2016 has been an exciting year both within the walls of Liquid and within the marketing technology industry in general. As we head into the final quarter of the year and you start to shift focus to your plans for 2017, it’s important to ensure that you’re still finishing 2016 on a high note and taking advantage of all the great opportunities available to you.

I’d like to share three common digital marketing missteps we’re seeing brands make in 2016, and simple strategies to correct them in Q4.

1.   Not taking advantage of video content

The numbers speak for themselves.  Whether you are creating long-form video content as a way to tell your brand’s story, producing short segments for YouTube or live streaming on Facebook, video content is one of the best ways to engage with your audience.

Unfortunately, many companies are overlooking this style of communication – or worse yet – purposefully choosing not to include it in their content plans. Whether they think it is too costly to create or that their organization has nothing worthwhile to say in video form, these self-limiting beliefs are some of the most common reasons companies are holding back from even getting started.

The Remedy: Explore live streaming. Live streamed content can now be delivered seamlessly through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other channels with ease. Decide the channel(s) to focus on and the content that will resonate most with those audiences, and begin delivering live video content to them on a consistent basis.

2.   Not dedicating resources to SEO

The SEO landscape changes on a daily basis. One of the lunch and learns we look forward to the most each year is our SEO outlook for the upcoming year. We get to dive into the largest changes in search engine marketing and how companies must evolve to stay on top.

However, for marketers, focusing on the key SEO trends once a year is not enough. Because of its ever-changing nature, it’s important to have an ongoing focus on SEO and the continuous improvement of your website. If you go three months, six months or a full year without evolving and reassessing your SEO strategy, you might as well start over.

The Remedy: SEO is not just the job of one person – it impacts your content plans, your development schedule, your user experience, your social media efforts and more. The key is having someone dedicated to driving the ship and using their insight to coordinate the activity of the rest of the team to ensure that your website is continuing to evolve.

3.   Not having an analytics strategy

We all have endless amounts of data available at our fingertips. So much data that it can be overwhelming to think about. All too often, we see marketers implement analytics for a website or campaign, establish the success metrics, ensure that it’s being tracked properly and then look at the data once a month if they’re lucky. Even if they look at it more frequently, they don’t have the time to connect all of their marketing channels, truly analyze the data, and use it to make informed, proactive decisions.

Much like SEO, analytics is not something that can be set up and checked in on a few times each year. An analytics strategy should be designed specifically for your organization and followed closely. A good analytics strategy will work you down a path of continuous improvement and evolution to a point where you are ready to build attribution models, begin exploring predictive analytics and more. 

The Remedy: Start by conducting an audit of your website’s analytics platform which includes answering a number of questions such as: Are you tracking site searches? Do you have goals and event tracking set up? Are you tagging social posts, emails and other marketing efforts in a way that results in clean and organized data? If there is room to improve in any of these areas, get started this year so that you are heading into 2017 with a strong analytics foundation

If your brand falls into one or more of these categories, now is the time to get back on track. Before I leave you, I’ve got one more tip to set your marketing up for a strong year in 2017.

Bonus Tip: Be proactive in Q4 to set yourself up for success in 2017

Earlier in this blog post I talked about 2017 planning. Many marketers have already begun to look ahead to next year and map out their goals as well as the campaigns, strategies and tactics they will deploy to help accomplish those goals.

One great tool to help you make informed decisions during your 2017 planning sessions is media monitoring. Spend some time listening to the digital landscape and what people are saying across social media, blogs, forums and new sites about your industry, your brand and your competitors:

  • Where are people talking about your industry?
  • How are they talking about it?
  • What is the overall sentiment about you and your competitors?
  • What do the most engaging forms of content published around your industry have in common?
  • What were some of the most talked about product launches in your industry in 2016?

This information can drastically impact your 2017 plans by helping you determine how to create engaging content and campaigns and where to focus your time and energy in connecting with prospective customers.

Need help? Our experts are standing by to give you a hand, contact us today.

Bret Ludlow

About Bret Ludlow

Bret Ludlow is the Director of Digital Marketing at Liquid. He oversees the strategic direction of the Digital Marketing Department focusing on growth strategies, innovation and solution development. Bret received his degree from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. He plays an active role in the Lehigh Valley Community as the Immediate Past President of the Young Professionals Council for the Chamber of Commerce. 

Published Sep 28, 2016