Are you excited to be preparing for your digital marketing strategy for the New Year? Okay, maybe ‘excited’ is the wrong word to use, but there is something uplifting about getting a head start on your marketing plan that will lead to success in the New Year. If you’re not sure where to start, you’ll find the tips below to be helpful.

Set Business Goals

The first step is to define your business goals. Say you have a new product coming out that you want to market. Think about how you will achieve this goal. What tools are available? Who on your team will handle the marketing? Having goals gives you a direction to follow. Since it can be difficult to have one large goal, create micro goals. This will give you smaller steps to focus on so that you can meet the end result.

Review What Worked in 2014

Take a look at the marketing strategies that worked for you last year. Why were they effective? How did your customers respond? Also review the things that didn’t work. It’s possible that it wasn’t the method that was used but the way it was executed. Either way, learn from the past and build on it.

Find the Right Tools

Digital marketing tools are essential to your strategy. Even if you want to tackle everything independently, you’ll find yourself at the mercy of a few helpful tools time and time again. For instance, where will you go for content ideas? One brain can only think of so many topics! A site like WhatToWrite kicks up your thinking and generates new ideas.

Another tool to check out is Inbound Writer, which gives you an idea of how your content will do before you publish it. This gives you a chance to improve content before you post it to your blog. QuickSprout is another gem that allows you to analyze SEO on your website and compare how you’re doing with your competitors.

In addition to content creation tools, there are also tools available for managing your social media accounts and marketing campaigns. Don’t be afraid to leverage these assets to streamline your workload.

Refine and Finalize Your Marketing Plan

Decide which tools you’ll use and where you will use them. This will keep your marketing strategy organized and well-executed at all times. Also consider how often you will create content, when the posts will be posted on social media and who will be handling the content creation – you or another writer.

Now it’s time to finalize the details. Make sure that you:

  • clearly define your goals

  • understand your target audience

  • define how your brand will stand out from the competition

  • know what offers and promotions will be offered to customers

  • create an easy-to-navigate website

  • have a strategy for when to post content

  • know how to build relationships and keep them

You don’t need to have your new marketing plan ready by January 1, but you should start working on it soon so that you can have a clear strategy going forward in 2015.