Happy 2015 from SLA!
While the focus is on New Year’s resolutions, we think now is the time to share small business marketing goals to achieve in 2015. Let’s jump right in...
1. Develop a Marketing Budget
If you already have one, great! You are one step ahead of the game. But for many small businesses a marketing budget is something that is commonly overlooked. You may have a misconception that you can’t afford any advertising or you just don’t know where to start. Whether you can afford $500 or $500,000, set specific dollars aside for marketing. Next, start breaking it apart by determining what media types you want to utilize and how frequently you want your ads to run…and don’t forget to take into account production costs. Not only will this give you peace of mind as to how you will pay for that great radio commercial idea that hit you in the shower this morning, but it will also set a purposeful tone for your advertising initiatives throughout the year. If you still feel like setting a marketing budget is a daunting task or you just don’t have the time to devote to it, contact a local ad agency for help.
2. Join the Digital Age
If you haven’t joined the digital arena yet, start by building a complete and accurate listing presence on Google, Bing, Yelp and others. These are free avenues that allow your customers to find you online and you need that information to be accurate. . 2015 is also a great year to build a website if you don’t already have one. This might not be as difficult, time consuming, or expensive as you might think. Website options are more numerous than ever before.Just make sure the site design is mobile friendly. If you have those areas covered , try a new digital avenue such as display ads, search engine marketing, e-mail blasts or social media campaigns.
3. Boost Your Content Quality
If a picture is worth 1000 words, then how many words is a video worth? Video is predicted to soar in 2015 with production costs continuing to drop and the strengthening of online capabilities. However, this means that everyone will be taking a stab at it and only those with a strong message, a touch of creativity and a clear call to action will shine through. These principles should be applied to all of your advertising mediums. In order for your marketing dollars to pay off, you must present strong purposeful content. If you don’t have the capabilities of creating great content in-house, you might want to start exploring local ad agencies to help build your content.
4. Live your Brand
With technology becoming a staple in our daily lives, the barrier between work and home is more blurred than ever before. . The debate on whether this is a good or bad trend, we will leave to you to decide. We are required to represent our brand at any moment of the day and on every type of platform. Start by identifying your brand. What is your unique selling proposition? Who is your target audience? What voice should you use? How does your brand grow? Take this information and write, a few brief sentences, so you can quickly explain what your business is all about on a moment’s notice. Share this with your employees and turn them into your brand ambassadors. They are on your team and the face of your brand.
5. Be Transparent
Transparency is a popular buzz word floating around the marketing industry right now and for good reason. Sharing a real-time picture of what your company is doing in the interest of your consumers makes your brand more meaningful. Consumers no longer choose where to spend their money just on availability and price... we have Amazon for that. Instead, they want to know their money is going to a company with ideals they support. Consumers also want to know their voices are heard and ideas incorporated. Transparency allows you to start a conversation with your customers and create successful marketing campaigns that speak directly to them.
Choose one or all of these goals to focus on in 2015 and watch your marketing success turn into business success.