After analyzing many end of the year reports and seeing performance during 2015 can inspire everyone to set a resolution to achieve in the coming year. This is especially true for digital marketers; our work is never done, there is always something we can improve upon and with this field being ever-changing, there's always something new to learn.
There are two types of resolutions that can be professionally set - intimate or over-arching. Intimate resolutions are ones pertaining to the personal, professional development of someone whereas overarching resolutions refer to larger groups of people, companies.
While thinking about what I would like to improve, the question "What would digital marketers like to improve in 2016?" occurred to me. Here are 16 digital marketers sharing what intimate and overarching digital marketing resolutions they are making for 2016.
1. John Rampton | @johnrampton
My marketing resolution for 2016 is to get my company site up to 1 MM uniques a month. This is set through partnerships, more quality writers and building up our community. With a strong focus on the best quality content out there we are able to drive large amounts of people to our site. Our goal ultimately is to help these people bill their clients online but also to help and teach them how to consistently grow their businesses online.
2. Viveka von Rosen | @LinkedInExpert
My marketing resolution for 2016 is give people what they want! This year I shared a stage 3x with Marcus Sheridan and re-read Ryan Levesue's book "Ask." And I am reminded that while I'm an expert in my topic and industry, I need to listen more to what my audience wants rather than force on them what I think they need. Marketing 101 really, but sometimes we forget. So next year is all about using my many marketing tools (LinkedIn, InfusionSoft, LeadPages, Social Ads and Polls) to ASK my audience what they want, what they need, and provide them with that information and those strategies. I always preach on the WIFFT (What's In It For Them) so this year I am going to listen to my own advice!
3. Neal Schaffer | @NealSchaffer
My marketing resolution for 2016 is to take as much of a data-driven approach to social and digital marketing as possible by finding ways to measure all or as much of my social and digital activity as possible and to utilize that data to adjust my marketing activities appropriately. This is marketing 101, but in the age of social media, it is something forgotten by many. With new tools and technologies, social media is more measurable than ever - it's time to put the data to work.
4. Chad Pollitt | @chadpollitt
My marketing resolution is to keep the helium out of my head all year. You see, marketers are notorious for believing that marketing can solve all funnel problems and that's simply not the case. It's the helium in our heads that cause our brains to constantly float up-funnel. The fact is that sometimes the solution to a funnel problem is a sales solution at the bottom of the funnel. If our sales stinks or we have a massive bottleneck at the bottom of the funnel, no amount of marketing will fix it. Being cognizant of this fact should keep me from wasting time, energy, effort and budget in 2016.
5. Jay Baer | @jaybaer
In 2016 I resolve to do even more video. 2016 will be the year when video becomes a primary content and social marketing consideration for all companies regardless of size or category. Every time I think consumers have reached maximum video consumption, I am proven wrong. And now, it's even easier to create and consume video, especially with the rise of video on Facebook as well as Periscope, Meerkat, Blab and more. In 2016, video will take its rightful place as the petri dish of great social media and content marketing, and I want to be at the front of that line.
6. Phil Pallen | @philpallen
My 2016 resolution is simple: Cut the bullsh*t. I've realized that the best way to market myself, generate clients, and build business partnerships is by being completely straightforward and uncensored. I encourage my clients to let followers see their true selves. It's time to apply that same standard to my own brand.
7. Mari Smith | @MariSmith
My first marketing resolution for 2016 is to increase my video content creation for publishing to Facebook and Instagram. I plan to maximize my use of video tools such as Animoto, ScreenFlow, Flipagram, and Cinemagraph Pro by Flixel. For screencast videos, I like to create short how-to tutorials that are helpful for my audience. For instance, I recently found an imposter profile of myself on Facebook, so I created a short video tutorial showing exactly how to report fake accounts. This video turned out to be one of my highest viewed videos.
My second resolution is to increase my use of visuals. Adobe recently launched Post - an awesome new mobile app for creating designs on the go - it's like Canva for mobile! The app
is very easy to use, works seamlessly with Lightroom, and has a number of unique features rolling out, such as video backgrounds.
My third resolution is to design my work week with more structure. For example, I'm setting aside one day per week just for media, e.g. for doing podcast and radio interviews, responding to quotes for journalists, etc.Plus, I have blocks of content creation times several days a week for writing and recording videos. My overall goal is to maximize my productivity during business hours so I can enjoy more personal time during my evenings and weekend!
Last but not least, I'm looking to hire a few more rock star team members to support my business growth goals in 2016. And, I'm excited to create more collaborations and partnerships with fabulous brands.
8. Jeff Bullas | @jeffbullas
Social media has had a lot of us chasing shiny new toys for many years. In 2015 these were platforms like Blab and Periscope. These are great for the first few steps in the digital marketing funnel (such as traffic and engagement) but not good at the most important piece...conversion.
For too long social media marketers and content marketers have just chased vanity metrics. To the detriment of metrics that matter.
It is now time to focus on "Return on Investment". This is the sharp end of the marketing funnel. That is what a business owner and CEO needs to focus on. ROI!
