2015 has been another year of technological advances and more developments in social media. But more importantly to your business is that your competitors have got better at marketing themselves. Some have got new websites, others have developed their online advertising strategy. In this blog, I’ll be touching on some basic marketing tips to improve your overall marketing strategy for 2016 (the year England win the Euros…maybe).
Try out new marketing software
Automation is a big buzzword amongst marketing peers at the moment. Fighting through my own severe dislike of buzzwords in our glorious industry, there is some substance in the concept of automation. Essentially, software that makes all of our lives easier by saving us time and, therefore, money often involves automating our marketing management processes. Social media management software like Hootsuite and Sprout Social give you a hub to manage all of your social feeds at once. Email marketing services like Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp offer brilliant services to reach out to your contacts and prospects, also giving you the tools to evaluate. WordPress and Squarespace now make it easier than ever to setup simple web pages, and the Adobe Creative Cloud makes professional design software more affordable. Software is improving at the same rate it’s reducing in price. Discovering some great marketing tools that automate your activities and save you time would be a brilliant place to start in 2016.
Critically review your website
In previous blogs I’ve often touched on the concept of reviewing your marketing on a regular basis, and you could argue that ensuring your website is on top of its game is the most important part. Firstly, ask yourself the question (as objectively as possible)… is my website better than all of my main competitors? Why is it? Why isn’t it? Take the rose tinted glasses off and really think about it. After all, for a lot of modern day businesses it’s the first port of call when a customer is looking for your businesses or products/services you provide. Time and time again we see people throw away relatively huge advertising budgets due to a poor website. Don’t let that happen to you!
Try something new
Unfortunately I’m not talking about Ghost Hunting or Zorbing (although they both sound cool!), but adding something new into what you’re currently doing with your marketing. This can be something basic like a regular E-Newsletter, or something more complex like an automated email marketing campaign that starts as soon as someone signs up. Stepping outside your comfort zone can benefit your own personal development in your day-to-day life, and it can have a likewise impact on your business’ marketing strategy. Do you use Periscope? Have you tried Youtube’s advertising platform? How often do you blog? Just answering these questions yourself will give you an idea of the potential that’s out there when it comes to the marketing world.
Be mobile ready
I imagine your website will be mobile ready by now. If it’s not, it’s likely that most of your potential customers visiting your website are pressing the back button. We all do it. If your website is ‘responsive’ then that’s great! But, is the content laid out correctly? Is the structure of the page still relevant on a mobile device? Just because your website is mobile responsive does not mean it’s mobile ready. Being mobile ready also relates to how you appear on social media sites. How does your profile picture and cover photo appear on Twitter and Facebook on your phone? Social media advertising is now heavily focused on mobile users, as more and more people browse the web on their mobile phones. When planning social marketing strategies it’s important to think about a user’s journey from start to finish on a number of devices.
Find out more about your customers
The best examples of great work you’ve done or products you’ve sold are your current customers, who can be both advocates and champions for your brand. Attempting to learn more about them, why they chose your business and what their experience was like, will only have a positive impact on your future marketing and sales strategy. Offer discount incentives for feedback and reviews, that both benefit you and the customer. Once you start to gather data about the reasons people chose your business and why they continue to, is when you can channel more money into refining and shouting about these areas.
In short, 2016 is going to be another year of technological advancement and power to the consumer. Stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new ideas/technology will almost always have a positive outcome in some way. Don’t let your competitors catch you up by standing still!
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