Happy New Year, fellow small business owners! What resolutions have you made for yourself and what goals have you set for your company for this upcoming year? At Panoptic Online Marketing, we’re committing ourselves to doing a better job of blogging (heh). Especially since consistent, twice weekly, posting to a company blog is something we regularly recommend to (and in many cases, do on behalf of) our clients.
It’s hard to maintain an active online presence – as a small shop, we know EXACTLY what you’re facing with respect to your own small business marketing. If you’ve never ventured into the world of internet marketing and don’t know where to begin, then the prospect of getting your message out there can be that much more daunting.
We talk to dozens of people each week in a variety of industries. They all have different concerns, business objectives, budgets, etc. – so we have a treasure trove of relevant questions about SEO and online marketing that we can address here on our blog. Really, we have no excuse for our past behavior. It’s a matter of making it a priority, and frankly, small businesses can no longer afford to ignore marketing on the internet – especially not us! With that in mind, we offer you this first post of 2014: a very short list of things to focus on, regardless of how you decide to spend your marketing dollars.
Content still reigns supreme. Gaming Google is a thing of the past. Each new algorithm upgrade exposes a stark truth: unless you are publishing fresh, engaging content on a consistent basis, you will not rank well in searches. If you don’t already have a blog for your business, make this your priority for 2014. Not sure what to publish? That’s why we’re here.
Social media: finally, people are starting to get it! Social media is like public relations with a good dose of customer service mixed in. Thinking about social media this way helps many business owners who have been reluctant to get started with this essential aspect of marketing. You need to communicate your message clearly and persuasively across multiple social networks and build relationships with those who can help you spread the word. Social platforms also provide a quick way to respond to customer complaints and inquiries – you need to build solid relationships with your customers, too, right?
Email marketing is still relevant, especially for B2B. Email is still the preferred format for business marketing communications. It’s both more serious and more personal than social media and has the advantage of your being able to use a single channel to reach your clients or prospects in the most professional way possible. If you know your audience and give them something worth reading they will start to look forward to seeing your stuff in their Inbox. Likewise, if you send them nothing of value and only try to sell them your services,you will not reap any benefits.
In a nutshell, your marketing plans for 2014 should be content-focused, whether you favor social media or email. We suggest you do both.