So, 2017 was a solid year in marketing and advertising – which means small businesses have the resources and inspiration that they need to take initiative and craft the ultimate digital strategy. The catch is, you need to take action and get s%&* done. We’re ready – are you?
First step: acknowledging which practices you need to put your time and effort into that will result in new business for your company.
Effective web development and design is number one, hands down, the most important thing that you can do for your brand. According to a study conducted by GoDaddy, 6 in every 10 small businesses do not have a website, and don’t plan on getting one in the immediate future. The 19% of these businesses that don’t plan on creating a website still expect their business to increase 25% or more within the next 3 years.
Make sense? Nope, not really. Without a website, you can expect to lose the interest of any prospective customers when they search for your business and find that you A. have a poorly developed/designed website or B. don’t have a website at all. A common misconception for small businesses is that they think having a business Facebook page is the same as having a website. Well – it isn’t. While being on social media is great for a lot of reasons, it’s not an effective substitute for having a website for several reasons:
Lack of brand control: there are limited design capabilities with a Facebook page, while a website offers a dedicated brand experience for visitors.
Less info available: While you can share bits and pieces of company information via Facebook, your customers are going to want to see more. Having a (well designed) website is a simple way for people to find everything they need to know about your business and your services.
Lack of SEO control: Your Facebook page will certainly show up on search results, but SEO control is limited. You can tailor your website content to reach your target customers through keywords and phrases they’ve actually been looking for.
Another big one: Go mobile. If you’re not implementing mobile friendly tactics, you’re marketing strategy isn’t complete. 56% of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device, and mobile advertising is expected to account for 72% or all digital ad spending in 2018. So, make sure your ads, website – basically everything digital – is mobile friendly.
Email marketing is something else that you absolutely should be capitalizing on in 2018. By the start of the New Year, there will be approximately 3.7 billion email users across the globe. A.K.A. 54% of the entire world’s population. Just think about how many people you can reach through a solid email campaign. Email marketing’s ROI is 4x higher than social media, paid search, and direct mail. If that doesn’t tell you that you need to get on this train – what will?
Social media is not only taking over our social lives, it’s basically its own category of marketing at this point. Facebook officially hit 2 billion users in 2017, slowly taking over the world. Just kidding – but not really. Still, only 13% of small businesses use social media for communication with customers. Having a social presence offers the opportunity for companies to display their brands, describe products and services, and provide quick customer service. So, why aren’t all businesses utilizing this tool?
We always knew that quality content is a marketing essential, but the rise of content marketing has proven that meaningful content is the heart of a brand. 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as one of their top lead generation tools. Because they’re seeing positive results, businesses are allocating roughly 35% of their budget to content development. Most effective forms of lead-generating content include white papers, case studies, and blogs.
If you’re mapping out your strategy for the New Year – do yourself a favor and make sure you’re incorporating all of these tactics. Ready or not, here the competition comes. Either jump all in, or get out.