Revamp Your Marketing This Year
Now is the time to start revamping your marketing for the year to come, to get that bottom line looking healthy for the year ahead. Here are some pointers and tips to get the most out of your marketing budget.
Take a look at your marketing activities in the past year. Evaluate what strategies worked and what did not as well as the potential reasons why they did/did not succeed. Doing this self assessment can help you to identify possible future strategies. Keep in mind that because a strategy worked in the past it does not mean that it will succeed in the future and vice versa, careful planning and research will still need to be carried out. In addition to looking at what you have done in the past you should also take a look at future and where you want your business to be. You may want to diversify into different business areas or transition into another field completely. Knowing where you want your business to be going will allow you to plan marketing activities that will direct you towards this end goal.
Know your competitors
You may know exactly what you are doing but your competitors may be another story altogether. Your unique selling proposition will be dependent on what you do compared to your competitors. In a continuously evolving business environment it is imperative for you to keep one eye on your business and the other on your competitors.
Know your customers
If you know who your target audience is then you are already in a good position to know how to reach them (both through the medium and the message). Similarly to your competitors, your customers are evolving. What may been important to them once could be no longer valued. Building long lasting relationships with your customers is a great way to identify and cater to their changing needs and desires. If you are able to nurture your relationships with your customers you may find that they become brand ambassadors, spreading awareness of your business through word of mouth.
Keep your website up to date
It may seem obvious to some but letting a website fall dormant is a common occurrence for small businesses. Your website may be a potential customer’s first point of contact with your business and if it is out-dated or has no longer relevant content/information you may have lost a potential sale. Furthermore, Google ranks its search results based on content as well as keywords so whilst keywords remain relevant your website’s content may not. The lack of relevance of your online content may result in a lower Google ranking and therefore less visitors.
Social media profiles / blogs – are they active/up to date?
Its good to have a profile on every social media platform under the sun, however, as a small business you have time constraints. Having one or two active profiles better serves your business than 5 or 6 inactive profiles.
There are a number of free online software programs that can help you manage multiple social media platforms (eg. HootSuite and TweetDeck) Another social media tip is to be active but not annoying/over cluttering your fans/likers/followers with ‘advertising’, they want you to share information that is relevant to both them and you. A social media plan can help you manage this, outlining campaign timings well ahead of time
Make use of partnerships with other companies to help increase awareness. This can be very useful if you are a new business or are trying to transition into a new field and consumer awareness of your business and what you do is very limited. Partnerships within the community can also help your business build a reputation as a valued member of the community.
Your message may alter according to the type of communication with the consumer, what should not is the way you communicate it (the feel – ie how the layout looks, the language used etc)
The benefit of consistency across your communication channels is the reduction in confusion of the message itself by the consumer. Consistency in how you interact with customers online and offline. It doesn’t matter whether your customers deal with your business online or in person, they should be receiving the same quality service. Discrepancies in your service will inevitably be communicated across channels impacting your relationships and ultimately you sales.