I know it’s already the 25th of January…BUT…it’s still January. My main resolution for 2014 is to write a blog at least monthly (as I said…it’s still January). I have been lax, something I counsel my clients to never do. If the Blog is on your menu bar, write the blog regularly (whatever that means to you). Mine has been empty since March of 2013. But…it’s a new year. I really had no excuse for not writing this blog. Most of it comes from my colleague and friend, Les Stern. What follows are great ideas to rev up your marketing in 2014. I have edited Les’ post. Go here if you want the longer version.
1. Use data. Spend a little money on data, be it as simple as Google Analytics to monitor your Website behavior to purchasing outside data and conducting qualitative and quantitative research to identify market opportunities and positioning. Spending a little money on data (big data or little data) ensures that when you spend a lot of money on implementation, you are doing it right.
2. Think print. Most people think print is so 20th century. But great print can create a dramatic impression on your prospects, and can greatly enhance your sales efforts. This annual report for Evanston Public Library created excitement in the community and showcased the library’s 2012 programming and improvements.
3. Proofread. You spend a fortune on great online and offline marketing, and it is all ruined because of typos, grammatical errors, etc. We’ve all seen it. And here is what people think: “if they cannot even get that right, why should I trust them with my business.” If you are a poor speller or do not have a grasp on proper grammar, find someone who can do the job for you.
4. Think “social” responsibly. Effectively using social media is not just posting something every now and then. If you are going to commit to marketing via social media, do it. Social media only work well when you have a well crafted plan, and stick to it. If you have the ability to do it fine. Otherwise, hire somebody.
5. Find your voice. If you are outsourcing social media or blogging or anything else for that matter, it still needs to be your voice. There are certainly people out there who are experts at communicating what you want to say. But what you want to say has to come from you.
6. Differentiate yourself. Why do people buy from you? What needs do you fill, and why do customers buy from you instead of your competition? You need to figure that out and communicate it. And don’t compete on price alone. Someone will always find a cheaper option.
7. Add video. Video is becoming more important for Search Engine Optimization. But it is video embedded on your site, not just a link to YouTube. We still recommend hosting on YouTube, and embedding the player in your website. Why? Three reasons:
- YouTube is the second most widely used search engine, so it’s extra exposure.
- Google owns YouTube, so videos help your search ranking in Google.
- It’s easy to embed from YouTube and it works on everyone’s device.
8. Mobilize. More and more Web visits are generated through mobile devices. This trend will only increase. So make sure your site is mobile friendly both in look and functionality.
9. Focus on your target market. Even though you want to get as much business as you can, you cannot be all things to all people. Focus on who you want to target (the audience best suited for your product or service), and don’t expend energy going after prospects outside your target market. If you do, chances are you will not get that business anyway.
10. Make money, have fun. I have been lucky in my professional life to love what I do, so it’s fun most of the time. Of course, it is easier to have fun when you are making money. But making money if you aren’t having fun is, well, not fun. So resolve to have fun while you have your most profitable year ever.