The beginning of the year is a stark stopping point, one which propels us to think. As the old year transitions into the new, we are reminded to take an honest look at what we’ve done, what we didn’t have time to do and what the results were.

The beginning of the year is a stark stopping point, one which propels us to think. As the old year transitions into the new, we are reminded to take an honest look at what we’ve done, what we didn’t have time to do and what the results were.

For many, this is the time to infuse new life into one’s marketing, particularly if a careful evaluation of the previous year indicates that marketing efforts proved ineffective.

If you have discovered that your marketing efforts need to be revamped, pay attention. Below is a step-by-step plan for giving your marketing a makeover.

Clear goals

It is impossible to get directions if you don’t know where you are going. Setting realistic goals is the first step to determining how to accomplish them.

To be achievable, marketing goals should be clear, for example:

  • Aquire 200 new Facebook followers
  • Increase engagement by 20 percent on Facebook
  • Receive 20 positive online reviews
  • Complete 10 more transactions than the previous year
  • List 20 homes

Once you establish your goals, it’s time to get out there and meet them.

Marketing strategy

Now that you know what you want to accomplish, it’s time to create the strategy to do it.

With a planned path in place, you can decide how much to spend, what marketing initiatives make sense and when you can plan to reach your goals.

Of course, your marketing strategy isn’t set in stone. It can be tweaked after a careful evaluation of the results achieved along the way. Never “set it and forget it.”

Instead, keep a watchful eye on your marketing strategy for best results.

Brand assessment

Before you begin investing in marketing, you’ll want to evaluate the strength of your current brand and consider repositioning it to reflect changes in the marketplace.

The right brand should help you communicate your vision, while propelling you to reach and exceed the goals you set.

A thorough brand assessment should involve conducting an internal audit, as well as an external audit to help you to shed light on the value your brand has.

If your findings point to a branding refresh, you’ll want to revamp as a first step in 2018.

Stellar photography

All goals that revolve around improving results call for good photography. This is true of all industries.

Your local restaurant might have the best hamburgers ever, but those who haven’t yet tasted them yet likely won’t be compelled to if bad photos make them look less than appetizing.

Think of the photography of delicious food that the larger brands feature. Makes you hungry doesn’t it? That hunger turns you into a customer, and thus helps the restaurants reach their goals.

Real estate is no different.

Good marketing starts with good photos. Photos not only convey quality, but they also help successfully tell a brand’s story. Images should be professional, provide consistent quality, complement your brand and convey your message.

Visual communication can help you engage with viewers and convert them into clients.

Useful website

Does the design of your website reflect your brand? More importantly, is it helping generate leads? If the answer to either of these questions is a resounding “no,” it’s time to step up your web presence.

A website is a tool that helps you connect with your audience and convert it into clients. Your website should be easy to find (think search engine optimization), should keep your audience engaged and must make it easy for visitors to become leads.

A good website also keeps visitors coming back.

An outdated site is not only buried in the search engines, but it also can be quite off-putting. If your web guy retired and you haven’t been able to access your site in years, that’s a sign that you need more than a refresh — you need an entirely new site.

Social persona

Nurturing your online presence can help establish you as an expert, connect you with your clients, produce referrals and familiarize you with your audience.

In other words, a good social presence can serve to either help you accomplish your goals or hurt you in your quest.

If you spent last year only posting newly listed homes, you are doing it wrong.

Social media is a place to connect, not advertise. If you want to succeed on social, you’ll need to maintain a consistent persona and engage frequently.

Remember all that great photography? This is a great place to use those images to help you connect with your audience.

Lead generation and follow up

If you are looking to increase your revenue, a large part of your marketing strategy should focus on healthy lead generation.

Before you even start to generate leads, you’ll want to organize the ones you have. Leads should be segmented based on behavior — one-size doesn’t fit all in 2018. Make sure that whatever lead nurturing techniques you are using resonate with the correct audience.

Setting up a paid social campaign is a great way to get visitors to your site, and an easy-to-navigate listing page with a one-click form is an excellent way to capture a lead, but what’s next?

If you don’t follow up with the lead, all the effort you put into securing it will be for naught.

Segment your leads, provide them with customized content, connect with them on social and maintain an appropriate level of interaction with them. By doing this, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.

If the new year snuck up on you and you haven’t had time to evaluate your past marketing efforts or plan for your future marketing, the time is now.

Start with detailed goals, followed by a solid marketing strategy, then evaluate your brand, and produce excellent photography, a beautiful website and a rock-solid social media presence.

Finally, implement a no-fail lead generation plan and get a move on, your goals are waiting.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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