Plan Today to Market Your Small Business in 2014
- Review current projects. Reflect on what has worked and not worked this year. Make corrections now before 2014 gets started. If possible, contact your best customers and ask them for testimonials and/or create case studies while experiences are still fresh in their minds.
- Check on your website. As your business has grown and you have become more adept at marketing, does your website still represent who you are, what you do and how you operate? Make sure it is easy for your customers to understand your offering and locate other information that is critical to their purchases and ability to communicate with you.
- Go mobile. If you want to reach people on the move and increase the chances your marketing will be seen and produce results, make sure your website appears properly and is functional on smartphones and tablets.
Tap into analytics. As the year winds down, review the analytics for your website to get a sense of traffic patterns, most popular pages, pages with high abandon rates, etc. You can use this data to fuel tweaks to the website, as well as the overall marketing plan. In other words, if certain blog posts, social media ads or pay per click campaigns resulted in traffic spikes, this should factor into your thinking for next year.
- Check your online reputation. It is important to monitor and enhance your reputation. This includes optimizing your presence in online directories, such as Yelp and Google and checking for reviews and comments about your company. This post shares ten free tools for monitoring your reputation and Mashable has ten reputation tracking tools worth paying for.
- Tune-up your materials. If you have had the same newsletter template or brochure for several years, it is time to make some updates. Try a new look with some updated graphics, headers, fonts, etc.
- Switch from print to digital. You can save money on printing, fulfillment and distribution by changing to digital collateral such as presentations, e-books, e-newsletters and i-mags.
- Notify contacts about events. Make sure you are sharing the schedule of events, trade show exhibits, webinars and more for the coming year so your target participants save the date.
- Evaluate the competition. Especially if your business experiences a quieter time around the fall/winter holidays, it is a good opportunity to get a read on competitors—their websites, ads, keyword performance, collateral materials and more. Get a sense of their target customers and their differentiators to see how you compare. Ask what marketing tactics they are using to see if you need to make adjustments in your plans. If nine out of ten offer a newsletter signup on their website home pages, it might be a good strategy for you.