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How are you saving money in 2018? See how I explain how to follow through on this marketing resolution.

As 2017 comes to a close, we look to the New Year with hope and excitement. You may have set your personal resolutions, but have you thought about marketing goals for your company? In 2018, you can strengthen your public relations efforts and see great results. You want to engage with your audience, build relationships and try something new. Below are five common personal resolutions, and how you can use them in your company’s public relations and marketing efforts in the coming year.

Marketing Resolution 1: Save Money

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to save more funds for the future? It should be a priority for your business as well. Did you know blogging as a marketing tool costs 60 percent less than traditional methods? By adding blogging to your marketing plan, you can save money and gain visibility.

If you haven’t started blogging yet, you can in just three steps:

  1. Set it up. Get your website up and running and choose a blogging platform.
  2. Make a plan. Set up a schedule for your blog that is manageable, whether it’s once a day or once a week. Start filling up a calendar, noting holidays and deadlines. You should begin brainstorming ideas you have for upcoming blog posts, and start listing them out. Here’s a helpful tip: Carry a notebook and pencil around so you can easily jot down ideas no matter where you are.
  3. Start blogging! It’s time to start writing! Remember, write what your readers would be interested in, and think of what insight you can add in. The point is to be helpful. Search engine algorithms are designed to look for quality posts, so focus on writing for your target reader.
  4. Be consistent. Upload your blogs on a regular basis. Scheduling your posts down to the same day of the week and time of day is an easy way to boost your search engine optimization (SEO). Active blogs engage readers better, which also translates into better search engine rankings

Check out more from our CEO, Erika Montgomery here!

Here are a few more tips to keep your marketing writing sharp throughout the rest of the year:

  • Use strong headlines. This is the first thing a reader will see, so make it eye-catching and memorable. Titles with 6-13 wods are most effective.
  • Remember the four U’s when you write your headlines. Make them unique, urgent, useful and ultra-specific.

Write posts that are evergreen. Your content should convey information that is classic in nature so it transcends time, culture and fashion. Think to yourself: will this article still be helpful in 6 months? What about in a year?

Marketing Resolution 2: Improve a Relationship

In 2018, focus on your relationships with those who will tell your story: journalists, reporters and writers. By taking a few extra steps, you can help your media pitch stand out, and increase the chances that your brand gets written about. Here are some tips:

  1. Learn about them. Take some extra time to research the outlet and read previously written posts to get a feel for what they write about and would be interested in covering.
  2. Personalize: Let them know why your pitch is perfect for them and their audience. In an email addressed specifically to them, explain why their readers, viewers or listeners would be interested in your story idea.
  3. Listen to them: If the journalist, writer or blogger asks for a sample, high-res images or an interview, make sure to follow their directions! You’ll build up credibility, and they’ll know they can count on you.
  4. Don’t pester. Journalists are busy people too. Remember to give them several days to follow up, and when you do check in, be pleasantly persistent.
  5. Email first, call later. This line of communication is less intrusive, and could help you out in the long run. You have a lower chance of interrupting the reporter, and journalists prefer this method to receive pitches. In fact, phone calls should very rarely be made at all.

Marketing Resolution 3: Be More Active

While this personal New Year’s resolution is generally about fitness, raising the “activity” of your business’ marketing should also be a priority.

You may be on social media, but are you active on it? Here are four reasons why you should be active on social media:

  • 71 percent of consumers who have had a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others
  • 70 percent of those helped via social media will return as a customer in the future
  • 50 percent of shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation through a social media network
  • 47 percent of people who follow brands on social media are more likely to visit the company’s website.

Here are six ways you can make sure your company is active in its social media marketing in 2018:

Your followers want to see your content! Try to post regularly and interact with your audience.

  • Post content that will raise online engagement, like images and video.
  • Use hashtags strategically. Make sure you use them appropriately for the platform you’re using, too. Hashtags are used very differently from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram.
  • Build your brand by posting alongside the days of the week (for example: Motivation Monday, Wisdom Wednesday, Flashback Friday, Sunday Funday, etc.).
  • Keep your content short, sweet and easily digestible.
  • Make it shareable! Provide a helpful tip or funny video to increase your chances of going viral.

Of course, social media isn’t the only way for your business to be active! Updating your blog and sending out email newsletters regularly are additional ways to keep your brand from becoming stagnant.

Marketing Resolution 4: Try Something New

This is by far one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Think of trying something new this year by creating an account on a different social media platform. Is your company already on Facebook? You could give Twitter a try! Already on Twitter? Maybe it’s time to try Instagram. below are some facts on why social media is important to your marketing strategy:

Trying out a new social platform can be tricky, but well worth it.

  • Social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
  • Of those who use the internet, 76 percent of Americans use social media
  • 74 percent of consumers cited relying on social media when making purchasing decisions
  • 72 percent of social followers are more likely to make a future purchase

While it’s good to be on multiple platforms, it’s best to put in the time and resources to manage whichever ones you use well. When choosing a platform, think about the audience you’re trying to reach. Facebook would be a better option for audiences over 30, but if you’re trying to reach millennials, Twitter and Instagram would be a better fit. However, if you had to choose between Instagram and Twitter, it could come down to whether you are targeting males or females.

Here are some other new public relations and marketing tactics to consider in the New Year:

  • Spread the word about your business by running social media ads – run them on the platforms you’re already investing your time and resources, such as Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.
  • Strengthen relationships with your audience and start writing and sending out e-newsletters
  • Expand your blog! Boost your SEO and write longer blog posts. Research shows search engines respond best to 1500-2000 words.

Marketing Resolution 5: Stop Procrastinating

Planning ahead will help fight the urge to procrastinate throughout the year. Below are some tips from the team at Three Girls Media on you how you can stay organized in 2018.

  • At the beginning of the year, mark your calendar for major dates, like holidays and anniversaries, and start planning campaigns early
  • Build time into your schedule to create, upload and promote content
  • Write a week’s worth of updates all at once so you don’t need to come up with content every day
  • Create a plan for sharing your content – when a blog post goes live, know which days and times you’ll promote that article on your social platforms and in your e-newsletters.

And some daily procrastination remedies:

  • Break down your to-do list into smaller tasks
  • Change up your work environment
  • Take a break and go for a walk – it may seem counterproductive, but this is a great way to get the blood flowing

Ringing in the New Year is an exciting time! It’s a fresh start to really work on ourselves, and our businesses. Make your marketing a priority in 2018 by keeping the resolutions above; stay active social media, fight the procrastination bug, work on your writing and focus on bettering your business

So, are you ready to take on the New Year? It can be time for a fresh start for your business’ public relations and marketing strategy, and Three Girls Media is here to help you with all your PR and marketing goals.