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Six Things to Include in Your 2018 Marketing Budget

Posted by Mary Ann Hegvold on November 21, 2017

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Whether you have some marketing budget left to spend before the end of 2017 or you're planning your marketing strategy for 2018, we have six recommendations on the best ways to invest your marketing dollars and your time. Some of these ideas include taking advantage of new marketing tools and others are a response to changes in the technologies we use everyday. Find out which may be best for you.

1 - Facebook AdVertising Is needed

Researchers say that only 2-6% of your business' posts are seen by those who like your Facebook page. Why? Because Facebook is beefing up its revenue stream. We could see this one coming.

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The good news: It's not terribly expensive, at least not yet, to promote your business and services on Facebook.

The bad news: It's not super easy to know exactly which of their ad tools would be best for each audience. Read more about how to create Facebook boosts and ads in our blog: Five Tips for Running Facebook Ads that Produce Results

Plan on spending time creating, managing and reporting on the results to be sure you're using your ad budget most efficiently. It can definitely have a positive result, even if you have a B2B marketing plan, as long as you're targeting the right audience.

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2 - Email Marketing That Goes Beyond Open Rates

Personalized email marketing is one of the marketing trends we're going to see more of in 2018. That means you'll need to know more than an email address. Using tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp have traditionally worked fine for creating professional emails and getting them sent out effectively to hundreds if not thousands of people at once. But other than an open rate, you don't get much data. The Hubspot Marketing software not only collects email addresses, but you will have information gathered about each lead including their website visits and what they looked at.

Depending on the Hubspot Marketing package you choose, you can automatically send emails with personalization included, based on what a lead has done on your website. This will draw more attention than a standard mass email ever can.

Your sales team can also find this data integrated into their CRM for use in their sales process.

3 - Video Management for Improved SEO

It's probably not a surprise that you need to have video on your website. There are dozens of articles out there on why you need it. We even have a blog on how to create videos on a budget. But what is the best way to handle the video placement on your website?

When you embed videos into your website from YouTube you're essentially losing the SEO value of that video. Technically that video belongs to YouTube, not you. We encourage all of our clients to use a paid video player service such as Wistia that allows for:

  • Customization of the player to match your brand
  • Better SEO value because the video's transcript can be a part of your website's code (not YouTube's)
  • Calls to action that look good and can even integrate with other software like Hubspot.
  • Reporting that shows you more than how many views you've had. Dig deeper to see what visitors really like.

If you don't have your own video player for your company videos let us know. We can take a look at your needs and make a recommendation.

4 - Online Reputation Management for Better Reviews

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With reviews holding as much weight as a personal referral these days you need to be constantly aware of what's out there. Reviews show up everywhere in search results – no matter which search engine you use. And people are more likely to trust recent reviews over those that were given several months ago or older. That's why you need a plan to actively generate more 4 and 5-star reviews on third party websites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and others. You can even minimize the appearance a less-than-excellent review for public consumption using review collection software.

If you don't have a way to monitor, generate and respond to your reviews all in one place, it's something you should plan on in 2018.

5 - Your Own Pictures That Tell the Real Story

One of the most valuable things you add to your marketing repertoire is a photoshoot that produces images own and can use in all of your marketing including the website, Facebook ads, print materials, etc. You can avoid the use of most stock photos that can't always hit the mark.

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A few tips on taking photos for marketing purposes:

  1. Hire a professional photographer for the best results.
  2. Consider who will be looking at the images before you take photos.
  3. Know how you'd like to use the photos before you shoot (ie: web, banner, trade show, etc.)

Learn more about photography and how it can help or hinder your marketing results in this blog: How Your Website Photos Could Sabotage Your Marketing Strategy.

6 - Website Security

All websites in 2018 should include an SSL certificate turning http into https in your web address. This is one of those things that's a response to what Google has changed. Similar to their requirement to have all responsive web code a few years ago, there can be risks to your search engine optimization (SEO) if you don't make the changes they require.

Here are a few things to know as you decide whether you'd like to get an SSL certificate installed.

  • Chrome is planning to start showing visitors your site is "Not Secure" in the address bar in the near future unless SSL is installed. If your website has a form on it, even if you're not asking for private information, you'll want to be sure you have SSL. 
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  • It's a relatively easy process in most cases. You'll need to know your domain provider login to do this.
  • You can buy the certificate for several years at a time (at a savings) so that you don't have to go through this process often.

Read more about how this will look in Chrome on our SSL Certificate page and let us know if you'd like help.

All of these things can hopefully be included in your marketing plan. And sometimes assistance may be needed to get it all accomplished. Let us know where we can help you. And if you have other marketing and web needs, please let us know so we can give you a free recommendation.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing ROI, B2B Healthcare Marketing