A new year is here and small business owners are ready to go with marketing their brands like never before. Atleast, this is what we tell ourselves.
As you begin your marketing journey in 2020, we want to remind you of 20 things to include in your strategy.
1. Redefine your audience.
At the beginning of your marketing journey, you took time to define your audience. (We cover this step in Core Elevation in our Elevation Academy.) What most small businesses fail to do, is evolve their definition of their audience as it evolves. Because we forget to do so, we find that our old tactics no longer work. It may be time to redefine the demographics and psychographics of your target audience.
2. Evaluate your current marketing efforts.
Hopefully, you are not headed into a new year throwing fuel on an old flame. Setting measurable goals from the beginning is key to understanding what is effective in your marketing. So, although we are into a new year, don’t forget to look back.
3. Decide where you will focus your social media marketing energy.
Having a presence everywhere is great. But, two things are true. It takes a ton of time and resources to proprely maintain every channel and your audience isn’t everywhere. Take a moment to rank your social media marketing outlets. Put the top 2-3 as a top prioirity for content creation and posting. Then, put the reamaining channels on cruise control. As long as people don’t visit a channel and see you’re not post at all, it will be fine. Use your time, energy, and resources wisely.
4. Build your marketing funnels.
Funnels is a dirty word to some small business owners. But, you need to have a handle on the journey you’d like your customers to take. Having a funnel defines each step in the customer life-cycle clearly. Good funnels means that your audience doesn’t have to guess where you want them to go or do and how to make it happen.
5. Build your prcoesses.
On the other side of marketing funnels is cutomer process. There nothing more heartbreaking than a customer going through a great funnel only to have their experience fall apart after they have opted-in. Customer service and processes is just as important in your marketing as funnels. Having a smooth process means good testimonials, repeat customers, and increased brand awareness.
6. Set goals.
This one seems self explanatory. Yet, somehow, despite all of our motivation around better marketing in a new year, we overlook this step. You have likely set revenue goals. But, have you set marketing goals that are quantifiable and that will get you there?
7. Learn more about marketing.
Even if you are outsourcing your marketing, it is your responsibility to have some level of understanding about your marketing needs. Take classes, watch webinars, follow marketers, or read books. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of your business. Take time to gain knowledge that helps grow your business.
8. Ask your audience for feedback.
Don’t find out on a social media thread of “me too”s that there is a flaw in your customer experience. Be proactive. Ask for feedback regularly. Use that feedback to guide how you decide to evolve your marketing efforts.
9. Give your non-digital marketing channels some love.
Are we in a digital marketing world? Yes, we are. But there is a special marketing power in the non-digital touch. Becaus consumers are so used to getting everything in the palm of their hands, they give special attention to non-digital efforts. Don’t miss any opportunities.
10. Try new social media features.
Social media platforms have given us so many new features to play with. Most of them help us engage our audience in an intimate way. Don’t be afraid to try new things and meet your audience where they are.
11. Be personal.
There is more to marketing your brand than going through the motions of selling. Show your brand’s personality as often as you can. If you haven’t spent time in the past developing your brand tone and voice, now is the time.
12. Interact with others.
Digital marketing requires that we interact. Simply posting your own content and only responding to those who respond to your content is not a good practice. If you see a particular customer always comments on your posts, take a moment and follow their account and interact! Interact with other businesses in your area or in complimenting industries. Be social.
13. Be trustworty.
When marketing a business, the best thing you can do for your audience do what you said you would. It isn’t uncommon for a brand to make empty promises these days. If you say you’re goin live, go live. If you say you’re doing a giveaway, give it away. Don’t let a lack of participation or fear keep you from being true to your word. Customers remember.
14. Decide your marketing mix.
Most small businesses have multiple services and products to offer. What mix of products and services will help you reach your goal? Your marketing mix may change because of time of year, holidays, or other factors. But, knowing what your mix is will guide your marketing efforts.
15. Ask for testimonials, ratings, and reviews.
In today’s marketing landscape, it only takes a few clicks to know a business well. Don’t hestitate to ask your customers and clients to post reviews, ratings, or feedback about your business. Consumers believe each other more than they will ever believe you.
16. Set a marketing budget.
By now you must have noticed that free marketing is never really free. If you are only depending on free marketing channels to grow your business, you are potentially choosing the long path. Because you don’t own or control digital platforms, you often have to pay to break through the noise. Your budget should include ongoing advertising, neccesary marketing platforms, consultations, classes, and more.
17. Tell your story.
You have a story. Tell it. Let the world know how you came to be. Give your customers a front row seat to the production of your brand. If your audience relates to and supports your story, they are more likely to forgive you when you make a mistake or fall short and support you as you grow.
18. Be your own PR.
Use your marketing channels to toot your own horn. Sometimes telling your own news is the only news coverage you will get. Make everything that happens in your business a big deal.
19. Use a content calendar.
There is nothing worse than having different people in your business focusing on different things. Have a set place for every one to see what is coming up, what is priority, and what content is needed. Marketing is the one place in your business that every department should interact.
20. Have fun.
Even the most serious businesses and organizations take time for fun. Try to enjoy the journey of marketing your business and let the fun shine through. If you’re having a good time, your audience will too.
Good luck marketing your business, brand, or organization in 2020!