12 Days of Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

It’s that time of the year when we reflect on the previous year’s challenges as well as look forward to what we want to accomplish in the new year. With those thoughts in mind and because we didn’t think you would appreciate twelve drummers drumming and assorted pipers, maids, and birds, we’ve compiled twelve quick marketing tips to help you and your organization to get started towards a successful 2015!

12. Blogging

Did you know that blogging may be one of the biggest drivers of traffic to a website. According to HubSpot, “57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from that blog.” We know that starting a blog may feel intimidating, but just remember that you can always start out slow by aiming to post once per month and work up from there.

social11. Social Media

Are you making the most of social media? Social media isn’t advertising (although you can purchase ads). Think of it more as building community and establishing trust. In addition, it’s providing that little extra something for customers and clients you already have. One way of establishing trust is by sharing a little bit about your company and/or employees. Some quick ideas include sharing photos of your employees in action, recognizing employee milestones, and letting people know how your organization gives back to the community. “77% of B2C companies report that they have acquired a customer through Facebook.” Source:HubSpot

10. Guest Blogging

What is guest blogging? That’s where you write a guest post for another company or organization’s blog. Guest blogging on another website can be a powerful way to establish credibility, drive traffic to your website, and even reach out to new markets. Writing a guest post can help demonstrate your leadership in a field. Finally, it can also help improve your company’s website rankings.

9. Responsive Web Design

Go to your phone and check out your website. How does is display? Does it adapt to your phone or tablet properly? Responsive web design is a technique for building websites to automatically adjust to mobile devices, tablets, and desktop screens. According to Cisco,“Mobile data traffic grew 81% in 2013 alone. The use of mobile devices to surf the web is growing at an astronomical pace, but unfortunately much of the web isn’t optimized for these mobile devices.”

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8. Educational Content

Did you know that “78% of internet users conduct product research online[?] That means your website stands a good chance of being a prospects’ ‘first impression.’ That also means your new business card isn’t a business card – it’s Google.” Source: HubSpot  People are seeking information. They don’t want to be sold to. One of the best ways to promote your business is to provide helpful information to potential customers as well as current customers. This can come in a variety of formats such as ebooks, newsletters, white papers, webinars, an/or videos.

7. Security

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Website security is one of the most important parts of a well-designed site. According to WP White Security, “More than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks and the total number of hacked WordPress websites in 2012 was a whopping 170,000. This figure is growning every year.” One of the best security practices for a WordPress site owner is keeping software up to date. To learn more about securing your WordPress website, check out WordPress Security: The Ultimate Guide.

6. Employee Advocates

Did you know that according to the 2014 Edelmen Trust Barometer, “It’s the every day employee who is trusted most — in some cases, twice as much as the CEO[?]” Source: Adobe Digital Marketing  Employees can be one of your strongest advocates. LinkedIn is an excellent place for employees to advocate for your company by participating in group discussions, sharing content, or even producing their own content. Be careful not to make them feel required to do it. The best advocates are naturally passionate about the company they work for. You can help these advocates by investing in training on LinkedIn. Not only does this help your company, but it can help strengthen your employees and improve employee engagement.

5. Ask Questions

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Before you start your new year, why not take some time to reevaluate and ask questions? This is a great way to help you set your company’s marketing goals and priorities for the upcoming year. Here are a few questions to help you get started. Is your marketing strategy working? Should you shift to a different social media platform or add additional platforms? Is your website still serving your business goals?

4. Colors

Remember that burnt orange color from the 70’s? As soon as you see it, you start hearing the Bee Gees music play in your head and reminisce about Farrah Fawcett’s hair. On a website, it can also convey the impression to your customers that your business is outdated and isn’t keeping up with the times. Related to number 5 above, this is a great time to reevaluate the colors you use on your website. Limit your color palette. Websites ten to use 2-4 colors with a prominent color to highlight important features and calls to action.

3. Calls to Action (CTA)

How are you using CTAs on your website? A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action such as sign up for a newsletter, download an ebook, or fill out a request for a pricing form. The purpose of a CTA is to effectively convert your visitors to qualified leads.

2. The 5 Second Rule

A good rule of thumb is to remember that you have 5 seconds or less to capture a visitor. The back button is the most used command on the web. Make sure your site features compelling copy that draws visitors in and gives them reasons to stay.

monkey-dancing1. Be Authentic

Lighten up and let your company’s personality shine through. Don’t be afraid to tell your organization’s story in a way that reflects its personality. Too often businesses feel that in order to be professional everything needs to be serious, serious, serious. While we aren’t advocating dancing monkeys (well, maybe just a few now and then) on your website or a barrage of knock-knock jokes in your copy, there’s nothing wrong with using a little humor now and then or simply a light-hearted, less formal approach for some of your materials.

Get Ready, Set, Go!

Now it’s time to take some of these tips and put them into action!