If the glut of television ads for weight loss plans and health club memberships are any indication, we are well into the start of a new year.  Like your new year’s resolution to shed a few quarantine pounds and start wearing actual pants again, you can also resolve to whip your digital marketing into shape this year too.

Think of your digital marketing plan like that new gym membership. The health club has all the equipment – the treadmill and the weights – but if you don’t show up, you don’t stand a chance of getting in shape. Likewise, your marketing plan outlines the tactics to achieve your goals for the year, but if you don’t act on them consistently, your digital marketing will not create results, increase website traffic or generate leads.

To make sure your digital marketing plan gets off to a good start and maintains momentum for more than a few months, it’s good practice to set your starting point, and then review your progress from time to time. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or just getting started, here are five questions to help assess your 2021 digital marketing strategy:

Have you defined the demographics and other characteristics of your ideal customer?

This used to be called your “target audience,” but in the age of the Internet, that term has become outdated. Because digital marketing happens mostly on the web, and we are able to track and measure the activity of specific users, it is more useful to develop “Customer Personas.”

Like your target audience, a Customer Persona includes demographic information. But customer personas contain more details by developing a story behind each type of ideal customer. Does she have kids? What is a typical day at the office like? What does she do for fun? Even, what is her name? By creating a back-story about each of your customer personas, you can create specific, highly targeted content, blogs and offers that appeal directly to each customer persona you want to attract.

Do you have a company blog and publish at least once per week?

Search engines love fresh, new content, and there’s no better way to produce it than with a company blog. B2B companies that blog just once or twice per month can generate up to 70% more leads than those who don’t blog. And companies that blog 15 or more times per month generate five times more website traffic than those that do not.  Have writers block? Set time aside to do a quick video blog instead, what matters is getting that content out there.

Is your company using social media to build brand awareness, engagement and traffic?

It’s no longer enough for businesses to simply push out company information via traditional advertising, trade shows or news releases. Customers today expect to have a two-way relationship with the brands they love via social networks. And that social media engagement increases website traffic.

Does your company have a consistent presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms and do you have an active, engaged community? Do your blogs have social media sharing functionality? Do you monitor social media for mentions of your brand name, important keywords and competitors?

How often do you send email marketing messages?

Email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of online marketing. But you can supercharge your email marketing this year by segmenting your email lists according to the customer personas you’ve defined, and send different, highly targeted messages to different segments.

Customers buy from brands they know, like and trust. But they may not be ready to buy at the time you send your email campaign. Use automated drip campaigns to cultivate a relationship with prospects that have expressed interest in your company by downloading your content, by sending personalized, periodic follow-up emails including offers to further engage with you.

What percentage of website traffic converts into leads/leads into customers?

Digital marketing excels at attracting traffic to your company website and converting anonymous visitors into leads. In addition to using marketing automation software, monitoring your website analytics can be an effective way to gain insights into your conversions.  Website traffic referral sources, which pages users visit, visitor behavior, and lead tracking can all be monitored.

Make a marketing resolution to assess your website traffic over the past year and determine how many of those visitors became actual sales leads and customers. Then set monthly goals for the upcoming year to increase the number of website visitors and sales leads.

Just like that gym membership, you’ll see companies with good intentions starting the year off strong but settling back into old habits.  Keep with it, and when the competitive herd starts to thin, your dedication to your 2021 marketing plan will pay off!  If you need someone to hold you accountable to your goals and objectives, let V2 Marketing & Management be your coach.  Whistle optional.