Small businesses are always looking to improve their marketing and brand. With the year coming to an end, here are some things that I think small business owners would like to stuff their stockings with in order to get their organization and online community humming in the new year.
Stocking Stuffer #1: Responsive Online Hub
This is an idea that you may or may not have already come across, but it is something that every organization should be focusing on. As most blogs and business articles may have highlighted the trend for 2013 – it is now going to move into the affordable pricing for all business. With plenty of responsive design services available online, small businesses and organizations should be taking advantage in building their websites to be optimized for multiple devices. Why?
Well the way people interact and view content is shifting towards mobile. With ongoing statistics indicating the increase use of mobile devices for browsing, shopping, and content consumption it will be crucial for SMBs in effectively catering to their community.
Stocking Stuffer #2: Dedicated Online Involvement
The hardest part of having an effective branding strategy for the digital landscape. To really have an
effect online – there needs to be a significant amount of time invested in creating engaging content, interacting with audience and continuously improving your online hub. While having a digital media or marketing specialist is a privilege most small business can’t afford, it would be the ideal situation. If this is not an option look into training current employees with the basics of SEO, web design, social media, etc. and have them be involved in all of your corporate efforts online. If that is not an option, look into the different digital branding services available and include these expenses into the annual marketing budget.
Another important factor in having this dedication last throughout the year (avoiding burn-out after the first few weeks) is to include it into the annual business planning. Most organizations budget their expenses for the year, plan their holiday events, promotions but very few include their online efforts into those plans. Create a content calendar, schedule updates, allocate employee (or personal) time to these efforts as they are as important as all other parts of your business!
Stocking Stuffer #3: Analytics Turned Into Analysis
Get involved in analytics – but don’t just track numbers for the sake of tracking numbers and stats. Set goals, measure them and see how you are performing against your own expectations. Having numbers turned into meaningful results (whether positive or negative) is critical into successfully improving upon all of your digital efforts.
The most common website tracking service for website stats is Google Analytics, but having ways to measure social media efforts, email marketing, content reach and other online tactics is important as well. Find tools that are suitable for your organization, employ them and turn numbers into meaningful insights.
Stocking Stuffer #4: Subscribe To a Good Blog
Keeping up with the latest developments within your industry, online trends or just general business news. Blogs are not only a great way to stay up to date, but to learn something new – a way to engage on social media better than now, learn how to edit HTML web pages, increase email campaign responses, etc. Following a good blog can also connect you to industry experts, which can lead to establishing a new network to share ideas and knowledge.
For a good list of online marketing blogs covering everything from design to conversion, you can take a look at a solid list from unbounce here. So snuggle up for the winter season and increase your RSS feed with some of these great blogs.
What would you put as part of your small business holiday wish list for 2013? Leave your thoughts in the comment section and let us know!