Wondering about your marketing strategies for 2014? Many small businesses earnestly create marketing plans, but our strategies last as long as New Year’s resolutions.
Invariably, Murphy’s Law applies. We want to try the latest big new thing (content marketing, perhaps) but whatever we try turns out to be more complicated than we expect. Or it needs more resources that we have. So we pull back and focus whatever’s familiar, even if it’s expensive, and no longer works as well as it once did.
Let’s look at four tearless and fearless marketing strategies. Tearless because they’re free. They just take time. Fearless because they’re easy.
1. Do more of whatever worked for you in 2013.
What worked for you in 2013? If you’ve got an ad that’s been running in your local paper for three years, keep it up. Your customers are used to your ad. They expect to see you there. However, consider experimenting a little. Could you run special offerings for new customers?
If you’re using Twitter to manage customer service, keep doing that. Consider creating a Twitter-specific page on your website to welcome new customers, and tell them who you are.
2. Get found online: blog.
Does your business need a blog? Probably, if only because it will:
Improve search engine rankings – The more content you produce, the more likely you will be found by your prospects when they are researching your industry online. As long as you have a content marketing strategy in place, optimizing for specific long-tail keywords, you should see a significant increase in search engines rankings.
Here’s the easiest and laziest way to answer the “blog or not?” question. Check your competitors’ websites. If they’re blogging, your customers will expect you to do the same.
If you hate writing, post images of your products, your customers, or your town. Blog whatever YOU like. Treat your blog and your Twitter account as your customer service department: help your customers, and your prospective customers, and you can’t go wrong.
3. Forget about the “shares.” Think: “conversions”.
If you’re using social media marketing, Search Engine Journal offered this advice in content marketing trends for 2014:
The main thing that we expect to see in the New Year is for marketers to shy away from the cheap, clickbait content that inflates “vanity metrics,” and move more towards creating niche-specific, high quality content that provides value to their followers.
When you provide valuable content, your visitors will stay on your website longer. This gives you more opportunities for conversions (sales.)
4. The Web means Google and that means Google+.
If you’ve ignored Google+, revisit the network.
As Brett Nuckles suggests:
Getting on Google+ will help Google’s Web crawlers index your site, leading to higher placement during a Web search. It will also ensure that customers get the right information when they search for your business on Google.
2013 has been a big year on Google+; the network is becoming more useful by the month. Google’s sinking money into it. Studies suggest that Google+ has over 500 million users, and that almost 70 per cent of marketers want to learn more about the network.
What marketing strategies are you thinking about for 2014? For me, the mix is much as before. I’ll be blogging, and will remain active on social media. Wherever you are in the world, I wish you much success in 2014. :-)