you build more detailed customer personas for 2023.
Talk to J&L Marketing about Your 2022 Digital Marketing Strategy
In the year ahead, there is a great opportunity for businesses to revamp and optimize their digital presence. And, while this can feel like an overwhelming task, our team at J&L Marketing is here to help. With years of industry-specific experience, we can work with you to develop a holistic digital marketing strategy that will help you lower spend while increasing reach. The result is that by 2023, your brand will be in a better position than where you are starting today. Reach out today for a free consultation with our team.