10 Small Business Marketing Tips for The New Year
If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to think about your business goals for 2016 and how you plan to achieve them. To help get you started, we’ve highlighted 10 marketing tips every small business owner should consider in 2016.
1. Determine your business goals
What do you want to accomplish in 2016? When setting goals, ensure that they measurable and include deadline dates. For example; one goal may be that you want to get a website up and running by 30 June. Write down all of your business goals for 2016 then break them down into smaller tasks, so you can tackle them one by one.
2. Identify your target market
Who are you marketing your products / services to? Do your research – what channels and content do you need to focus on to reach this target group?
3. Develop key messaging
What messages are going to entice your target market to notice you and to take action e.g. purchase your products or services? Think outside the box and continue to promote your brand and products/ services with this type of messaging throughout the year.
4. Decide on an overall content strategy
How are you going to get your key messages out to your target market? Create a list of all the ways you are going to reach your audience including press releases, blog posts, social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), email marketing campaigns and articles etc. Once you’ve decided on the channels you’re going to use to get your messages out there, transform these messages to suit the individual forms of media. By doing this, you can increase SEO (search engine optimisation) and help get your brand and products / services noticed.
5. Create a marketing calendar
Organise your time by creating a month-to-month marketing calendar specific to your marketing plan. Highlight key development phases and important dates such as advertising deadlines etc. Just be sure you give yourself enough time between tasks to execute your plan.
6. Develop your content
Start writing by transforming your key messages (as outlined in tip 3) into blog posts, press releases, articles and social media posts. Just be sure that when you’re developing your content that you’re not coming across as too ‘sales-y’. Focus your efforts on creating content that is informational and/or educational and only subtly refers to your products or services.
7. Establish relationships with your target audience
Publish your content! Interact with your audience by asking for feedback and reviews on your blog and social media posts. Begin to establish trust with consumers by posting responses to blog posts that discuss your brand, products or services.
8. Spread the word
Publicise your blog posts, press releases and social media posts. Find ways to entice your audience to make return visits to your social media platforms, blog and website. Allow word-of-mouth to take its course.
9. Measure your results
After each marketing tactic is carried out e.g. blog posts or social media marketing, you need to measure the results. The primary goal here is to learn what’s effective as well as what didn’t work out as best as you had hoped. Pay close attention to metrics such as Facebook likes, re-tweets, blog comments and page views on your website.
10. Make necessary changes
It’s normal for some aspects of your marketing plan to be less effective than others – particularly in the beginning. After you measure the results of each tactic used (step 9), take some time to consider the problem areas and edit the plan accordingly…then go again!