Guest post by: Dave Thomas
In a time when the economy is still trying to sail a steady course, it isn’t uncommon for business owners to wonder if they are doing all they can to attract business. This is especially true at the start of a new year.
There never seems to be enough entrepreneurs can do to promote their companies to waiting consumers. When the economy is on shaky ground, that challenge becomes even more taxing, meaning business owners must find the right message to deliver in the right venue.
So, what are some of your goals to improve your marketing effectiveness in 2013? If you haven’t given it any thought yet, it’s about time you did before you find yourself in a downward spiral. Consider some of these options going forward:
- Traditional advertising. It isn’t uncommon to hear that some companies have cut back on traditional methods of promoting their businesses like radio, television and newspaper ads. Traditional media costs a lot, and consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to browse and shop. As a result, advertisers need to look long and hard before spending big dollars on traditional advertising tools. Newspaper readership is in decline, and TV advertising needs to zero in on specific markets that will likely provide the best returns.
- Online advertising. It is hard to go wrong with advertising on the Internet these days thanks to the relatively low cost, ease of measurability, and potentially broad reach of online ads. However, some types of ads – like pop-ups for example – can backfire by annoying your strongest prospects. If you are planning a banner ad campaign, keep in mind that placement is always key. Look for sites that would traditionally be visited heavily by your prospects. Finally, make sure the data you need to measure your effectiveness is being recorded, and analyze that data on a regular basis to learn what works best and what doesn’t work at all.
- Blogging. Whether you have your own company blog or write guest posts on other relevant sites – or do both – blogging can be an effective, ‘free’ tool to promote your business. Find other sites relevant to your business that will allow you to guest post, and you can pull in some extra visits back to your site. Do some keyword research when preparing your guest posts, and analyze the traffic you’re getting from your posts to see what’s working best. Also, make sure that your own company blog is updated regularly, as you don’t want to turn off potential visitors as soon as they arrive.
- Social networks. If you do not already have company pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, decide which social networks best meet your needs and get it done. Social networks allow you to engage with customers and prospects in real-time, providing them with relevant and timely information. Their strongest point may be the ease with which your posts can be shared. If you do not have the time to manage your social accounts, consider getting help from an outside source. The most important tasks for managing your social presence are regular updates and prompt responses to questions and comments visitors may post on your social pages.
The effort you put into marketing will go a long way in determining how successful you are in 2013 and beyond. We’ve touched on just a few ideas here. When you are looking at ways to refocus your marketing efforts, the sky’s the limit.
How are you refocusing (or hoping to refocus) your marketing efforts for 2013? Please leave a comment.
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