Yes, we understand creating a marketing agenda and fiscal plan for 2013 is not the most fun activity in the world, but trust us, it is worth it in the end. Creating a strong online marketing plan for the next fiscal year does not have to be a tedious task. Mitch Levinson, writer for says “You can avoid being yesterday’s news by putting together your 2013 marketing strategy in advance.”

Fall is a great time to go back and look at your 2012 online campaigns and see which ones created the most amount of tangible revenue. For example, view your Adwords accounts and see which search terms brought the most amount of traffic to your direct website. Also look at all of your online classified postings for 2012, and note which posts got the most amount of calls and why. Go through your time spent on social media marketing and determine the value of each follower or friend you received in the past year. Did you post any online ads or banner ads? If so, determine which ones were successful and why or why not. Make sure you check your content management and search engine rankings if you use a blog or Youtube channel for marketing purposes.

After you have reviewed your online plan from last year, it is time to figure what to keep and where to cut back. Cutting back can be a tough decision, so let me give you a good example using Google Adwords. Adwords is a great tool for businesses. So many people are looking for services or company information via Google search now; they may as well throw the phone books away! But let’s be honest with ourselves, not every month is created equal in the Adwords game. Determine your slowest months and make a fiscal decision to cut Adwords spending by at least half in those slower times. Doing this can help create fiscal leeway for experimenting with other online marketing opportunities, you may have missed otherwise.  In this case, money saved can become money earned.

Create a calendar for your quarterly online marketing campaigns. Once you have determined which online marketing tactics worked out to your company’s advantage last year, you can start creating a marketing calendar for the ones you want to implement this year. For example, if you posted Craigslist ads for a spring sale and got a lot of calls and new customers try and recreate the momentum for the spring of 2013. Create a calendar or timeline for posting new classified ads every day or every other day for the whole month of April. Do this with all of your online marketing campaigns for each quarter in the New Year.

Once you have your basic outline completed, start looking at what you can revamp for the New Year. Put your money on where the revenue is, and that includes your website. Since your website is a direct extension of your company, make sure you have the competitive edge when customers and potential customers are using it. For example, if you haven’t added an e-commerce feature to your self storage site, you may want to rethink the concept for 2013. Check competitively priced do –it-yourself e-commerce tool websites and decide if the money will be better spent on you or a contractor doing the job.

Planning your online marketing strategy ahead of time will help your self storage company become more aware of the content you are putting in front of your potential customers, which is always a good thing. Knowing what works, sticking to a game plan and budget will help you and your marketing team stay organized while giving you the ability to see the return on investment more clearly.

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