Small Businesses: Start Marketing the Year off with a Bang

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker

New Year, new beginnings, new challenges and the same old business. By now small business entrepreneurs should have weighed their profits and losses of the past year and are looking forward to a positive economic growth. If the past year has been a grilling one, change your marketing strategy by coming up with fresh ideas. New marketing strategies will help turn your business and win new customers. Here are a few strategies that will be useful for you.

  • Grab Attention – If your business does not have a website, let it be your priority to get one. If you already have one, be sure to revamp the content to make it more SEO friendly. You can start by creating a unique title for each page. However, see that the title has a phrase that is frequently searched for. This will make the site more SEO friendly and will show in results that are related to your product/service. Another point worth mentioning is when sending a marketing proposals and/or sales letters, make sure you have a catchy and curios headline/subject. This will help increase the opening rate for the email.

  • Goes Mobile – Smartphones are widely used today and tablets are the upcoming trend. Host a mobile version of your website. It goes without saying that you have to test your site on a variety of screen-sizes to ensure that web content can be read clearly. Online branding is an up and coming trend and there are many mobile apps that can help you build your brand.
  • Social Community Channels (Bite only what you can chew) – As you may know, there are many social networks out there to choose from, and the choice is yours. Choose wisely though. Instead of jumping from one social network to a more recent one, have your business profile in one that you feel most comfortable with. Monitor and track the hit ratios carefully. Never spam all the social channels with the same advertisements. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each network and create your business content accordingly. Cross-platform applications and mobile apps are making it easier for small business owners to manage and update their website and business from anywhere. You can say that 2012 will be the year the year of the mobile phones as well as social networks, taking businesses to a whole other level. So do not miss the bus.
  • Social Curation is the in-thing – An upcoming trend is social curation. People gather information from the Internet, blogs and discussion forums. There are bloggers who blog about their niche area but also hand-pick links, news items, commentary, quotes and all the latest developments pertaining to his niche area. He does this to share it with his readers. Therefore, you need to think twice about your web marketing content because it is not just the customers but curators are also going to be your audience. Ensure that your web content facilitates two-way conversation and is very engaging. This will give people a reason to share your content with their friends and family.  If you have a news section of your website, give reviews and news about the local community businesses. People will surely visit your site to check out the latest news.

  • Give a thought to integrated marketing – There is only a hairline between your business and brand ‘in real life’ and ‘online’. Try embedding new gimmicks such as QR codes (Quick response) on your website, marketing leaflets, and products. This is going to be one of the marketing strategies this year.  If your smartphone has an app that scans a QR code, the content of the QR code can be opened and stored. This is considered to be a remarkable way to get access to information and also save it on the go.

If you can think of any other marketing strategies that small business owners can take advantage of please put in the comments.

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