We’ve all been there. Despite our best intentions when the clock strikes midnight, after a month or so many a News Year’s resolution begins to wane.
Ready to reignite your business resolutions for the New Year? Stand up from your desk, place your hand over your heart, and solemnly swear…
Last year, we saw big businesses put a massive focus on “effortless experiences” for customers. And that’s set to intensify in 2015. But it’s not only the big guys who can do this; small businesses should also be looking at ways to make things easier for their customers.
Take a good look at your business, focusing on how people can browse, book or buy from you. Are there ways you can make this even easier? This could be anything from improving the payment process on your e-commerce site to investing more in mobile marketing.
I promise to…get more personal
“Micro-targeting” is the latest buzzword for marketers, and 2015 is the year small businesses can put it into action and reap the rewards. Take a good look at your target customers, their lifestyle, purchasing behaviours, and needs. By taking the time to understand your target market, you will know exactly what to say and how to say it to convert them.
Want to really stand out from your competitors? Start treating customers as individuals. Look beyond the traditional segments and think about how you can provide personalised experiences and messages.
I promise to…embrace multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel isn’t new, but it will continue to fuel marketing success in 2015. It is more important than ever for small business owners to embrace a myriad of marketing channels to promote their business. Look at which channels work best for different messages, promotions and customer types. For example, letterbox advertising and SMS messaging might work best for one campaign, whereas email marketing and letterbox flyers may prove a more effective combination for another.
I promise to…be human
Think about what your brand really represents. Imagine it as a person. Give it a voice and use this voice across every communication – from social media posts to letterbox flyers and in-store point-of-sale. Send your emails from a human name, rather than your company name. This is the easiest and most effective way to differentiate your brand from everyone else. And at the same time, it will help you create a meaningful connection with your customers, who will feel like they are interacting with a person rather than a company.
I promise to…get creative with visuals
Visuals have never been more important in cutting through the clutter and getting attention. Make this the year you start to emphasise visual, video and audio content in your marketing. Create videos, interesting podcasts, memes, infographics and SlideShare presentations. Scrap the tired old stock images and invest in new, fresh and dynamic images for your brochures and flyers. Visuals are a powerful way to achieve the cut-through your business needs.
I promise to…Create original content.
We’ve heard it all before to the point of cliché – content is king. But it doesn’t make it any less true. With multiple touch points for reaching your customers, marketers have no excuse for producing useful and engaging content. Focus on an active blog and engaging visuals; people are more likely to engage on social media if you include some form of engaging content: video, photos, even emoticons have all been shown to lift engagement rates.
It’s easier said than done, but good content, combined with distribution, can cut through the white noise of the internet. As US content guru John Lavine once said: “The world is becoming increasingly complicated, but people will give you their time if you provide content which is useful and meaningful”.
I promise to…Go back to basics.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Stop. Think. Re-evaluate your target audience, and determine what works and what doesn’t. Research it, plan it, implement it and measure it. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Need more inspiration? Here are some other marketing resolutions. I promise to:
Fine-tune my mobile marketing strategy. And if I don’t have one – now is the time to get one.
Rethink my social activity. Think about which social media channels my customers are using and how they work for me – it could be that Pinterest is more profitable for my brand than Facebook and Twitter combined.
Be relevant. What I need to work out in 2015 is this: how can I connect with consumers in a more meaningful way?
Ryan Christie is the Marketing Manager for Local Direct Network, the small business marketing division of customer engagement specialist Salmat.