While it may be the last day of 2018, let’s face it, it’s never too late to perfect your marketing plan for the new year. Investing time, even down to the last hour of the year, to understand your marketing plan and campaigns and how you want them to be executed, and perform in 2018 will allow you to start 2019 on a positive note. And, hopefully, to hit the ground running for the first quarter.

 

  1. Budget, budget, budget. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles that brands face is tackling and sticking to a marketing budget. To set a realistic budget, you’ll need to analyze what you spent across all marketing initiatives in 2018, what your return on investment (ROI) was via marketing metrics measured, and how you want to grow your ROI in 201 via marketing metrics. For example, did one of your paid digital advertising campaigns work? If not, take the time to analyze the campaign and discover why not, and how you can improve it for 2019. It is essential for you to understand where you want to take the brand and how you can get there before you begin to strategize.

 

  1. Have clear, realistic objectives. Your quarterly and yearly objectives are the goals of your marketing efforts that should be measurable and time-bound. Once you’ve identified these goals, create an overarching strategy to meet these goals — whether it is selling more product, raising brand awareness or increasing engagement — then identify the tactics needed to achieve these goals such as increased digital advertising, and organize them into micro-campaigns.

 

  1. Content (Online + Email). When we say content, we mean every piece of branded content you created — photography, videography, email marketing campaigns, website design, website copy, blog posts, etc. It is also important to review the content you created in 2018 to help shape your upcoming editorial calendars and campaigns. Make a list of the top 10 performing pieces of content and brainstorm more ideas around those to understand what made it successful and how you’ll continue that success in 2019. Allowing yourself to see where you’ve done well and where you can improve your content is essential to growth and success in the new year.

 

  1. Social media, it is essential. It was reported that there are 2.34 billion people using social media, worldwide. If you’re not representing your brand on social media or, if you’re not using it as a tool to engage, connect and grow your customer base/audience, then you’re missing out on reaching hundreds of thousands to millions of potential customers. Review your social media campaigns throughout the course of 2018 and don’t forget to analyze metrics from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and whatever other social platforms you’re utilizing. Make a plan around what performed well, content and campaign wise, and determine which platforms are working for you and which ones are not — and, what new platforms you could be on in 2019. Some tips for creating successful social media campaigns in 2019:

 

  • Understand trends in your industry
  • Watch your competitors
  • Refocus on your brand
  • Have clear objectives and goals
  • Focus on impactful projects
  • Get the support and budget you need

 

Don’t be afraid of change. You don’t have to follow the same plan and you don’t have to have a huge budget to make an impact. Take the time to understand where your brand is currently, what you did to get there, and how to improve marketing efforts in the new year. BMG Creative offers affordable, omnichannel marketing subscription packages that encompass all aspects needed for growth. Looking to kill it in the new year with new growth? Give us a call or send us an email, we’d love to chat about your 2019 marketing goals and how we can help you achieve them.

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Written by Jessica Kane

The manner in which the website of a nonprofit organization is built and designed makes all the difference between the destination being an effective fundraising resource — or not. There are some significant website-related missteps that can hamper donations to even the most desirable nonprofit organization.

Failure to Tell a Compelling Story About Your Organization

Perhaps the most commonplace, and certainly significant, misstep made by a nonprofit at its website that hurts donations is the failure to tell a compelling story. In other words, despite placing words and images on the pages of a website, a nonprofit organization fails to convey a story that motivates a visitor to support an organization.

There are a number of fundamental tactics to employ to avoid this fatal misstep. First, you need to ensure that you select written content and images (photos and videos) for your website that appropriately coalesce around your nonprofit’s brand. Yes, brand.

As is the case with a business enterprise, a nonprofit has a brand. That brand represents the mission of the organization, enhanced via the written content and images place throughout the website.

Second, you must be thoughtful when it comes to the volume of written content and images included at a website as part of telling the story of your organization. You really must follow the Goldilocks and the three bears tale in this regard and come up with written content and images that is “just right.” You need enough information to convey the story of your organization in a comprehensible and compelling manner. However, you need to be concise, that a visitor to a site will not spend a significant amount of time stewing over the materials placed on your pages.

Lack of Prompt Visitor Follow Up Via Your Website

Another misstep at a nonprofit site that negatively impacts donations is the lack of prompt follow up to a communication from a visitor to the site. This can occur for one of two reasons. First, the website might have a systemic deficiency that causes a lag in a response to a visitor with a question about the organization. Second, the delay could also be the result of a lack of attention by a human being to a communication from a visitor. Oftentimes, both issues are at play.

