With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time to look ahead to 2017 and solidify your marketing plans. In the ever evolving digital landscape, reaching your consumer is going to take more than commercials, print ads, and a Facebook page. These days consumers are tapping into their social networks, relying on online reviews, and consuming content through a variety of mediums. Being where your consumers are these days is going to require a multi-faceted approach. Below are five items to consider as you develop your 2017 marketing budget.

  1. Paid Social Marketing: Having a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and/or Instagram account is a great place to start! However, constantly changing algorithms have resulted in drops in organic traffic, which means getting consumers to your page is going to take a little more effort than a “build it and they will come” mentality. Consider setting aside budget for paid social marketing for the social platforms where your audience visits. Besides the very detailed targeting, the relatively low cost of social media advertising is another appealing factor.
  2. Local SEO: For companies who rely on their local consumer base for revenue, allocating budget towards optimizing your local SEO presence is a must have for 2017. While SEO is important for non-geographic searches, local SEO is vital for reaching those customers who are searching for a local service, restaurant, etc. Because the ranking factors are different for local versus national SEO, make sure that your website is optimized for the localized state of search today.
  3. Shopping Ads: If you sell your products online, setting aside budget for Google and/or Bing Shopping Ads may add another strong stream of revenue for your business. Appearing either on the right side or on the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), Shopping Ads not only take up a great deal of real estate, but are also visually pleasing. With the ability to add your current promotions, sale prices, and enticing visuals, Shopping Ads are a great vehicle to promote your products at a lower cost.
  4. Omnichannel Branded Campaigns: According to Google, 49% of consumers visit a site 2-4 times before making a purchase. These discerning consumers are savvy shoppers who require multiple touch points during the purchasing process. Being present in their everyday routine will be a great way to keep your brand top of mind. Some advertising avenues may include HULU, television, radio, Pandora, or outdoor billboards.
  5. Influencer Marketing: Because consumers look to online reviews and recommendations for many purchases – major or minor, the importance of influencer marketing is on the rise. YouTube has over a billion users and generates billions of views. Tapping into this userbase and finding your target market can be fruitful to your bottom line. By partnering with an influencer who has a large following, you’ll be able to reach your target audience and provide them with a real-time review of your product. YouTube is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to influencer marketing. Reaching out and partnering with appropriate bloggers or reviewers is another way to reach your target audience.

Overall as you finalize your marketing plan for 2017, consider where your consumers are obtaining and consuming their content. With the inundation of information every day, consumers require a little more convincing during their purchasing decision. Be persistent, be relevant, and most importantly provide value to your consumers.