My marketing resolution for 2016 is to focus on what matters, leads and sales. This will be enabled by a digital marketing platform that allows me to measure, optimize, automate and scale.
9. Christopher Penn | @cspenn
In 2016, one of my resolutions is to increase the scale of marketing data SHIFT uses with open source Big Data tools. As marketers, we have traditionally worked with Big Data in a reductive manner, taking Big Data and "slicing and dicing" until it's Small Data. That was great in the past, but it's not enough any more. Predictive analytics and machine learning technologies, however, require us to work with Big Data and Big Analysis. We must identify trends and hidden opportunities invisible to human eyes, but discoverable by machines in terabytes of data that no human could read in their lifetime. Fortunately, the tools and methods for doing so are more and more within the reach of even the smallest businesses today. Tools such as IBM Watson Analytics are available for as little as $30 a month, and many open source tools such as Hadoop, the R Project, and others are free of financial cost.
10. Matthew Egan | @ImageFreedom
My Marketing Resolution for 2016 is pretty boring, but the boring stuff always tends to have the biggest impact. I need to keep blogging. Content creation, writing fun, skimmable, timely content that is worth sharing on social media has always been one of those things that makes the phone ring for us. We've written pieces and had staff members ask us to hold off on
posting them because they know we couldn't handle the sudden influx of new business. Content is king, so while that may feel like old advice, continuing to do the same tactics that are a bit tedious at times, but that we know has a big impact on both our SEO and our inbound calls, it's a pretty easy resolution to make.
11. Muhammad Saad Khan | @invinciblesaad
At Cloudways, our focus has always been on content marketing. And content marketing was the key strategy that gave us success in 2015.
For 2016, I am going to scale content. I have planned to create more video content, curation, and influencer interviews. I will distribute content where our potential customers are. I will keep building a community of people who are willing to share our content. I will be the part of every conversation related to our business. I will try everything thing on content front to beat all our competitors no matter what. The focus will be on increasing reach by multiplying our content assets and also growing the team.
I have also planned to work with the customer success & sales team on retention. Customer retention & excellent product support will shape our future. Enhancing overall customer experience is the goal to achieve in 2016.
12. Joe Murfin | @JoeMurfin
*Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn't. *
Sounds simple, but we all know the Pareto principle. So I plan to focus streamlining my workflow and my business's workflow so people are happier and results are better for my clients.
Should be easy, right?
13. Ryan Bartlett | @seo_direct
My resolution is to stop becoming a robot on social media and start getting more personal. Engage first, listen, then give back. As opposed to trying to be the wittiest person in the world everyday. It just doesn't work.
14. Erin Bury | @erinbury
My digital marketing resolution for 2016 is to make Instagram ads a key part of our clients' social ads strategies. We've mostly focused on Twitter and Facebook ads, but since Facebook opened up its Instagram advertising platform to all advertisers, I've seen an explosion of sponsored ads. My resolution isn't just to use Instagram ads though; it's to create engaging sponsored posts that will be a complement to users' feeds, not an ad they gloss over. One way I'll do this is through cinemagraph ads - we work with Flixel, and they've created cinemagraph ads for brands like Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, and the Emmys, so I'll use their technology to make sure our Instagram ads are beautiful and engaging.
15. K.P. Kelly | @KP_Kelly
My personal social media marketing resolution for 2016 is to prioritize engaging and relationship building; engage directly with at least 25 people per day (via Twitter mentions, replies, DM's, Snapchat snaps, Facebook messages, etc.).
16. Meagan Nordmann | @MegNordmann
"Pay to Play"
Like many digital marketers, I've been stubbornly holding out on Facebook's "pay to play" tactic for advertising and sponsored posts...for a couple of years. We were spoiled in the early days of organic growth, but those days are long gone and not coming back. I've shelled out money occasionally for very important campaigns, but this year I will finally buckle and put together a robust budget and strategic plan to "get back in the game" on Facebook. At this rate, I need to have a social budget for every single week of the year. Other networks worth having a (smaller) budget: LinkedIn and Twitter.
And of course, yours truly!
17. Shama Hyder | @Shama
I have one specific and one broader resolution for 2016.
The specific resolution: Doing a better job at keeping in touch with our community via email marketing. While at The Marketing Zen Group, we've been huge proponents of email marketing for our clients, we've been remiss in keeping in better touch with our own audience. I do believe email marketing will continue to be a huge driver in community building and lead nurturing.
The broader resolution: To continue to stay ahead of the trends and emerging platforms so we can keep our clients best informed. Digital marketing, more than almost any other industry, requires staying ahead of the curve. Often, the window to maximize a new trend is small and fleeting. It requires foresight and agility. In 2016, we will continue to foster both of these at our digital marketing agency.
There you have it! From going back to the basics to using more video, it's evident that pretty much anything can be improved on for the coming year.
Shama Hyder is founder and CEO of the award-winning Marketing Zen Group, an integrated web marketing and digital PR firm. She is also an international speaker, bestselling author, and a regular media correspondent for major networks ranging from Fox Business to Bloomberg. Connect with Shama on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.