How can a small business prepare their marketing for the new year?

Business Content Marketing Email Marketing

As a new year begins, it’s a great time for small businesses to re-evaluate their marketing plan.

2017

What worked in 2016 may not always be the best bet for 2017… and what didn’t work, well, it should be thrown overboard.

Develop a content marketing strategy that prompts action.

Make a plan that will help your content and messaging reach more people, whether that involves social media sharing, outreach to media or traditional advertising.

Consider adding video to the mix, spotlighting your products or services. 64% of visitors were more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it online, while 90% of online users say product videos help in the decision-making process.

Make sure your website is still a good fit.

We all know an outdated website design when we see it. They have cheesy graphics, lots of textures, and they just look dated. In any industry, that’s a huge turnoff. It shows your website is nothing more than an old brochure.

38% of users will stop engaging with a website that is unattractive, while 51% of users have trouble finding the contact information they need. Other times it’s not the design and layout that are the problem; instead, you just have old content that doesn’t reflect your mission, achievements or projects.

No matter what, make sure the website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate on tablets and phones.

2017-collage

Update products in your online store.

It’s a new year, so make sure new products stand out, and at the very least, update how current products are presented. Create new product descriptions and add new high-resolution images to put a fresh spin on offerings. Make sure your products keep up with changing trends.

Embrace the ROI of an effective email marketing campaign.

You have an email marketing list, right? If not, you should, as they produce an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent — if used properly. Consider using detailed analytics. Track which messages are opened and by whom. How many people click through to your website, and how many take an action once there? Use this to determine if it’s time to rework the message. Emails cost very little to send, but it’s important to hone the message. Otherwise you’ll end up in the spam box. Also, like websites, make sure your email marketing is designed to work on all devices, as 75% of Google’s 1 billion email users check their mail on a mobile device.

Consider using detailed analytics. Track which messages are opened and by whom. How many people click through to your website, and how many take an action once there? Use this to determine if it’s time to rework the message. Emails cost very little to send, but it’s important to hone the message. Otherwise you’ll end up in the spam box. Also, like websites, make sure your email marketing is designed to work on all devices, as 75% of Google’s 1 billion email users check their mail on a mobile device.

Emails cost very little to send, but it’s important to hone the message. Otherwise you’ll end up in the spam box. Also, like websites, make sure your email marketing is designed to work on all devices, as 75% of Google’s 1 billion email users check their mail on a mobile device.

Build your social media presence.

Social media can be a love-hate relationship, as it doesn’t usually lead to direct sales. Rather, it creates engagement and buzz, along with back of mind awareness.

Content consumption has increased 57% in the past two years on social media. But remember your target demographics, as only 35% of people age 65 utilize it, compared to 90% of millenials.

Make sure your profiles across the platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, etc., are all up to date. On some, like Facebook, you can now add a list of services, and, of course, reviews are always important.

This is the time to explore new ideas, create fresh content and use what you’ve learned from past marketing endeavors to draw in more customers.

Conversion is the name of the game. Let’s talk about how these 5 tips can get your business ready to bring in new customers as the year changes.

This column originally appeared in Inside Columbia’s CEO Magazine.

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