In 2020, there is no reason to not have a successful marketing and advertising strategy for your business, whether it is an online service, physical service, or a product. In a hyper-connect world, potential consumers have equal access to both you and your competitors, and a brand is only as strong as its engagement with customers. If your business continues to rely on old marketing techniques, it may survive, but will not thrive.
Your business may depend on traditional advertising, but utilizing online advertising and content marketing may well bring additional customers in your door. Changing a marketing strategy can be daunting, so outlined below are some of the basics of modernized marketing and advertising that can help keep your business in the green.
Traditional Marketing: The days of advertising only in printed newspapers is long past, but traditional advertising still has benefits. Traditional, in this sense, means paid-for advertisements that are targeted to your consumer and can be both printed and online. Direct online advertising, such as Google Ads, or any other paid-for ads, has direct consumer reach.
Printed media has less direct reach depending on your potential clientele. Younger generations, as an example, typically derive their knowledge from online sources, rather than printed news or magazines. If you are trying to target a younger audience to increase conversions, you need to keep this in mind as your budget your traditional advertisements.
One of the huge benefits of online advertising is that it has the ability to be changed quickly, unlike print media. A printed magazine ad often is finalized weeks before it goes to print. Online advertisements can be changed and updated in as little as a few minutes to a few hours so that it reached the intended audience faster.
Content Marketing: In 2020, it is inexcusable for a company, regardless of what it is, to not have a strong online presence. This no longer means having a simple website with a phone number and address. Now, it means leveraging content marketing to boost sales.
Content marketing is the approach of marketing in which a business or individual puts free content online for potential consumers. This free content essentially lets the content do the marketing for you. In a business that sells a product, this could be something as simple as posting new product images to social media such as Instagram with the correct hashtags. If you are selling a solution or service though, you will need to spend more time investing in other content. This means you’ll need to consistently write blogs or send newsletters with updates to the industry you work in, and keep potential customers up-to-date with changes to your services.
How does this free content help increase conversions to your company? By the time a potential consumer has read several of your blogs, they have deemed you an authority or expert on the subject, and are likelier to invest in your product. Make sure that you have a solid sales funnel to your product or service so that when the customer is ready to make a purchase, you are the first company they consider. That could be as simple as a way to contact you at the end of each of your blogs.
Content marketing has taken the place of traditional marketing, and can admittedly be fairly overwhelming if you and your business are only well-acquainted with traditional marketing. Instead of businesses now relying on Google ads, or a printed advertisement or coupon, the business must also keep track of multiple other platforms. To keep track of your content marketing, utilize a content marketing platform.
Ranking for SEO: Next, make sure you are ranking high in Google and other search engines for your chosen keywords. If you want to generate substantial income via content marketing and traditional advertising, you need to research SEO. At its most basic, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of increasing traffic to your website through organic results based on the correct usage of terms and words that you are utilizing. Since this is not an overnight result, a strong content marketing campaign relies on consistent content updating. If you are a beginner at content marketing, take the time to utilize the free options online to teach you to best implement SEO tactics for your business.
Just as your products and services evolve, so does the marketing which you use. Utilizing multiple marketing streams may prove profitable, but don’t be afraid to play around with various tactics to improve your marketing strategy.
5 Ways To Improve Your Company Website
When you’re running a company, your website is the most important tool at your disposal. Content marketing continues to rule the business world, meaning that your site is so much more than a place to sell products.
1 . Creative Content
Renowned marketing expert Iliyana Stareva once said, ‘In the digital era, content is the most important asset a business can have. It’s no longer your product or your service; it’s the content you create about it (and around it) that gets you found and noticed.’ With ample competition online, your company website should offer the best content out there. Your content should be creative, engaging, and highly valuable to your audience.
To help marketers to improve their web content, there are several tools available. Crayon is a handy platform to help users create successful content strategies. The tool uses AI to offer insights on your competitor’s content moves. Hubspot also offers a solution to help with content creation; the tool provides guidance on which fresh and original topics to focus on.
