There’s a good chance that you want to set some goals for your business right this very moment. But have you taken any time to review your marketing strategy and tactics over the past twelve months?
Reviewing your efforts before setting goals for the upcoming year is so important.
Doing so allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your current strategies. When you know what worked and what didn’t, you’ll be better prepared when it comes time to sitting down and plotting out the year ahead.
But how do you even go about reviewing the past 12 months of your marketing efforts?
On this episode of Talk Copy to Me, you’ll learn how to reflect on the original marketing goals you set at the beginning of the year and analyze your marketing strategy and tactics to determine what’s working and what’s not. You’ll hear all about the various KPIs and analytics to track so you can collect data, and more importantly, how to use that data to make informed business decisions.
Here’s what you should know about reviewing your marketing strategy and tactics
Why reviewing your marketing strategy and goals is vital every year
How to analyze your marketing strategy to determine what’s working and what’s not
What kind of data needs to be gathered in order to analyze marketing strategy and tactics
Here’s what Erin has to say about reviewing your marketing strategy and tactics every year
“You could have all of the qualitative and quantitative data in the world. But if you don’t understand how that information relates to why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing in your business or your short or your long term goals, you may not be able to actually interpret the data correctly, or you may not be able to make smart decisions based on what the data is already telling you.” – Erin Ollila
“Sometimes the goals we may set for ourselves are not really aligned with who we are or what we want to be doing.” – Erin Ollila
“Because as of July 2023, Google Universal Analytics, which is what you’re probably using right now if you haven’t changed over, will no longer exist. You will not get any data from the original Google Analytics and you will only have backdated data from the time that you have turned on GA4.” – Erin Ollila
“If the people that are coming to that post will never click through your call to action because they are just not your ideal clients, that traffic is kind of useless.” – Erin Ollila
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by Otter, an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Erin Ollila 00:00
Hello friends, today is the very first day of my winter break. And I’m so excited to be bringing you an episode that walks you through the steps that I take when it comes to reviewing my year before I do anything when it like setting new goals for the upcoming year. And I’m really excited to do this episode this week, because last week, we had Andrew Libras on and we talked all about business planning, why you need a business plan, and then how to incorporate the goals, we want to set both long and short term into the business plan. So today, we’re gonna go a little further, we’re gonna talk all about reviewing. Now I think when most people start to review their year, or at least what many people that I talk to do is they jump right into the data and analytics that they have. And this is something that I do not do, at least until maybe the third or fourth step. See, what I do is I start with my why. So I don’t look at any data. I don’t do any journaling. I don’t answer any questions that I found in a business book, I sit down and I asked myself, Why am I doing this? Why did I create this business? Why am I offering the specific things that I’m offering, because here’s the thing, you could have all of the qualitative and quantitative data in the world. But if you don’t understand how that information relates to why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing, and your business, or your short, or your long term goals, you may not be able to actually interpret the data correctly. Or you may not be able to make smart decisions based on what the data is already telling you. So I sit down, I really review, you know, why I’m doing this, how I want to feel within my business. And then I do a quick review of the goals that I set early in the year. So I go back to all the goals that I listed out in either December of the year before or January of the year. And I review them because I want to know, you know, did they matter to me one did I achieve them? Of course, that’s one thing we all want to know, like, I set these goals did I achieve them? Did I forget about them. But I think that we want to take it a step further. Now that we’re past these 12 months after we’ve already set the goals, take a second and ask yourself like what are these goals matter to you anymore? I think we get so trapped in this world of like setting these lofty, huge goals, and always having to achieve achieve achieve within our business that sometimes the goals we may set for ourselves are not really aligned with who we are or what we want to be doing. So now that we have the time and the distance of, you know, setting the goals to now reviewing the goals, we’re able to say, you know, yes, these do matter in my business, yes, I’m still passionate about these things, or no, like these goals were created. Because maybe let’s say you’re getting advice from a coach or a business friend about what they were doing in their business. And you thought that you should also be doing something similar. Or maybe they just don’t matter anymore, because you’ve pivoted slightly. And that’s really important to know, when it comes to your marketing, because then later, you’re going to be looking at your numbers, and you’re going to want to make decisions around the pivot. Not around what happened before the pivot. You don’t have to spend a lot of time here. I mean, really, you’re just going to review the goals and ask yourself like whether they still fit, still work or potentially do any of that those goals need to continue into this new year and 2023 for us right now. So now that you remember what those goals are that you set for yourself, I want you to look at your marketing strategy, the one that maybe you predetermined in the beginning of 2022, or the one that you’ve kind of just went along with because it became a habit. And when I say marketing strategy, what I mean here is where are you spending your time or your contractor or employees times when it comes to the content you’ve created or the ads you’re paying for or anything that is marketing related, whether it’s lead acquisition, whether it is copier