Now that the first full work week of the year is done, you’re probably ready to get going on a prosperous new year for your business. As a successful Raleigh-area business owner, you’re probably setting a financial goal, either for revenue or profit. Such goals are useful, but not if you don’t produce a plan to reach them.
Many of our clients or people who consider us for their marketing team wonder how marketing can help them reach their expansion goals. One thing we always talk about is “the missing puzzle piece” that is keeping your business from growing the way you desire. The missing piece is different for each company; it depends on what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, and what works in your industry. The missing pieces are also different for B2B and B2C.
5 Marketing Initiatives You’re Missing
Here are some standard missing pieces you might add to your marketing this year.
- A new website. If your website is more than five years old, it’s time for a new one. The reason is that technology is always changing. Search engines keep up with these changes and make note of problems in the back end of your website. Those problems mean your site won’t be ranked well in search engine results.
- Pay Per Click and social media advertising. People often don’t want to spend money on ads. In some cases, this is a valid opinion. Some advertising is expensive and difficult to track. However, online advertising is trackable and cheaper than TV, radio, print, or billboards. In many cases, even a few hundred dollars per month spent on advertising — if done correctly — will return that investment and more in revenue.
- Content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big puzzle in itself. What we mean by that: there isn’t just ONE thing you can do to rank better in search results. You must do many things including having an excellent website that loads quickly, listing yourself in various online directories (correctly!), optimizing your site itself for the right keywords, and much more. But one thing most companies can do to help with SEO is to add new content regularly to their website. Google pays attention to that and ranks sites more highly if they are updating their content regularly. “Regularly” means at least once a month, though more is better. Set up a blog on your website and create a plan to add fresh content. That content should be a mix of shorter and longer blog posts that answer questions about your product or service or that your customers will find useful. Of course, we could write a book about content, but that is one way to get started.
- An email newsletter. Studies show over and over again that most people prefer email as a way to communicate with brands and companies. Email is the perfect way to get your name in someone’s inbox once a month. Even if the person doesn’t open it, he or she will see it and remember you. We could write a book about this one, too, but just note that you should get started on this if you haven’t already.
- Social media. We still hear from people who claim they don’t need to be on social media. “My business is all referrals.” “The people who use me aren’t online/are older.” Even if both of those are true for you, set up a Facebook page anyway. Here’s why:
- If someone refers you, that prospective customer will likely go online to learn more about you. What will he or she find? An outdated website and no social media? The referral may be strong enough even if that’s the case, but maybe not.
- Social media counts as part of one of those SEO puzzle pieces. You’re not ranking as well if you’re not on at least one social media platform.
- Facebook users are older. While you probably don’t need to be on Snapchat, your older customers use Facebook. So get a page set up.
- Your competitors are there. Sometimes, you really do have to keep up with everyone else.
- It’s an option for online ads. Without a page, you can’t advertise there, and you’re missing out on a whole set of potential customers.
Outlining Your Marketing Plan
If you’re not working with a marketing person on your team or a Raleigh marketing agency like us, you’ll need to layout your plan and how it connects to your revenue goals. Take a look at the marketing initiatives you’re doing now and those you’re adding. What is your marketing budget? Do you have a salesperson or team, or is it you? (Read about marketing versus sales.)
You might consider which ones will bring in more revenue the fastest. That’s usually advertising. But the thing about most of these approaches is they take some time and work best when working together.
If you’re thinking about what you can do to grow your business in 2020, let us know.