In case you haven’t heard, the New Year is coming! I know it’s tough not to feel overwhelmed this time of year and, not just by the day-to-day initiatives required to keep your business afloat but, by all the steps you know you need to take in time for the year ahead.
Well, here’s the good news. I’m going to give you the 411 on how to optimize your digital media planning so you have time left to spare before the New Year. Seriously, this is something you can do in 45 MINUTES.
But, real quick…
Why is digital media planning important? Well, your website and your social media networks [aka your digital media channels] are how 99.9% of potential customers find you. The goal here is not for me to help you prep an entire business to-do list but, to focus solely on those digital media elements so your online presence is optimized and customers can KEEP finding you and confiding in you.
So, first off, here is what you DO NOT need to do right now as far as digital media planning goes:
- You do not need a 12-month marketing plan
- You do not need a 12-month social media strategy
- You do not need a 12-month public relations outline
Digital media planning is imperative to growth. Bigger brands have the time and resources to make those 12 month plans and see them through with a team. Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners, however, don’t always have that luxury.
You need to stop exhausting yourself over trying to create elaborate plans and, instead, focus on what you and your businesses can handle. When it comes to media planning, it’s okay for small business owners to take a less extensive approach. In doing so, you can get more done, more efficiently.
The #1 way to be successful in the media planning process as a small biz owner is to strategize in manageable bite size pieces instead of shoving your hand into the bowl of opportunity and coming out with an overwhelmingly large handful of options that seemingly fall through your fingers.
With that being said, here are the digital media action steps I recommend taking in order to be prepared for the New Year:
1. Inventory your brand assets. I’m talking photos, videos, management systems, marketing elements, public relations tools. Are you still using the same imagery as last year? Are your visual elements high-quality? Are your files appropriately organized? Are your management systems helping you plan and execute tasks efficiently? Are there updates you can make to your branding so it’s more current and consistent?
Set a timer for 15 minutes and make a list of the top 10 brand assets that you feel need improvement.
2. Audit your website and social media networks. Take note of every website navigation, every social media channel and determine the “pain points” that could use nurturing. Perhaps, on your website, you could really benefit from having an email opt-in? Or, on your Facebook page, you could be utilizing another page layout that better emphasizes what you have to offer? On Instagram, maybe you’d benefit from posting more frequently? And, perhaps now is the time to launch that Twitter business profile?
Set a timer for 15 minutes and make a list of the top 10 website and social media elements that need improving.
3. Make a simple timeline. What on your lists can be done immediately and what can be done over the next 2-3 months [not 12!] ? What items can you find solutions for on your own and which ones will you need help seeing through?
Set a timer for 15 minutes and work your way through each list to determine your projected timeframes and a potential solution for each task.
Boom diggity. You just crafted your pre-New Year digital media to do lists in 45 minutes!
For the list of tasks that you feel you can confidently complete on your own
From now until the New Year, set aside 30 minutes each day to complete 1 of the tasks on your lists. Don’t try and rush to complete them all at once. Sticking to one task per day will allow you to hone your focus so you don’t have to double up your efforts down the road. If it can’t be done in 30 minutes, make a note and move on.
For the tasks that you need help completing
Consider just how much help you need, how quickly you need it, and what budget you have to work with. Maybe you find that you’d prefer to have your channels audited by a marketing pro [like me!] who knows exactly what to look out for? Perhaps you made your lists and just aren’t sure what really needs improving and what you can hold off on for another year? Or, you made your list and can’t really complete anything on them? Or, perhaps you’ve done all this before and are stuck at a standstill because the task items on your list “don’t seem that important.” Don’t exhaust yourself trying to combat a challenge when you can consult a resource. Make an investment to team up with a professional so you can remain efficient in your planning process and feel seriously prepped for a smooth transition into the year ahead.
And, finally, when the New Year does come…
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
I know, I know, you hear and see it all the time – “set those goals and set them high!” There’s a reason why: goals are gold. Goal setting allows you to develop specific strategies so that you can continually evolve and grow your brand. They help you nail down parameters and motivate you to move your business forward in a structured fashion. Make real progress in the New Year by setting goals and sticking to them so that this time next year, your business will be BIGGER and your lists will be smaller. Check out my set of handy tips on how to set goals that work!
If you’re looking for an extra boost. Grab this guide! Power Pages is my three step method for helping you master those media to do lists like a CHAMP.