The New Year is well underway, and many people are making plans for positive personal changes in 2014. Everything from house cleaning and de-cluttering to increased fitness and income are on the agenda. Business owners should adopt the same strategy for 2014. It's time to focus on your online presence and marketing efforts. By improving in these areas, you will grow your client base and your profits. The following tips will help you create a plan for improving your online marketing strategy this year.
This should go without saying in this day and age, but we are still seeing many small businesses that have no website, or an ineffective one. Some businesses have a placeholder page, or a bare-bones website that provides little-to-no information about the business and its offerings. This is one of the biggest turn-offs to consumers. If you don't have a well-crafted website, you are way behind the power curve, and this should take priority over all other marketing efforts. Not sure how to go about this? Hire an expert to handle it for you. Need help? Our local search marketing plans come with a custom microsite.
Social media is huge, and one of the best and least expensive ways to reach out to current and potential customers. If you aren't using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you are losing out. Develop a weekly posting plan. Make sure these updates have substance and provide valuable information to visitors.
Estimates show that nearly 40% of mobile users are accessing websites via a smartphone or tablet. If your site is not mobile friendly, you are likely losing revenue. If you aren't a pro here, hire someone to develop a mobile-friendly site for you. The expenditure will be recovered quickly when your traffic and sales increase.
A newsletter may sound "old school," but it's still a great way to reach out to current and potential customers. Just make sure that your newsletter or marketing email has timely, relevant information. Coupon codes and sales are a great way to draw people in. Once you have their attention, then you'll get their business.
This is another way to reach out to current and potential clients. Many people are so overwhelmed with work, family and other commitments, that they just don't have time to do their shopping in person. Create an online storefront with a secure shopping cart and easy way to search for products and then make a purchase. Clients will thank you for this by buying what you are selling.
Check Out the Competition
Another way to do better is to see what works for other businesses in your industry. Online research or in-person networking groups are great for gleaning this information. You shouldn't copy them exactly, but you can borrow some of their ideas and tweak them to fit your needs.