The new year often starts with ambitions for growth and a conviction to do better than the year before. Yet as soon as everybody gets back after Christmas, it is so easy to fall back into the rhythm of business as usual and roll out a repeat of last year’s marketing plan.
So if there were just 5 new things you could adopt this year to make a real difference to your marketing, what would they be?
Having read a whole host of marketing predictions and new trend analysis over the Christmas period, here is my list of New Year Marketing Resolutions which could really make an impact on your marketing success this year and into the future.
1. New High Quality Website Content
The days of keyword and link heavy content written just for search engines is over. Finally, everybody is having to concede that what Google really wants is high quality content which people will really want to read.
So now is the time to write some great guides on your products and services which will educate potential customers and help them make decisions. Be generous with your knowledge and expertise, lightly optimise the content and you should ultimately be rewarded with more and better quality search traffic.
2. Customer Reviews
We live in a peer review culture. Increasing number of customers will not make a purchase before reading what others have to say about the product and service on offer. By providing real reviews alongside your products or services you can reduce uncertainty and increase customer commitment.
Yet there is more to customer feedback than reassuring the next customer about their purchase. By asking a satisfied customer to review your services you are increasingly the likelihood that they themselves will become a repeat and loyal customer. Its a simple psychological process. By getting a customer to commit themselves to a published review, they then become a bond to that commitment and next time a purchase opportunity arises they are that much more likely to return.
3. Look Offline
When a marketing channel becomes more crowded, it becomes more expensive and increasingly difficult to get your message out to potential customers. This is what is happening online. Increasing numbers of high quality websites, increased competition for search engine position, and rapidly increasing amounts of content is making online marketing more difficult.
So when you look at your marketing plan this year, don’t automatically think that it has to be online. Direct mail, magazine advertising and printed literature are back in the picture as cost-effective alternatives to online advertising and a highly effective way to differentiate yourself from your online competition.
4. Start Thinking SmartPhone
Smartphone usage has now reached that point where everyday businesses can’t ignore it. The majority of your customers will have a Smart phone and research shows that they are using it for more and more things – including finding products and services.
So now is the time to start considering how you can take advantage of this new platform. Is your business easy to find using Google maps? Does your website display suitably and operate well on a Smartphone’s more diminutive screen? Is there a helpful app you can recommend to customers?, or a useful app you can develop yourself to drive more customers to your business?
One thing is for sure. The Smartphone is not going away, so might as well embrace it as early as possible.
5. Get Google+ Going
You may have already reached your limit on time devoted to social media, but Google Plus should not be ignored. Afterall, when the same company generating the vast percentage of your internet search traffic invites you to add more content onto their network you really should accept.
Sure Google+ is a little bit of a ghost town at the moment – especially in the UK – but don’t we all wish we had got well established on Facebook before the other 900 million users joined. As Google+ grows, new users will be looking for businesses and people to connect with providing a great opportunity to engage with a new audience.
Article by Justin Firth. Justin is co-creator of Colchester graphic designers Add Design. Want to keep up with the latest marketing trends and developments? Justin also blogs regularly at Marketing Next at justinfirth.com.