A New Marketing Strategy for 2018
Every year around this time we begin identifying our goals and resolutions for the rest of the year. We start off with the best intentions, but, some resolutions are easier to keep than others. Your marketing strategy, for instance, you've either managed to keep it alive or vowed to create one. If you have one it can be described as inconsistent or erratic at best.
The digital landscape definitely makes marketing your small business easier in many ways, but can at times become cumbersome. Where do you start? How can you be more effective with Social Media? So, as we begin this year, we've compiled a short list of tips on launching and maintaining your marketing strategy for 2018.
First, let's look at the current state:
- Let's face it, things today change rapidly. The content on your website is no longer relevant. It needs to be re-written, edited, repurposed or scrapped entirely
- Even worse, Your website has no new or up-to-date content. In the eyes of your audience, you don't exist anymore.
- Your Social Network is abysmal:
- There has been no growth in any of your channels.
- There haven't been any new posts in weeks, months, or even the year.
- There has been no open communication between you and your audience.
- Your website is still not responsive, which means it doesn't work well with mobile devices, which in turn means you're losing out on a ton of potential business.
1. New Website, new face.
Rebuild your website, one that's fully responsive (meaning it will translate your message nicely to the mobile environment (iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.) and build it on a current content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, it will only make things easier.
2. Keep your front end clean, and your backend stocked.
The pages on your website need to look inviting. They should be bright and welcoming, while still getting your brand message across. You can achieve this by seeking the professional advice of web design firm [like Chirp Media] to provide your company's website with a better user interface (UI) which will, in turn, provide your customers with a better user experience (UX). Providing a positive and engaging user experience, potential and existing customers will delight your visitors in coming back for another piece of that delicious cake.
Cleaning up your backend is achieved through Search Engine Optimization (i.e., the process of improving search rankings of your website through a series of metrics and procedures such as keyword analysis, code optimization, content optimization, and link building). It's important to visualize and understand that your company website is a concrete tool. It's not enough to just leave the lights on these days. It should be treated as a physical extension of your business, and like any part of your business, you need to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) and measure them regularly.
3. Blog. Blog. Blog. Make your voice heard.
Blogging is a great way to maintain a consistent dialogue with your customers. Your blog is the one space your company website can produce regular updates without disrupting it's more anchored aspects. Regular content updates improve the overall rank of your website. Blog proactively... about your business with relevant content. Blog about your employees, your promotions. Hell, blog about your company history. It doesn't have to be exhausting or in depth. The slightest blip on the radar, in the form of a blog post, checklist or even a how-to, will up your company's online presence and influence.
4. Say thank you, and engage.
Maintain regular correspondence with your customers and partners with marketing like Constant Contact, MailChimp and HubSpot CRM. Send out regular eblasts, promotions and newsletters. Use giveaways, grabbing goodies from sites like Couponbox.com or barter exchanges like exmerce.ca to peek your customers' interest to keep them subscribed and engaged. Something like sending a simple handwritten thank you card can go a long way in customer retention, turning your customers into evangelists of your business.
5. Feed your social network, it's hungry.
They don't call it a feed for nothing. If you don't already have a Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter page for your business, resolve to launch at least one in 2018 (remember to target where your audience is when choosing). If you've already got one or all of them, and they've grown dormant and collected dust. Dust them off and get them working for your business. Don't be intimidated, keep it simple and enjoy using them.
6. Be an opportunist.
The largest commitment you need to make when managing a successful marketing strategy is time. The digital space is vast. So always be on the lookout for opportunities to promote your business. Your marketing strategy will dissolve and your efforts diminished unless you care for it on a regular basis and that sometimes means stealing a moment whenever you can get it, not just during standard business hours.
Stay inspired, spend the time just looking at what is being done, and always be on the lookout for new opportunities to promote your business in different, and out of the box ways.
7. Create contact influence.
Sponsor a high profile event in your area. Popular events typically promote themselves. People will attend the event, they check in, and take pictures. Tagging individuals from head to toe with potential customers. The buzz spreads like wildfire.
Participate in events that are not in your industry. It's amazing how many potential customers you can find at events where no one else in your industry is at. Become the first phone call an accountant makes when they need guidance on a topic within your wheelhouse.
8. Align your values, get smart.
Stop thinking that similar businesses are your competition. Rather an additional marketing and collaboration source. Aligning your business' and personal values with like-minded individuals can create unexpected growth. The ability to pass projects back and forth during busy times sets both business up for success and a lasting fruitful relationship. Sometimes the best rewards come from the least expected places.