Are you worried that your marketing strategy could use a little more zest as the year closes? Do you have budget and creative ideas that could be solidified now to start implementing your 2017 marketing plans? Whether it’s to get a head start on powering your strategy for 2017 or there is leftover marketing budget to spike some last minute consumers and traffic for your brand, choose some of the following strategies and adapt them to align with your brand’s values. Just a little bit of wisdom: Many of these strategies can either be implemented in house or outsourced to a qualified agency or expert. It’s always good to sit back and make sure employees don’t have too much on their plate and that the ball isn’t getting dropped in certain areas. Additionally, when strategies are outsourced, it’s super helpful to have an expert and outside perspective so don’t feel bad if there are certain areas you want to perfect but don’t think you can do it in house. Just keep in mind that it's important meet frequently with those who you have on a freelance or retainer partnership so that you always have a pulse on all branches of marketing. This time of year is the perfect time to make sure you're budget and marketing plan is balanced with short term and long term strategies. Social media promotions are an example of effective short term strategies while spending budget to invest in a new strategy like influencer marketing would be considered a long-term initiative.

Gather Qualified Leads and Nurture

Depending on what vertical your brand falls into, there are a lot of ways to collect leads now and design a nurturing plan for 2017. The most popular ways to do this are to host a webinar, create a downloadable resource or have people sign up for a newsletter. You can promote this with paid social posts, email blasts and influencer partnerships. Finding ways to organically promote your way to gather leads is key to getting your great ideas or opinions out there and gather new partnerships. Once you’ve gathered new qualified leads, design a way to engage them once a month with creative newsletters, sublime resources and exclusive opportunities. Check out this guide to nurturing your influencers for more in depth information on this topic.

Affiliate Marketing Program Management

Affiliate marketing programs are the most common branches of the marketing tree that get outsourced and rightfully so. This strategy is implemented by more brands than not and requires a lot of attention and knowledge about the rules and FTC guidelines. Organizing payment, monitoring effective partners and keeping up with link generation—using a qualified affiliate marketing agency is highly recommended and great use of budget because it’s easy to track and show teams, bosses or clients how effective this strategy is! If this tactic resonates with you then a great resource to start with is this post.

Influencer Identification and Execution

Influencer marketing is a strategy used by many brands and it can be effectively run in house with a dedicated person. Having a tool like GroupHigh will allow your brand to identify new influencers and keep a pulse on current influencers. If you’re company doesn’t have the bandwidth than outsourcing a reputable company like TapInfluence will cost more but will help you power your influencer marketing. If you’re new to implementing influencer marketing don’t fret, this thorough guide will catch you up.

Tap into Last Minute Holiday Excitement

There are a couple ways brands are using holiday cheer to engage with new consumers. Since most people are online shopping there are a lot of opportunities to put up last minute native advertisement strategies or get the attention of new consumers. Additionally, if there are certain brands that have gotten far in your nurturing phase, sending them a last-minute Christmas gift would put your brand in a positive and friendly light and ensure you stay on their minds. You can also do some paid social promotion and gear it toward last minute shoppers or end of year deals. Whether you do ads on Facebook or partner with your favorite Instagram influencer, spending budget on social is a great way to get a quick spike for the end of the year sales. Organic social has actually declined this fact has led to an increase on budgets being spent on paid social promotions and opportunities. Every brand is different and has a pulse on the channels and voice that is most powerful so the quick and to the point advice is to spend money on last minute social promotions this month.

B2B Brands Can Capitalize on This Slow Period

As many brands are finally slowing down, it’s easier to engage prospects since they are less busy. Touch base with a friendly email or nonabrasive phone call and plan out strategies to engage them and get them excited about putting things in motion for 2017 right now. It may also be helpful to use the statistic that B2B brands are relying on earned media and expert created content more than ever. In fact, 67% of B2B buyers rely on content to make purchase decisions. Can this stat help you plan a powerful outreach strategy for your prospects?

Perfect Your Mobile Strategy

Black Friday showed us that sites need to be mobile friendly and even make it really easy for consumers to purchase via mobile. This isn’t an option it’s a must for brand to survive. If you are questioning how well your site does on mobile, you definitely need to spend budget on hiring someone who can perfect the way your site works on mobile devices.

Create a Short Video

Whether it’s an explainer video highlighting your service or products or it’s an educational or entertaining video that would capture the interest of your target consumers—spending budget on video is one of the most effective ways to be smart about using the rest of your budget. Video content is becoming the highest converting content for many brands and many consumers prefer to digest information in a video instead of reading content on a site. Helpful advice: keep the video under 90 seconds. Seems short but that time by far is the most appealing to interested potential consumers. There are many agencies that you can work with. A quick Google search will help you find a local agency or national agency depending on your preference. A quick quality video should be $5,000 or less. Do you have any suggestions for brands who have some last-minute budget to use? We would love to hear from you in the comments!