A New Marketing Strategy 2018
As a small business owner, you too have your share of new year’s resolutions. You begin each year with the best intentions. But, let’s face it, some resolutions are easier to keep than others. Take your marketing strategy, for instance. You’ve managed to keep it alive over the years with an action plan that can be described as arbitrary at best.
Thankfully the digital frontier makes marketing your small business a little easier these days. And so as we begin anew this year, we’d like to offer you a few simple tips on launching a marketing strategy for your small business in 2018.
First, a damage assessment:
a. The content on your website is no longer relevant. It needs to be either re-written, edited, or scrapped entirely.
b. Your website is not responsive, which means it doesn’t translate to mobile devices. Translation: you’re missing out on a load of potential business.
c. Your Social Networking skills are just sad:
- Your Facebook feed is starving, because you haven’t fed it all year.
- Your Twitter page doesn’t tweet, it coughs.
- Your Instagram isn’t instant, it’s so 2013.
Resolve to jumpstart your marketing strategy in 2018 with these 7 useful tips:
- New website, new you. Rebuild your website, one that’s fully responsive (meaning it will translate nicely to the mobile environment (i.e., iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, etc. ) and built on a current content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
- Keep your front end clean and your backend stocked. Say Wha??? Think of your website like a virtual bricks and mortar store. Located on the corner of Revenue Street and Potential Avenue, your website is open twenty-four hours a day. And just like any store, the pages on your website (aka the “front end”) need to look inviting. You can achieve this by seeking the professional advice of a web design firm [like yours truly] to furnish your company’s website with a better user interface (UI) which will, in turn, provide your customers with a better user experience (UX). As for the back of your store (aka the “backend”) you have to keep it stocked with the right inventory. This is achieved through Search Engine Optimization (i.e., the process of improving the search rankings of your website through a series of metrics and procedures such as keyword analysis, code optimization, onsite optimization, and link building). In other words, if you imagine your company website as an actual concrete thing, then it’s not enough to just leave the lights on these days. You’ve got to treat it like an actual physical extension of your business, whether you see yourself as a shopkeeper or not, keep your shop clean, the shelves stocked, and the lights on.
- Blah. Blah. Blah. or Blog. Blog. Blog. It’s all good. Blogging is a great way to maintain a regular dialogue with your customers. Your blog is the space on your company website that can undergo regular updates without disrupting it’s more stationary aspects. Regular content updates improve the overall rank of your website. Blog proactively…about your business. Blog about your employees. Blog about your promos. Blog about your company history. It doesn’t have to be exhausting or very in depth. The slightest blip on the radar, in the form of a little blog post, combined with a series of regular blips, will up your company’s online profile.
- Treat ‘em like pen pals. Maintain regular correspondence with your customers with marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp. Send out regular eblasts, promotions, and newsletters. Use giveaways, grabbing goodies from sites like Couponobox.com, to peek your customers’ interest to keep them subscribed. These marketing platforms are effective, easy to use, and they come with built-in metrics that allow you to measure customer behavior. Not bad.
- Feed your social network on a regular basis. After all, they don’t call it a feed for nothing. If you don’t already have a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram page for your business, resolve to launch one of each in 2018. If you’ve already got one but they’ve been lying dormant, now’s the time to dust them off and get them working again. Don’t be intimidated. These platforms are inherently designed to be fun to use. So have a good time with them, and keep it simple. Take your company content and slice it, dice it, and tailor it to the digital marketplace. Once you’re done with those three platforms, considering adding another to your cadre of apps like YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, or Google+. The more the merrier.
- Be an opportunist. The biggest commitment you need to make when managing a successful marketing strategy is time. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to promote your business. The digital space has essentially turned everyone into a potential guerilla marketer. But marketing can be ephemeral and pretty fickle. Your marketing strategy will dry up unless you care for it on a regular basis, and sometimes that means stealing time when you can get it, and not just during regular business hours. Stay inspired, and always be on the lookout for new opportunities to promote your business in different, unconventional ways.
- Get a contact buzz! Sponsor a high profile event in your area. Popular events often promote themselves organically. People attend the event, they check in, take pictures, and tag the room from head to toe with potential customers. The buzz spreads like wildfire. Get buzzed by proxy by sponsoring events that are consistent with your business model.
Resolve to build a better marketing strategy for your business in 2018. Contact Go Media, your Cleveland marketing specialists through the power of design.
Happy New Year! Now get back to work!