With the start of a new year, undoubtedly comes the notion of resolutions and vowing to do something bigger, better or different to the year before. Despite what you might think, New Year resolutions are not just for personal goals like losing weight or spending more time with family and friends. The start of a new year is the perfect time to make some resolutions for your business too. Let’s talk about starting the new year off right with a marketing health check.

Clean up your act

The best way to kick start your marketing for the new year is with a good old fashioned clean-up. Start with a Google search and see what and where your business shows up. For any listings you find, are your contact details, logo and other business details correct? Internet technology continues to move at a rate of knots. When was the last time you tested how your website looks on various different web browsers? Don’t forget to check on your mobile devices too as that is fast becoming the most common platforms for all online searches so you want to make sure you are making it easy for your potential customers to find your site and move around it easily. And finally, what’s the status of you social media presence? Do you have outdated profiles that haven’t been touched in years? Decide whether to delete or restrict access for the ones that you don’t want to use, and for the ones that you want to keep, ensure they are updated with your latest details.

On brand

Your online check may have highlighted residual marketing material from days gone by – logos, fonts, colours, even descriptions and biographies. If it’s online, it is likely that it is still in your records and systems too. Put together a one-page document that serves as reference for any outgoing communication. Whether it’s emails, letters, advertising, website or social media, the messages and visual characteristics of anything that leaves your business should have a uniform appearance.

What’s happening

The best, and easiest, place to start structuring your marketing strategy for the new year is to grab a calendar and pick out all the holidays, events and celebrations that are happening that you can relate to you business in anyway. Are their particular events or times of year when it might work well for you to run a promotion or send out particular communication to your audience? For example, if you are an air-conditioning business, the lead up to summer is the perfect time for you to make yourself known to anyone that is looking for a service or new equipment coming into the warmer months. There might be be other opportunities too that are not necessarily directly related to your business but provide a good chance to make some social commentary and keep your presence felt. Post a Merry Christmas message on your social media, or let clients know a head of time that you’ll be closed on a certain public holiday.

Know your customers

This may seem like an obvious one, but bear with me. Not only is it important to know the type of customer that you are trying to attract (I am sure that you are all over that already) but it’s becoming more and more important to expand that profiling to include how that customer interacts online and how they like to be communicated with. Some customer groups may prefer formal, personalised emails and letters in the mail while others may prefer to follow you on social media and message via LiveChat or other similar chatbot models.

Find out what your customer group’s behaviour is when it comes to preferred communication styles and adjust your strategies to suit.

Ask for help

Don’t allow yourself to see asking for help with marketing as yet another business cost that you can’t afford.

I am sure that you’ve already realised that you are not necessarily always the best and most knowledgable person about every single thing that needs to happen in your business, from accounting to website design, legal and compliance issues and various other things too. And marketing is no different. Consider the benefit of having a professional marketer take care of what they know how to do best. Not only does that free up your time to do what it is that you do best, but it’s also likely to have a much better success rate too, which can only be a good thing. You might opt to have someone take care of your entire marketing strategy or perhaps it may work better to have one or two specialists take care of specifics pieces such as social media or email marketing.

The new year is the perfect chance for a fresh approach to your business marketing strategy. These handy tips are a great place to get started and you don’t need years of professional marketing experience to get the ball rolling and really make a difference.

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