Guest Blog from Sarah Orchard
It’s a fresh new year, so do you have fresh marketing ideas and a plan for 2013?
I thought I might provide a little inspiration with my 13 marketing mantras for 2013. I hope you find them useful – some you may have heard before, some not, but it’s always good to revisit and focus on what will be most effective in growing your sales and revenue for your business in the year ahead.
1. Have a clear map – I know many of you have heard me say this a few times before but it really does all start with and hinge on having a clear vision and goals for the next 12 months. How will you know if you have arrived if you do not know where you are going and have planned your route to get there?
2. Nice and niche – There is a lot of competition out there and it’s tough. So yes you can probably try and sell to everyone but boy is that much harder work for any small business. Much better to identify a smaller niche group of ideal customers and target your messages to them and lazer precision. With more limited budgets this is far more effective.
3. Marketing mindset matters – A successful business comes from successfully marketing. To me it’s quite simple. A successful business is one that gets the right customers and keeps them. The reality is that nothing happens in business until something actually gets sold. And to do this you have to market your business (well!).
4. Your website is not a brochure – Long gone are the days when you can view your website as “an online brochure” and have one just because everybody else does. Make sure your website doesn’t end up as a pretty parking lot for your business.
5. You can’t ‘cheat’ Google – so don’t even try! A few years ago you may have got away with a bit of keyword stuffing into your web pages, hidden web pages or buying inbound links by the bucket load. Not any more. Focus on well optimised pages and relevant, fresh and appealing content that will attract customers to your website.
6. Create a customer magnet business – there has been a significant shift to inbound marketing techniques because they are far more effective at attracting the right customers to your business and boosting your conversion rates. So ensure you create a customer magnet business by using a Content Marketing approach.
7. Ditch the old fashioned advertising! – Time to realise that old fashioned magazine and newspaper advertising rarely works with today’s overloaded and savvy consumers. There are occasions when it does but they are few and far between these days. You’re not still doing Yellow Pages adverts are you?
8. Blogging is not old hat – often overlooked as we all rush towards the shiny social media gods of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Blogging can be one of the most effective ways to develop great website content to boost your search engine rankings and drive quality visitors to your website. Watch my video on the power of blogging.
9. “I’m in a hurry, show me the video” – Today’s consumers are time strapped and want information fast. Video is fast becoming the marketing medium of choice and great video content can get your marketing message across quicker and with much more appeal. CISCO predicts that 91% of web content will be delivered as video by 2014.
10. Facebook isn’t the be all and end all! Every small business owner I work with says “Should I be on Facebook?” Yes there are 1 billion+ users and it is free but it isn’t the right social media choice for every business and other marketing tactics can work even better for you. PS – Don’t forget to make sure you integrate your social media and other marketing techniques such as email.
11. Make it mobile – Website visits from smartphones and tablets is predicted to outstrip PCs/laptops in the next few years. It doesn’t mean you need to go all flash and create an App. First base is to make sure you have a mobile version of your wbesite that actually works!
12. Keep at it – All too often small business owners don’t sustain their marketing activity consistently or for long enough to see the desired results. Marketing is definitely a marathon race not a sprint and the winners keep their marketing focus and stamina to the end!
13. So did it actually work? I’m a great fan of Google Analytics and the powerful insights it gives as to what is really working with your marketing. The key is to always “measure, refine, repeat” and you will soon see the rewards for your 2013 marketing efforts.
Well those are my 13 marketing mantras for 2013. What are yours?
Wishing you a super successful 2013!
Sarah Orchard, Orchard Marketing Associates.