Sometimes your big plans just fizzle out. You started off 2019 with solid, measurable goals that seemed very achievable, whether it was to increase your share of voice in the marketplace or boost your online sales. Somewhere along the way, the KPIs you set didn’t get met. Maybe it wasn’t very noticeable at first, but now that Q4 is on top of you, it’s become painfully obvious: you’re not hitting your goals, and you’re not sure what to do to get back on track.

Instead of scrapping your marketing goals for 2019 or changing your annual plan, consider re-evaluating what you’re doing so that you can meet those goals (or get closer to them) by the end of Q4. There are still five months left in the year, three months when people are less likely to be on vacation and more likely to want to get down to business. Here’s what you need to do.

Re-Evaluate Your Marketing Plan and Campaigns

First, take a look at the KPIs you defined for the year. Let’s say one of those was increasing website visits by 25 percent through a content marketing campaign. The biggest metrics you focused on were unique website visits, SERPs for your keywords, and website referral channels. However, you only achieved a 10 percent increase, and you’re not sure where the disconnect is.

That’s when you’ll want to look at your content marketing execution. Zeroing in on the individual tactics you implemented can help you pinpoint what’s working and what’s not.  It could be that, as you cranked out content, it wasn’t grounded in the right keywords. Or maybe the cadence at which content was created wasn’t frequent enough. Whatever the reason, there’s a gap between the implementation and the expected results.

Re-Evaluate Your Resources

After you evaluated your marketing plan, maybe you realized that, not only were you not using enough of the right keywords, you also got behind on your posting schedule. Your editorial calendar is full of well-thought-out blog posts and anchor content like white papers and customer success stories. Unfortunately, your internal marketing team is stretched to its breaking point, working on paid advertising campaigns and more traditional marketing. They had to push back on content marketing simply because they didn’t have the bandwidth.

Alternatively, maybe you did use outside resources. You hired a freelance writer, but you didn’t have a comprehensive editorial calendar for them to work from, or they weren’t able to access your internal subject matter experts as easily as either of you had expected. Or maybe your outside agency didn’t have enough resources of its own to provide the content marketing support that you needed.

Regroup and Pivot

None of these things are outside your control.  You still have Q4 to correct course. Now is the time to bring in an outside content marketing agency – or bring on a new agency – that can provide a much-needed outside perspective for your campaigns. 

An outside agency can do a few very important things. It can help you pinpoint what derailed your 2019 marketing goals. It can show you what has worked and how you can make even small tweaks to your existing campaigns to start seeing better results.

The disconnect between your marketing goals and how you’re currently measuring up could be as simple as not having enough resources, or as complex as needing to rework your full marketing strategy and tactics. An outside agency will know where to focus first, what the easy wins are, and how to plan out the rest of the year so you can finish strong. They’ll also have the resources and experience to move the needle in the right direction on your campaigns. 

And remember, there’s still time to meet your marketing goals this year, even if you’ve fallen behind. Don’t wait until the end of the year, when it’s too late to gain ground. Start now, and see how much you can accomplish with a little outside help.

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