The change from one year to another is a good time to reflect on what happened and what can be changed. This might be the time of year when things are slower in your business, so you have time to prepare for the coming year. If your small business has a retail side, you will probably be pretty busy until December 26, but take some time after that to map out some marketing strategies for 2015. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Look at Your Website: Pretend that you are one of your customers coming there for the first time. What type of impression does your website give to visitors? Does it have a clean appearance? Are words spelled correctly? Do the links work? Ask yourself if you honestly think it would make somebody want to get more involved with your company.
- Get on Social Media: If you’re not on Facebook and Twitter, learn how to do that now because that’s where your prospects are. They are using social media to communicate with each other, learn about new products, and find new companies.
- Start a Blog: One great way to share information is to start a blog. You can provide helpful information to prospects and customers, while building an on-going relationship. A blog is one of the best ways to build an online presence.
- Start an Editorial Calendar: Map out what is important to customers on a seasonal basis, and come up with quick ideas now to expand on later. For example, a retailer who will have a spring line of clothing available in March might want to write a blog about spring fashion trends, have a few Facebook posts with pictures of available outfits, and send out a few Tweets about any special pricing.
- Don’t Forget the PR: If your business is locally-oriented, you should be able to get extra mileage in local newspapers and business publications. Think about what events you might have coming up this year, such as an anniversary or fund-raiser, and mark your calendar to send out a press release a month in advance.
- Think About a Marketing Budget: If your business is growing, you should set aside some money to invest in marketing for next year. Depending on your type of business, you can take out advertising in community publications, support local charitable events, buy a few radio advertisements, or look into Google AdWords online.
- Contact Your Contacts: Sometimes out of sight is out of mind. That’s why this time of year is also perfect for reaching out to everyone on your contact list. Send a quick email to current customers, past customers, prospects, vendors, and media representatives. Simply thank them for their support in the past and wish them the best in 2015.
Try to think of at least one marketing resolution that will help take your business to the next plateau in 2015, and develop a plan for how you will get there.