related, SEO related, how is that time being spent? Did it support your goals? Are you wasting your time or you know, specifically are you wasting your money here? Maybe you’ll determine that you should spend more time in a specific part of your marketing strategy and that will be an eye opener for you. But before you look at the numbers again, start looking at what your Doing and determine whether the firm is giving you any return on your time or financial investment. All right now, you are probably being driven crazy by the fact that I keep saying, don’t look at the data, don’t look at the data, it is finally time to look at the data. Friends, you have reviewed your why you have done a quick review of the original goals that you set in the beginning of the year. And you’ve looked at your marketing strategy to start to make some observations or decisions on what’s working and what’s not. So you’re going to take all of that, and you’re going to bring it to the data that you have. If you’re listening and you’re like, well, Aaron, what data is that I surely hope that you have been tracking some KPIs and gathering analytics throughout the year. If you haven’t, I’ll pause in a second and tell you a few things that you can do. So you can have some information to look at. But for example, some of the KPIs that I track are how many podcast episodes that I have produced, how many times I’ve been a guest interviewed on podcast or within business communities, how many stages I’ve spoken on? What does my SEO data tell me? What does my Google Analytics tell me about things that I’m not even doing, but maybe, let’s say attracting clients to my site. So those are just some KPIs that I potentially focus on. And again, like I said, hopefully, there are things that you’re doing in your business that you can look at that those numbers to analyze what they’re telling you. I want to do a quick pause here before I talk about how to gather some of this information if you don’t have it already. Because I really want to remind you, if you have not done this yet, the absolute must do thing before 2022 ends is to activate or turn on whatever you want to call it, your Google Analytics for your GA for because, as of July, in this year, Google Universal Analytics, which is what you’re probably using right now, if you haven’t changed over, will no longer exist, you will not get any data from the original Google Analytics. And you will only have like back dated data from the time that you have turned on GTA four. So I did a whole episode on this recently with Dina Pruitt. And she explained the importance of this, the details of why this is happening, and how it can benefit you as a business owner, as well as how to actually turn it on yourself in that episode, so I will make sure I put that in the show notes and link to it. So you can head on over there. And listen if you have not yet. But I really want to pump the brakes in this review conversation. And say make sure that you have GA for setup, because you will be in a pickle at the end of 2023. If you don’t have good quality data about everything right everything that Google Analytics can tell you. So let’s get back on the track. Part of what I had said last is that you want to have data to look at. Now what happens if you’re in the situation where you have no data. Now, I would say my best advice here is to think about what data would influence your business. Now I mentioned podcasting as being one of the KPIs that I tracked. And I just think that’s a really easy example. So I’ll stay with it here for a second. If you are a podcaster. And you have not been collecting any data yourself from your podcast, I would say look back on how many episodes that you produced, what was the cadence or consistency of those episodes, then whatever tool that you’re using to publish the podcast, I would say look at that to see how many listens you’re getting, how many people started the episode and then stopped listening, because that’s important as well, you want to know your drop off rate.
Erin Ollila 09:08
So all of that data should already be collected there for you. You just have to manually go in and get it. If you are focusing on SEO, let’s say let’s say you put in some effort on SEO this year, and you are thinking to yourself, well, I know I put in the SEO effort, Aaron but I really don’t even know how to interpret this and I haven’t collected data. Let me just let you know, you’re okay. As long as you have Google Search Console already turned on and set up. They’re collecting data for you. So just head on over to your Google Search Console account and look at what’s kind of been happening in the past year. You can change the date ranges to get data. You can even use your Google Analytics, the universal account to tell you a little bit about SEO when it comes to your website. That being said, if you’re looking for things like keywords or How many impressions versus how many clicks certain words and keyword phrases gut, you want to use Google Search Console. So those are just a few ways that like, first, I would say determine what data you want to look at what will help you make future marketing decisions? And what will tell you if the marketing decisions you’ve been making throughout the year have actually been successful, figure out what those things are, and then go back and manually collect that data. So just some other things to think about when we talk about data. What were some of your top performing channels and tactics, right? I’ve mentioned SEO and podcasting a few times, but social media, if you are investing your time, energy, or your finances in it, is something that you want to understand. Are you on the right platforms? Are you reaching the right people on those platforms? Are you communicating in a way with them, that they’re receptive enough to purchase your products or learn more about you? Or buy your services, look at all of the data that you have, and then determine where’s the best return on investment? It might not be what you think it is, I think a lot of people have misconceptions that they expect certain things are going to have performed well, because they have short time, data, right? Like maybe you did a launch, for example, and you knew that Facebook ads worked really well for you during the launch? Well, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean your ad budget is the best ROI on Holy Year. So you’re gonna want to look at all of those channels, all of those tactics, all of the strategy, and start making some decisions about the ROI. And you can’t just stop observing the data, you need to interpret the data. So I’ve talked about this a few times. And