Rushing into 2022 as a business owner will come with a hint of hesitation. There will be a level of PTSD from the last two years of business purgatory and the widespread personal devastation that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sage business person will be taking the time early in the year to reassess and reconfigure how they do business, make sales, and create a presence.

To this end, resharpening your marketing strategy and process for 2022 should be top of your agenda.

Do an assessment of 2021’s marketing efforts

How did your marketing efforts go in 2021? Its time to strip back the veneer and take a hard look at your marketing ROI and data.

Social media tools

Within your social media business page lives your analytics tools. Open up all of your current channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, and start running reports for the last year.

You’ll discover a treasure trove of guiding information that will tell you:

  • How your organic posts performed – this includes your most and lest interacted with posts, which format worked better (for example, link posts, video or image posts) and what had little traction.
  • Your core demographics – you’ll be able to understand who your most valuable demographics are in terms of interactions and reach.
  • Your ad diagnostics – If you used Facebook or Instagram ads, or boosted posts with some cash, you can drill down on the value of these ads. Did they have good ROI? Did one ad outperform the others?

Email tools

If you use email as a marketing tool, you need to access 2021’s data to understand:

  • open rates
  • click throughs
  • unsubscribes
  • best performers
  • worse performers

Advertising tools

Now log in to your advertising platforms to ascertain:

  • Your ROI for your ad spend
  • Which ads outperformed others
  • Weak ads you need to ditch

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a primary source of information on your online presence and website performance. You should drill down to discover:

  • how people found you online
  • your major sources of website visitation (organic or ads or social media)
  • the demographics of your key visitors

Google My Business profile

You need to take a minute to make sure your Google My Business profile is in order:

  • How are your reviews going?
  • How many people have viewed your listing?
  • Can you improve your loyalty efforts?
  • Have you checked every box for opening hours, address, website and social links?

Take action on this assessment

Now that you have a litany of information on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your marketing efforts through the previous year, you need to take real action. If you don’t, there’s almost no use having examined this data.

Figure out:

  • The worse performing marketing efforts, content and ads. Try and understand why they didn’t work and if there’s similarities. Now remove any similar content from this year’s marketing plan.
  • The best performing marketing efforts. Why did this content work? You need to be sure you double down on these winning ads and posts and recreate that success through similar posts in 2022.
  • Where did the most sales leads, customers, or website visitors come from? Was it advertising on Facebook or Instagram videos? Be sure you prioritise this avenue in this year’s marketing strategy.
  • Can you improve your website in terms of speed, SEO, branding or customer sales journey?
  • Try A/B testing if you aren’t already. A/B testing allows you to create two versions of content – such as banner as or emails – and then see what performed better. If you’re unsure of what will work or want to refine your winning lessons even further through some experimentation, A/B testing is the best way to do so.

What’s the focus for 2022?

After you’ve figured out the winning and losing strategies from last year and made decisions on what marketing efforts to drop and what to maximise – you need to think about this year’s business priorities.

  • Do you have a particularly popular or high margin offering that you want to push harder this year?
  • Do you have a new offering you want to test run?
  • Do you have a winning demographic you want to target harder?
  • Are there new trends or market changes, including consumer behaviour, that you need to address?
  • Do you want to try out some new marketing avenues, including the ever-growing set of new social media channels?

Create a new marketing content calendar

You now have the groundwork laid to create a fresh content calendar for 2022.

Create a solid combination of what worked well, combined with a new approach to tend to your fresh business priorities. It’s best to map out your content calendar at least six months in advance. Plot out your ads, social media content, email campaigns and blog content. Be sure you concentrate on your best avenues and associated content which has had historical success.

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