The stark reality is that a visitor to your site may be geared up to support your organization financially, but has a simple question. The failure to provide a prompt communication to that individual will result in the potential donor never becoming an actual supporter.

Failure to Maintain a User-friendly Interface

One of the biggest problems any website can face is challenging navigation and a user interface that is unfriendly. If a visitor to a website is unable to effectively understand its navigation within a minute of arriving at the homepage, that individual is apt to leave the site and never come back. Of course, that means the visitor did not take the time to financially support the work of the nonprofit that maintains the website.

In order to ensure that a website becomes and remains a relevant tool for raising money, the destination must be user friendly and easily navigable. A visitor must have a ready opportunity to learn about the organization and make a donation without wasting unnecessary time finding information and where to donate.

Low Visitor Traffic

Businesses oftentimes invest a good deal of time developing meaningful search engine optimization, or SEO, strategies to draw traffic to their websites. A fairly widespread failing of many nonprofits is the failure to develop a suitable SEO strategy to draw consistent traffic to their websites.

The net effect of a failure to embark on a suitable SEO campaign is simple. The lack of a good SEO program results in less traffic and hurts donations to the organization.

Complicated Donation Process and Portal

Another structural issue at a nonprofit website that can impair donations is a complicated donation process and associated portal. For example, a nonprofit does need to collect certain information from a donor. However, at the website donation portal, the information collected can be kept to something of a minimum. This can include the essentials: name, street address, email address, and phone number. Following the donation, an automated email can be sent to the donor to be answered at that individual’s leisure, if supplemental information is needed.

It is also highly important that a visitor to the site have absolute confidence in the security of the donation portal. One way of accomplishing this is but utilizing a payment platform that is both recognized and trusted by a good segment of the population and that processes donations to nonprofits.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

 

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GDPR

There’s just one week until new EU legislation on data privacy takes effect on May 25th. This new legislation holds marketers and data processors accountable for increased data security, privacy, and transparency. It’s also important to note that the law applies to any company that stores data on and targets citizens of the EU, regardless of where your company is located.

As the deadline approaches, here are some key questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are GDPR compliance ready: Continue reading nt-violetta

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Buyer Personas

Have you created buyer personas for your business? No matter what industry you are in, buyer personas can help you understand your target audience on a deeper level. Buyer personas are generalized, approximate models of who your buyers or customers are and what characteristics or attributes influenced their buying decisions.

 

It is common for organizations to not have buyer personas or make mistakes in their development. If you are interested in creating personas and would like to avoid common pitfalls, here are some common mistakes you should avoid. Continue reading nt-violetta

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Landing PagesAre you looking to increase your conversions on your digital advertising or email campaigns? One element many marketers overlook is a well-designed landing page. Up to 44% of marketers refer their campaigns to their general website because they do not have the resources or time to develop a well thought out landing page. However, they may be doing so at the expense of their lead generation and conversion on sales. Continue reading nt-violetta

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WordPress is the world’s leading content management system, and millions of webmasters rely on it for easy development and management. However, just because it’s the most popular in terms of numbers, it doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect platform for every scenario.

Magento could be a viable alternative for your business, and comparing the two options will help you to decide which way to go. Continue reading nt-violetta

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AlexaVoice search has been growing in popularity at an incredible rate, thanks to the increased prevalence of smartphone voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and voice controlled devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. With an increasing number of consumers choosing to search using voice and natural language, some marketers are finding that their traditional approach to search engine optimization is no longer sufficient for today’s search landscape.

With voice searches expected to increase again in 2018, learning about the key concepts of marketing for voice will be critical to success. Continue reading nt-violetta

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UX PrinciplesIf you’re involved in business or marketing, you’ve probably heard the buzzword “UX” thrown around. But what does UX really mean?

UX design focuses on customer experience and satisfaction through utility, content, and ease of use. UX can often be confused with usability, but that is only one component of the overall customer experience. User Experience analysis begins with understanding and empathizing with your customer, and improving with them in mind. Below, we explain some of the key principles for better user experience in web design. Continue reading nt-violetta

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AiandSEOIn 2015 Google first confirmed its use of “RankBrain.1” RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that helps analyze user intent and increases the relevancy of search results. Since then, advances in Ai, particularly in language processing and deep learning, has continued to improve search engine results. Google learns over time, based on what users interact with on any search result, and adjusts rankings accordingly. Continue reading nt-violetta

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