Now is a great time to start thinking about your 2013 marketing strategy. As many businesses are coming to the end of the summer season they start looking at their budgets for next year.
We've put together a list of marketing tips we think are going to be important in 2013.
1. It's a mobile world.
If you haven't taken steps to ensure that your online presence is mobile friendly, then now is the time. More and more of your customers are looking for your products and services with non desktop devices and nothing says "pick me" than a great looking, highly functional mobile presence.
2. Content is still king yes... but make it good.
We all know that creating fresh content is important to the search engines but now more than ever it is important to have good content. Content that does more than fill space and provide keywords to the search engines. Make 2013 the year that you decide to become an authority in your area of expertise. Don't forget to start with a plan.
3. Build a Great Marketing Plan
We are big believers in having a plan. If you don't start with clearly identified goals, it can be difficult to know when you have achieved them. Put aside some quality time with a team that knows your business best and identify where you are and where you want to be. This will give everyone something to aim for and point you all in the same direction. Trust me, you will be ever so glad you did.
Although this is now considered a 'given' by most marketers, there are still businesses out there with an online presence that are not tracking their online stats. If you are not aware of how easy and cheap (ie Google Analytics is FREE) it is to get started, please give us a call. One of the great things about online marketing is that you can actually track things that in traditional marketing are rather nebulous at best.
5. Real Time Bookings
If you offer accommodation or services that can be booked in advance, it is very beneficial to incorporate a real time booking system. Put it in an obvious position on every page and watch your visitor engagement numbers rise. Today's consumer is looking for fast, convenient, functional websites that enable them to get the job done.
This could be re-worded as "Be Available". Keep any and all of your communication channels open and updated. If a portion of your visitors engage on Facebook, be sure to have your latest specials or events posted regularly. If your target audience hangs out on Twitter make yourself and your product available there. Social media is about connecting with people. Keep all avenues open so that regardless of your customers choice of device, they will find an accurate you. Again, don't forget to start with a social media strategy.
7. Live or Die by the Review
Third party recommendations can be a significant part of the sales process. In today's world, it has never been easier to find out what other people think of your business. Put a plan in place that keeps you abreast of reviews on sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor so that you can put out any fires quickly or thank those loyal customers personally and in a timely fashion.
8. Know Your Audience
This applies to every part of your marketing plan. Whether it is the copy you write, the newsletter you send or the blog you post. Having a good idea of who your target audience is will help you craft a message that is most likely to resonate with them and generate the action you desire.
9. Traditional Media is Not Dead
With all of the emphasis placed on online these days it is not unusual to see some businesses slashing or eliminating traditional media entirely from their marketing mix. This may not be the right decision for everyone as traditional forms of marketing are still valid for certain types of businesses. Take a moment in 2013 to review whether this may apply to you.
10. Test, Test and Test Again
Recognize that succeeding at business online is about testing, measuring, adapting, testing, measuring and then doing it again and again. Develop an ongoing system that will provide you with continual feedback and you will find that over time you get smarter. And as you get smarter, your site will produce more of the things you want such as leads, sales, sign ups and downloads.