year end marketing checklist for small business

Year-End Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

Yes, We Do Know It’s July.

The 4th of July 2019 is now under our belts, and if the virality of this meme is any indication, people are feeling the end-of-the-year crunch even earlier than usual this year:

We’re not ones for premature “Christmasing” or instilling a need for panic but, if you own a small business, getting your marketing ducks in a row for the end of the year is never a bad idea…yes, even right now in the heart of summertime. Whether it’s wrapping up some current campaigns or formulating a marketing plan for next year (ideally, it’s a combination of both), getting ahead of the curve – and your competition – makes perfect sense. We’ve created a small business year-end marketing checklist for you, and shared it below.

Evaluate Your Current Content

In an attempt to keep up with social media and other content best practices, we are often “churning and burning” in what we are turning out. It doesn’t help, however, if we head into the new year without knowing what worked and what didn’t. Every company has put out a blog post, newsletter, or other forms of content that they thought would go viral only to have them completely flop. There’s no need to mope or get defensive but, instead, ask yourself what missed the mark about this content. Did it not hit at the emotions of the reader? Had the topic already been covered ad nauseum? Was the piece shared at a time of day or on a day of the week that wasn’t ideal? Whatever you can learn from the content you’ve shared will help you craft the best marketing content you can for the future. 

Repurpose High-Performing Content

Now that you’ve had a chance to evaluate the content from this year, you know what pieces have performed well. Take advantage of this by repurposing this content. Add some new and relevant information to it, change the date, and re-release on the mediums that you think it will perform well on. 

Plan the New Content

It might seem too early to do this but, as the panicky meme notes, we’ll be popping champagne and making impossible resolutions before we know it. Plus, you want to plan based on what you just found by evaluating this year’s content. You certainly don’t need an editorial calendar for the entire next year but you should have an idea of where your content is headed, such as whether it will be video-heavy, mobile-centric, social media-oriented, etc. 

Break Your Budget Down

You obviously want your marketing budget to get you the biggest ROI possible so, just as with the content, you want to make sure you analyze what’s worked and what hasn’t for the current year. Did remarketing work on one platform but not another? Did Google Ads net you more than Facebook Ads? All of the metrics in your dashboard will help you to decide where to put your money for the coming year. 

Take on the Trends

You might consider having a meeting to discuss current marketing and other industry trends and where you think things are headed. This will help you stay ahead of the competition, which is especially crucial for small businesses. 

Peek Over the Fence at the Competition

You should be doing this all year long but now is a great time to take stock of what the competition has been up to. In particular, note what they’ve done this year that’s worked and what hasn’t. Avoid their pitfalls and brainstorm ways you can use what has worked for them by creating a brand new spin on it. This is prime spitballing season, and using your competition as a springboard for ideas is not only fair – it’s necessary.

Reconnect with Customers

Has your newsletter lapsed? Have your social media best practices fallen by the wayside? Heading into the holiday season (back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) is a great time to remind them that you are there and ready to help.

Reconnect with Your Company

This might sound strange but this is also a great time to have your employees gather to talk about your brand. It’s crucial that every piece of content that has come from your company this year has been on brand? Has it? If not, what has been off brand? It’s a great time to remind yourself of what’s at the core of your small business and, if you’re not happy with that, it could be time to rebrand.

Plan Those Advertising Promotions

If your company thrives during the holidays, it’s time to get those promotions ready. Don’t wait until November 15 to come up with a Black Friday special and try and promote this in a week. Be proactive by giving yourself plenty of time to plan and execute a high functioning advertising campaign that will get the most from your promotions. The early bird gets the worm…and the worm’s money.  

Get your holiday gifts the night before? More power to you! However, when it comes to marketing for small businesses, it’s really never too soon to prepare for what lies ahead. Contact us to find out how we can help you launch campaigns that will get you the 2020 ROI of your dreams.