The end of the year is a time for reflection, evaluation, and planning. As a business owner, Q4 and Q1 are some of the most important, but stressful times of the year. In Q4, you’ll see if all of your efforts over the last year have paid off, while also planning for the year ahead. Q1 will have its own obstacles, like putting new business strategies into practice.
Either way you look at it, the next few months are going to be crucial in determining the success of your business in 2022. As we enter the home stretch of 2021, now is the perfect time to start planning for the new year. One area of your business that you’ll want to focus on now is your 2022 marketing strategy. Taking the time to reflect on your past efforts and reset for the new year will help you develop a more effective plan and will give you enough time to make any last-minute changes before Q1 is here.
Here is an easy-to-follow guide to creating an effective marketing plan for 2022.
1. Reflect on 2021
In order to make a marketing plan that is more effective than the previous years, you’ll need to take the time to reflect on how your 2021 marketing plan performed against projections. If you can, find where in your 2021 marketing goals you fell short or did superbly. Seeing exactly how you performed will help you shape your 2022 goals and KPIs.
Metrics only tell part of a story. When reflecting on the past year, make sure you look over how certain campaigns, ads, and other marketing materials actually turned out. Looking at things from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective will tell you the full story. For instance, you could find an ad that reached the highest audience, actually didn’t represent your business well, but if you just looked at the numbers you never would learn that.
2. Identify Upcoming Trends
After reflecting on the past year, it would be a good idea to look outside of what your company is doing to identify any marketing trends or opportunities. The marketing industry is continually changing; keeping up with the trends will help your marketing efforts stay fresh and engaging.
Some common trends to consider looking into are:
Live Streaming: Over the last ten years or so, marketing and advertising have become increasingly sophisticated. Today, just about anyone with a phone in their pocket can shoot and edit amazing videos in a matter of moments. With that said, consumers expect every brand to be able to produce appealing videos. Recently, live streaming has become even more popular for brands to showcase their personality in a more immediate and intimate setting. Live streaming is a huge trend that could benefit your business greatly if you can leverage it effectively. Like any new medium, there is pushback against live streaming, but you can read through some of the top myths about live streaming to determine how to best integrate it.
Influencer Marketing: If you have been on Instagram in the past few years, you’ve likely seen loads of influencer marketing examples. Influencer marketing is when a social influencer is contacted by a brand to plug their products in a seemingly “organic” way. This form of marketing has blurred the lines between an ad and just a product recommendation, which is why 61% of consumers trust influencers while only 37% trust content directly from a brand.
Alternative Social Media Marketing:
The last area to look into is new social media trends. For a long time, brands really only needed to have three social media profiles. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were dominating the market, but, with rising popularity amongst TikTok, Reddit, and YouTube, now might be the time to focus on these other platforms. These newer platforms are great for cutting-edge brands to advertise on to attract younger demographics, as the user base for an app like TikTok is far younger than that of Facebook or another traditional social media platform.
Keeping up with trends from the past year and moving into next year will help you create a timely and relevant marketing plan for 2022.
3. Invest in Gear
Doing all of this research and preparation could be for nothing if you don’t invest in the proper tools for your marketing department. Bringing in the right equipment will help your content and campaigns look better and be more calculated.
Having the right tools to carry out your marketing plans will start in the back office. While it may seem obvious, having a dedicated printer, marketing materials, and productivity tools will help your efforts tenfold. Some office equipment to look into investing in is:
● Cost-Effective Poster Printer ● Physical Marketing Calendar ● A Second Monitor
Getting your marketing materials in order now will help you create effective campaigns that are thorough and professional-looking. The marketing calendar will ensure that your team is able to visualize the year-long plan and adjust accordingly if something arises throughout the year. The benefits of having a printer in-house will be invaluable too. Besides print and back-office productivity tools, it would be wise to invest in tools that assist in other areas of content creation and management. Specifically, peripheral equipment for your cameras, phone, and more can help create excellent-looking content on a budget. Some content creation tools to be on the lookout for are:
● Phone tripod ● Green screen ● Phone lighting rigs
Each of these items will be critical in creating seamless professional-looking content on a budget. Today, most smartphones have rather good camera quality, so in a pinch, having a nice tripod and lighting system for your phone will do wonders.
As a note, purchasing this equipment could get pricey, but it shouldn’t break the bank. Right now is the best time to start planning what gear you need for your 2022 content schedule. When choosing each piece of equipment you want, make sure you add up the prices so you have an idea of what type of budget you’ll need. After setting a budget, it would be wise to look into outside funding options, like some different types of personal loans, to help offset any large equipment costs. It would be smart to hold off taking out funds until you set respected budgets across other departments so you can use said funds to assist in other areas of the business for 2022.
4. Lean on Outside Help
So far we’ve addressed ways you as a business leader can make headway on your 2022 marketing plan. But, in this section, we’ll be focusing on different outside help you can leverage to ensure your new marketing strategy is optimized for your business.
Leaning on outside help is something that businesses large and small do. It may feel like you’re giving up control of the business when you do this, but sometimes that is a good thing. As the business owner, you’re the expert when it comes to the brand and product offerings, but other areas of your business, such as marketing, could use an outside expert to help keep things running smoothly.
Bringing in a marketing expert, such as myself, in the early stages of the marketing plan creation process will help tenfold down the road. As an industry expert, I can help ensure each element of your 2022 marketing plan is fleshed out and in line with the rest of your business goals. Besides looking over your plan, I can assist with email marketing planning, social media planning, and more! Check out a list of services provided here.
Well, there you have it! This quick guide will give you the tools needed to successfully start planning out your 2022 marketing plan. While there is more that will go into fleshing out an exact plan, this should give you the framework you need to at least get started. If you find that you need assistance in any way, please book a complimentary discovery call and let's talk!
Tracey Lee Davis, founder of ZingPop Social Media, turns busy small business owners into online marketing rockstars! A social media expert and Certified Solution Provider for Constant Contact, she coaches entrepreneurs in how to grow their business using social media and provides total management for their email marketing campaigns. Tracey Lee is also a featured speaker for associations and business groups. She is Alignable's 2021 Local Business Person of the Year for San Jose, a Certified Content Marketing Strategist, and the Co-Owner and Vice President of the Women’s Networking Alliance. She also really, really loves cheese.