I don’t want to sound like I’m lecturing you here or that you are not intelligent enough to understand that. But I forget to do this sometimes. And I know a lot of the times when my clients will come to me with a data, they’ll give me data, that’s an observation, but they don’t necessarily know how to then interpret it. Remember how I suggested to consider your why, or maybe the goals and the marketing strategies? Well, this influences the interpretation. There is no real data out there that’s going to tell you Oh, yes, Aaron, you put this much of your finances, or you put this many hours of work into, you know, this project that you did, it was an absolutely smart investment, right, you have to look at the data that you’re given, and then determine whether the investment yourself was smart. So this is where I really want you to spend the bulk of your time, I want you to look at the data and keep bringing it back to the why in your business, the goals that you’ve set. So for just as an example, using SEO, if you are focusing on maybe going back into all of your previously written blog posts, or podcast, show notes, and then SEO showing them up, because it is something you have never focused on before. And let’s just say that, I said that in the present tense, but let’s just say that’s what you did in all of 2022. Well, now you are beginning to get some data on those episodes on those blog posts, look at them, and then you’ll be able to start making decisions. Okay, it seems like my audience likes this. Oh, okay. It seems as if people are coming to content that is either more informational, or more educational. Another thing that you want to consider just using this as an example is the content you’ve created, does it have a call to action, right? So like, if you are doing educational content, but you do not want DIY or DIY clients, then you want to redo these things, right? So it doesn’t make a difference. If you get a ton of traffic to an educational post, if the people that are coming to that post will never click through your call to action, because they are just not your ideal clients, that traffic is kind of useless, right? So that’s how we interpret data. We know what our goals are, we know our why. And we can look at each small piece of data to make a decision on whether or not there is a return there and whether or not it was a good time or financial decision. So then after all of this after all of this data analyzation I look at how I can optimize, improve, or just remove things from my marketing strategy in the upcoming year. I’ve already started making decisions as I go through this about what’s working and what needs improvement. So all I really am doing here is taking paper to pen and using it to kind of get my thoughts out because it’s great to analyze data. It is great to interpret data but if you don’t then make a plan or if you don’t, then Make notes. You can’t look back on that same information a year from now to be able to do the same thing you’re doing right now, right like to be able to analyze what’s working and what’s not. So sit down, jot down what it is you want to remove from your marketing strategy. What it is that needs improvement that maybe you want to have within your strategy, but you did not see the return that you were hoping for on this year. And also talk about like, what’s working? What can you spend more time on? What can you spend more money on? What can you optimize, because you enjoy doing, because we really need to focus more on what we actually enjoy in our business. That’s something I hear talked about so frequently, like everyone is frustrated with certain aspects of their business or their marketing. Okay, we’ll stop doing those things. Let’s focus on what it is that we’re good at what it is we find joy in. And that’s a really key thing to think about when we review our year, not just what the numbers tell us, but how we feel. So the final step in all of this is really just some reflection questions. A few of the questions I asked myself are things like, what am I most proud of that I did this year, and it doesn’t have to be an accomplishment. I mean, it can be, of course, it can be an accomplishment. But it could be that you put in a ton of effort into something that kind of failed. Or it could be that you just were consistent with something that you were never consistent at before. So look at your marketing and think about what you’re proud of, maybe it’s the content you created. And that will help guide you to create more content like that in the future, you’re also going to want to look at things like how do you want to feel I talked about this your energy? How do you want to feel over the next 12 months? How can you be better supported in the next 12 months? Because one of the things I keep saying is time or finances, right? So things like contractors, whether they are website designers, writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, those are all things that we can have a financial investment in to make us do things that we feel better about to give us more energy in other parts of our business. Some other things I think about is what are the challenges that you have faced in the year? Did you overcome them? If so how, and if you didn’t overcome them, where you need to work on things a little bit, so that way you can start to see improvement. The next time those challenges come up in your business in your life and your marketing. Now, I know that this is not a you know, sit down. And here are the eight steps. And once you complete these exact eight steps, you will have a full review of your marketing because it really depends on you, your business, your marketing strategy, your why. But I hope that this reflection that I’ve shared with you on how I do my end of year review, we’ll help you sit down and review the end of your year. I really think this is one of the things that gets skipped so often. But it’s one of the most important things that we can do for our business and for our marketing. Because if you don’t know what worked, what didn’t, what you can optimize and what you can like improve on or stop doing. You’re going to just set goals. That could be some of those things that didn’t work. Well. That could be some of the things you want to remove. And you’re not going to factor in all of this information you’ve gleaned over the past 12 months. So like I said, I hope this helps if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them of me and enjoy your holiday season. I will be back next week to talk about setting goals and content creation. Have a great week everyone
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