Towards the end of the year and beginning of the new year, nearly everyone makes some sort of new years resolution. And for many businesses, that resolution is to be smarter in how they do business and more specifically be smarter about their marketing strategy to drive new business in the doors.
However, many businesses are still stuck in 2003, and haven’t quite realized we’re now closing in on 2013. This means they’re using outdated marketing strategies and tactics to position their business, when they should be jumping onto the internet to take advantage of more cost effective, result driven marketing campaigns. Whether SEO, PPC, social, or email, online marketing generally offers a better ROI and more detailed tracking than traditional marketing means. Here’s five things your business should be doing to kick off 2013 with a better marketing strategy:
Start By Determining What Does/Doesn’t Work
SEO doesn’t work for every business much like the yellow pages doesn’t work for every business, so take a step back to evaluate what does and doesn’t work for your business. Are you investing $10,000 into print ads but only seeing $5,000 in trackable returns? This might be a strong sign you should consider moving that money elsewhere, possibly into SEO, PPC, or a combination of the two.
Likewise it’s important to determine what does work for your company and allocate more resources accordingly. Are you seeing a 200% ROI through your PPC campaign? If so you may want to scale things up and see if you can continue to see that same ROI if you double, triple, or further increase your budget.
Develop A Strategy To Carry You Through The Year
Planning is extremely important in marketing. We often get clients who tell us their busiest time of the year is a certain month, but they tell us 2 days before that month begins which leaves us little time to get them positioned accordingly in search engines, setup new PPC campaigns, or build out an email marketing campaign. Make sure you plan at least 6 months in advance for your busiest, slowest, and most important times of the year so your marketing strategy can work to its fullest potential and carry you through that time period.
Track ROI, Not Cost
This perhaps is the most important and especially applies to small businesses and newer businesses. I’m always asked “how much will this cost me” which really isn’t the right way to approach any sort of marketing decision (or business decision for that matter). Rather the question should be “What kind of return on investment (ROI) will I see from that?”.
For example, would you rather spend $500/month on SEO and see a $500/month ROI (100%) or would you rather spend $2,500/month on SEO and see a $5,000/month ROI (200%)? It really doesn’t come down to how much you’re spending, but rather comes down to how will what you spend generate new business and how much will it generate? Keep that in mind not just with your marketing decisions in 2013 but also with any type of business decision.
Stay Ahead Of The Curve
Do you feel like your business is years behind the trends or always behind the curve? It’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve as the internet allows the world, both online and offline, to change at an extremely rapid pace. However make sure you’re at least keeping up with the latest trends in marketing. Do you have regularly updated profiles on major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others? Are you making sure your website’s content is in lines with Google’s Panda and Penguin updates? Is your email marketing campaign following the latest best practices and laws to get the best ROI possible?
It’s important to keep up with all the latest developments and trends and to make sure your in-house marketing team or contracted marketing firm is able to assist. We like to take the new year to meet with all our clients to inform them of changes we see in trends and any other important updates that they should be aware of as we roll into a new calendar year.
Act On Your Plans
This is perhaps one of the most important, but many businesses have grand ideas of how to market their business but fail to act. We get new leads all the time from people who then take months of years to get the ball rolling with online marketing, all the while missing out on thousands upon thousands of dollars in potential new revenues.
It’s important now more than ever to be quick and concise with marketing and act on your plans, because if you don’t by next year they may be a thing of the past.
Any small business needs good marketing to be successful and competitive, so make sure your business is well positioned in 2013 to be the best it possibly can be!