Internet Marketing
Published January 19th, 2017 by

Marketing Tips for a New Year

Welcome to 2017. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to sit down and begin working on a new and improved marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to help ensure that the next twelve months are lucrative.

Conduct a Marketing Audit

It is impossible to develop a new marketing strategy, or to fix an existing strategy without analyzing the effectiveness of the marketing tactics that were used over the past year. Online marketing campaigns are fairly easily tracked by the use of tools such as Google Analytics. Other marketing campaigns can be judged according to customer feedback, as well as traffic and actual sales. Business owners can use these numbers as a way to determine which campaigns should be continued in 2017 and which campaigns are best left in 2016. If no action was taken to ensure that marketing campaign results were measurable over the past twelve months, action should now be taken to ensure that this is not the case in the future. These numbers aren’t just valuable in marketing planning, they can directly impact a business owner’s ability to obtain funding.

Commit Funds to Marketing

In spite of the fact that marketing campaigns are crucial in developing their customer base and generating sales, many business owners fail to dedicate any significant part of their budget to developing and launching new marketing strategies. Instead, the marketing budget often consists of funds that are left unused by other departments. Without a defined budget, a marketing department cannot effectively plan a yearly marketing strategy. And if a business is too small for a marketing specialist or department, the best advice is, “Get thee to a reputable firm and contract for its expertise. There are many to be found, and this business niche is exploding due to current demand!

Optimize the Use of Social Media Especially Blogging

Hopefully at this point, every company includes use of social media as a part of its overall marketing strategy. The marketing goal for 2017 should be to constantly revisit and revise the way social media is being utilized. If a company is using Facebook and Twitter with good results, 2017 might be a good year to add blogging to the mix. Company owners who are already using blogging may wish to revisit the content they are writing. The previously successful strategy of keyword laden blog posts can now have negative results. This is largely due to Google’s implementation of Panda and Penguin. Older posts should be modified so that they are content rich. New posts should be structured so that they also use the same strategy. Any entrepreneur who is considering taking on the responsibility for his own blog will need to get a solid blog platform (e.g. WordPress), learn how to use it effectively (they all have great tools), and do some significant research on what great blogs really “look” like. Keywords that do not naturally flow within the content will result in penalties; blog posts that are not of high quality (informational and/or educational) and that are not at least 900 words will not be looked upon favorably. Content is the critical key to a good blog that gets good ratings! Thus, 2017 may be the year for many business owners to invest in hiring professional blog posters. Finally, it is a good idea to review all social media accounts to make sure that the content being presented matches the company’s overall branding strategy, and that they are frequently updated with new content. Finally, the business owner who does not write well but engages in his own postings is foolish indeed!

Seek Out Community Based Public Relationship Opportunities

This is an old, yet still effective marketing strategy that many business owners fail to use. Sponsoring a local baseball team, contributing to the local high school booster organization, encouraging employees to volunteer at local charities, and joining community organizations are excellent ways to gain name recognition in the community, develop new business relationships, and to build a positive public image. Engaging in these activities also provides a company’s marketing team with new content for social media. Online customers are more trusting of companies that engage in volunteerism – research says so!

Take a New Look at Customer Demographics

Every year, business owners should ask themselves the following question: Am I reaching all of my potential customers? Let’s take the tech industry as an example. Not long ago, the over-fifty demographic was largely ignored by this industry. The prevailing wisdom was that this group wasn’t tech savvy, wasn’t interested in developing the skills required to use technology in their daily lives, and wasn’t going to spend money on technology. Today, members of that age group do use technology on a daily basis and they spend money on it. Fortunately, most technology companies have adjusted their marketing strategies to reflect this. Those that have not, are losing money by failing to appeal to that demographic. If you have any type of ecommerce business, you must continually expand your age demographic – older customers know what they are doing now!

Marketing is tough, and it is complex. As a business owner, you will need to find the expertise, perhaps outside of your own small staff, or be willing to do the research and engage in the required study to keep yourself on top of this endeavor – it is changing rapidly!

Shyam Bhardwaj

Shyam Bhardwaj is the Senior SEO Analyst and Founder at eShine Marketing, specialized in search engine optimization and marketing. Shyam has over 7 years of experience working with global businesses under different marketers.

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