2. Page Speed
If your page speeds aren’t fast enough, potential leads will go elsewhere with their search queries. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights are useful to access info about your page speed, along with advice on how to speed it up. To increase your page speed, you should focus on reducing HTTP requests, trying asynchronous loading, and compressing your files.
3. Focus on UX
The user experience of your website is of crucial importance. Your visitors should be able to navigate your pages easily; there should be clear calls to actions, and an attractive layout. To improve the UX of your site, you might consider using AI chatbots. Often, customers will have small queries that they want solved quickly. AI bots can allow you to offer 24/7 chat responses, without putting pressure on your staff.
4. Web Design Trends
When you are developing a website, it’s useful to pay attention to web design trends. Visually striking and contemporary websites present your company as more professional and credible. In 2020, ‘Dark mode’ web designs are trending, dark backgrounds ensure that the other colors and images stand out. Another trending design style is hand-drawn designs. These offer an authentic, imperfect, and personal quality.
5. Improve SEO
To enhance your website, improving SEO should always be on your agenda. The best thing to do is to use SEO tools to gain insights about which keywords are performing, and which are not. Tools such as SEM Rush can give you a sneaky look at which keywords your competitors are using. In 2020 we’re seeing a lot more voice searches. To optimize for voice search, make sure you use conversational language and long-tail keywords. As new practices and technologies develop it’s important to revise your marketing tactics.
Finally, the video content trend is far from over, be sure to include compelling video content on your site to engage and entertain your visitors. This year, many brands are choosing to host webinars, as part of their ongoing marketing strategies.
Getting Your Brand Back Out There In A Post-Covid World
All the rules have changed recently, and with the global Covid 19 pandemic hitting every nation, businesses have been forced to adapt quickly in order to survive. Now that the new normal seems to be slowly returning, many small companies are questioning how they can operate going forward, and, after pausing all marketing activity, how they can kick start their pipeline enquiries again. It’s true that the consumer landscape may look very different in the aftermath of the crisis, but businesses that are able to be agile and make changes to their processes are likely to be the winners. So, how do you get your company back on its feet in a world living with a pandemic?
Reassess Your Business Plan
There are a lot of economic and social uncertainties in the wake of coronavirus, but what is certain is that businesses will have to change to reflect the altered society we live in. Start by revisiting your business plan and reassessing your goals, company mission statement and marketing activity. Businesses dependent on a physical location, for example, may need to make stark changes to accommodate social distancing measures, or consider expanding their presence digitally and improving their ecommerce operations to remain financially viable. Looking at the strengths and weaknesses that you have, and doing a post-Covid competitor analysis will enable you to see where the opportunities may lie.
Rethink Your Marketing
Marketing messages and channels will also have to shift to keep your business on track in a very different world. Sure, you want to get your message out there, but it needs to connect with your target demographic in these altered times in order to resonate. People have become more aware than ever of our impact on the planet, so it could well be time to look at how green your marketing is. Whether it’s dropping printed brochures in favour of digital ones, or staying in front of customers with branded tote bags that they can reuse, a more eco-friendly approach is likely to go down a lot better.
Stabilize Your Finances
Part of your coronavirus recovery plan of course needs to be addressing the financials of your business. You may have a much reduced income and need to look at ways of saving on overheads, such as giving up a physical office location and continuing to work from home, or choosing to take on temporary staff rather than permanent employees as you rebuild your operations. Perhaps you need to re-establish a different supply chain, secure more stock or put some advertising budget towards building a buzz around what you do again. Check through all lines of credit and investment available in case you need some funding to get back up on your feet. Microloans, merchant cash advances, equipment financing and business credit cards are all out there if you need them. Make a plan with a timeline for your financial recovery and try to chart out a path with targets and projections which are realistic to the new situation. It may be tough for a while out there, but with the right approach, your business can survive to trade another day.
