We're currently involved in various planning meetings looking at the last quarter of the year, finalising campaigns for Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas and more. Then we're on to 2019 and with that in-mind it's a good time to remind ourselves to always think longer-term about our online marketing.
A key question on every successful business owner's mind is always "what can I do better next year to realise even more success?" and with this in-mind (having been asked it recently), here are my top 5 tips in regards to online marketing:
TIP 1: MAKE SURE YOU'RE FRESHER THAN EVER
In 2019 there is going to be more choice than ever; where we shop, where we search, where we watch, where we read. Are your dream clients searching Google or Facebook? Are they looking at photos on Pinterest or Instagram? Are they checking email or Snapchat? Whatever the questions, you need to know the answers and look to make the right impression and stand out. This is likely to be a mix of investing in your content development and also your advertising plan. If you want to target business owners for example, then LinkedIn feels right - but did you realise you can do some clever targeting through Facebook ads to reach the same people and get in front of them when they're possibly more receptive to what you have to say?
So invest in design and content to make sure you stand out and look relevant. It's a big turn-off to go to a website that looks like it hasn't been updated for a while, so get into good habits ASAP.
TIP 2: TREAT CONTENT AS AN ASSET
People often quiz me on the importance of investing in content as they see it as a really short-term investment i.e. we write a blog post and it sits on the website until a new one goes above it. They don't reference it continually on social media and they don't email their audience to let them know it's there. So they've invested in the creation, but not the awareness, so it's asking a lot for that investment to pay off. I can tell you now that we get a lot of visits every month via the many blog posts we've written over the years - so the payback is much longer-term than many realise.
Additionally Google likes companies who produce relevant and well structured new content for their website so it can also positively impact your SEO. Other advantages are that a) it helps other people refer you on i.e. they might forward an article focusing on 5 tips to make 2019 a great year (for example!) b) it can save human time if you invest in improving your online customer support area for example, c) it shows you care about what you do, d) it demonstrates good ethical values that you're happy to share information for free and e) it makes your company feel bigger than those who don't.
So think about the current asset value of all your content - if your website and social media accounts disappeared would you miss them? If the answer is not really then you seriously need to invest in building this up because it should be the oxygen for your business.
TIP 3: SHARE THE LOVE!
Gaining traction online takes time, effort and energy. Most of all it takes support, so you've got to think about how you can do this - as a brand but equally as individuals. What can you do to help others (suppliers, clients, charities, your team etc.) which would likely trigger some return loyalty and support? There's a reason many people like, share and comment on other people's posts in LinkedIn - it's because they want to get noticed and they want to appear on the radar of other people for positive reasons. Equally there's a lot to be said for companies supporting causes or charities - because it helps but also it's a way to get noticed for the right reasons.
So if you're stuck for ideas on what you could do to be more supportive, ask your team. I bet they've got lots of ideas of what you could do and who you could help which I have no doubt will return good value for you down the line.
TIP 4: IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT NEW CUSTOMERS
Whilst getting new customers on board is great, many companies we consult with neglect the opportunity to communicate to their existing customers on a regular basis. Having an up-to-date CRM system, running regular email campaigns and having a 'keep-in-touch' strategy for your business are three really easy areas to focus on. In terms of objectives, keep these two close at all times; i) be focused on increasing your annual client value i.e. the amount they spend and ii) bring forward the date of next purchase. If you can achieve one of these, your revenue is highly likely to increase across the year and as long as your pricing is right then your profit should too. On that note and going back to point 1, if you want to increase your appeal, price point and profitability to existing customers, then look to refresh their value in what you sell them.
TIP 5: COLLECT DATE & MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS
You can track and record so much online these days and there are some incredibly powerful tools. On a basic level though it's really key to monitor what's happening across your website, email campaigns and social media so you can work out what you could or should do more of. The more you understand about the good and the bad, the faster you can improve.
I hope this helps give you some ideas of what you need to be thinking about today to help add strength for the future. January will be here in the blink of an eye so don't wait for it to arrive and drag you along...create a plan that you can't wait to implement and make next year a huge one for the business.
As always, if we can help just get in touch and we can arrange an initial review to look at all of this with you.
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