Preparing To Start A New Business: Things To Think About
There aren’t many people who don’t daydream about becoming their own boss. However, the percentage of those who do daydream about and those who actually do it is a lot lower. What is it about becoming our own boss that stops us from following our dreams and turning a dream into a reality?
For many people, it is the fear of the unknown. Not knowing if you are making the right decision can be the tipping point for many people. Another hurdle is money and, dare we say it; self-belief can be a huge factor in starting your own business. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then it goes without saying that no one else will either.
Removing all the obstacles you place in front of yourself is the first step to starting your journey to becoming your own boss.
Every new start-up and trading business needs a business plan. Why? Well, for starters to steer you in the right direction to making a success for your new venture. Knowing what you want from your company, where it is going and where it could potentially go will give you something to aim for and make sure you deliver what is required to make your company successful.
Essentially it is a detailed list of the projected journey of the company to help you steer it in the right direction. What the plan involves can be different depending on your trajectory and what you are offering, but the following will help you to form a plan and know where to start.
- What are you selling?
- Who is your customer base?
- What percentage profit can you expect to make in the first year?
- What is your initial outlay cost to get up and running?
- Is there scope to expand in your sector?
- Do you have a USP? (Unique Selling Point)
- How do you plan to find and attract customers?
- Why will your customers stay with your company?
- How do you plan to evolve the company and expand?
- Are there ways you can adapt what you do and offer more services/different products?
- Where do you see the company in 5 years?
- How do you plan to get your company to that point in 5 years?
A thorough and detailed plan will help you for many years to come, not just for their initial starting period.
And know what you want to do and how you plan to get there. Building a new company for the wrong reasons will never work out well and may end up leaving you in a worse place than you were before you started. With as many as 50% of businesses failing in the first five years, knowing how to succeed and being willing to do what it takes will help you stand the test of time if you are genuinely doing it for the right reasons.
Combine your goals with your personal drive and perseverance and make sure that you are fully committed to making it a success. Simply starting a new business because you dislike working for other people or you think it is a get rich quick scheme will no doubt be your undoing if this is why you are starting a new business.
Do you need money to get the company up and running? If so, you need to know precisely what you need and how much money you will need before you start looking for loans or financial backers. Some companies will be able to start up on a very small or even no budget at all. Other companies will need to look at purchasing stock, finding premises, and making sure they have everything they need to run their company successfully.
Warehouses, industrial sheds, offices, and tech for employees don’t come cheap, so factoring them into your budget is essential before you start looking for finance options.
Is there a market for what you are selling?
Who is your ideal customer? How are you going to sell them? If there is no market for your service or product, chances are you may struggle to find suitable buyers or to get people’s attention.
Being able to identify a gap in the market and fill it will help you to attract the right customer for your company. You need to demonstrate a willingness to be able to adapt to meet the demands of a changing market and satisfy the consumer needs as and when they change. Diversifying is something that will help your company stay heads and shoulders above the rest and keep you relevant and able to fulfil your client’s needs as they change.
Having a unique selling point will mean you are offering people something they aren’t getting elsewhere or may not even realize they need. Identify a gap in the market and strive to fill it before someone else does. A great way to do this is by asking current or potential clients what they are looking for and what would make their lives easier. Then, you can adapt what you do to meet this demand.
Keep an eye on the competition
Always know what they are doing and make sure you are competing on the same playing field. Copying them may seem dishonest but staying ahead of the market is essential for your company to survive, so make it your business to know new and emerging trends within your sector. Keep on top of client demands and know exactly who your competitors are and what they are offering.
Make sure to stick to your company’s values and integrate any new ideas, ways of working, or new products/services as and when demand calls for it and emulate the success of your competition for yourself.
Starting off on the right foot with a solid plan in place will give you a better head start when it comes to starting up your business.
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5 Ways To Improve Your Company Website
Getting Your Brand Back Out There In A Post-Covid World
Preparing To Start A New Business: Things To Think About
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