As 2012 rapidly comes to a close, it is the perfect opportunity to shed some light on your current marketing campaigns and reevaluate. Has there been any positive or negative feedback this past quarter? Have the color and excitement of your campaigns faded to droll and stagnant these winter months? Take a look at our 5 infallible marketing tips to take your current practices from grey and ashen to sunny and bright for a new beginning for the new year.

1. Turn Over a New Leaf

Take a look at your current look. Does it look dated or is it edgy? How are your competitors measuring up? Perhaps it is time to rethink your current brand look and potentially start fresh. Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for your company. The end goal is to establish your business’ presence within your market to be stronger than that of your competitors. Maybe your needs solely consist of a new logo, but be sure to make your new look edgy and competitive. The idea is to change and revitalize how your company, product or service is perceived within the current market as well as bring in new business. Evolution is inevitable and change is good!

2. Open A New Bloom

Not to beat a dead horse, but “Content is King”. If you can’t produce and maintain new and relevant information in a blog or on your website, your competitors will surpass you. Look at any large business powerhouse, they have a very productive blog, employ very active independent bloggers or maintain a very current social media marketing campaign or a mix of all of the above. There is a delicate balance between giving just enough information to keep your customers engaged and wasting your time and energy. If you spew entirely way too much information your more important content could be getting lost in the process. As soon as your company can be seen as an industry reference you will become one. This greatly affects in an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) standpoint. Content is King!

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of A Strong Stem

As we just mentioned, blogs and social media are not items to overlook! Blogging is definitely understandable at face value – create relevant and keyword rich content on a regular basis and make it readily available for your audience. The question then turns to, how to increase the viewing audience past a regular website visitor or random Google search. The beauty of Internet Marketing in today’s digital age, it can become the stem or backbone of any small business’ marketing strategy. Start with your website, add a blog and THEN turn to social media to connect further. Social media allows companies to connect with their “fan base” directly and candidly. But how to pick a social media campaign? Look at the top 6 social media outlets and decide for your business needs. Remember, not every social media method is right for your business. Time is valuable and there is no need to waste it on efforts that will not be effective.

  • Facebook: Facebook has enough users to be considered the 3rd largest country in the world and with that statistic it should not be ignored. The timeline feature offers businesses, locations and pages the opportunity to share a common look, yet at the same time the ability to stand out with amazing graphic design, button selection and placement as well as content. Another huge plus is the opportunity for Pay-Per-Click advertising. We feel that Facebook is the best start to any social media campaign in this market.
  • Twitter: Twitter is hit or miss. In our opinion, your anticipated audience will determine your presence here. Here is a great social media analogy to keep in mind when analyzing your needs:

Twitter is the cocktail party;
Facebook is the hallway conversation;
LinkedIn is the business meeting

             Facebook allows us to share current and fairly personal things without overstepping
many professional boundaries and becoming inappropriate. LinkedIn is very rigid in
information allotment and appearance. Twitter is the cocktail party, you more than likely
are going to “hear”/read something that you did not want or need to know. Twitter also
has such a high turnover of fluff information this is the place to be extremely candid and
off the cuff.

Bearing that in mind, Twitter is generally used with much more frequency and can sustain
a larger range of irrelevant information postings than Facebook or LinkedIn without being
out of place.

  • LinkedIn: The business meeting of social media marketing. LinkedIn is a network of professionals. Having now expanded to include groups, topics, discussion boards, business specials and products offered, in addition to employment opportunities – this would be a pivotal profile to utilize.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is another social media outlet that would be dependent upon your audience. We love it as a way to repost your blog,create “pin boards” of ideas we love, and products we can’t live without; it might not necessarily be for your business. Or at least something to focus on immediately.
  • YouTube: YouTube is similar to Pinterest. It has a large capacity for increasing SEO with proper keyword placement within the video, but videos might not be the first thing to focus on with your business, dependent upon your industry. We suggest YouTube taking the backburner until you have good, solid video content that will help rather than hinder you.
  • Google +: We LOVE Google products. Taking into consideration that it IS Google’s magical algorithm that we base our SEO stratagems, it is not to be ignored. We suggest using this for reposting blogs, videos, etc. Google+ also offers an awesome way to conference call between employees, offices, or meetings with the free product Google Hangout. You are not limited to a number of viewers, it is FREE and very easy to use.

Overall we suggest starting with Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn for the beginner’s social profiles because they can “sit” for a little longer than the others. Add Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest as you have more content readily available and more time to dedicate to social media marketing.

4. Pollinate Your Area

Remember the small details. Those who go out of their way to think of common courtesies are remembered. Write a thank-you note. If it is a business owner taking time out of their day to listen to your proposal or sales pitch, send a note their way! They certainly did not have to hear you out and the small business owner is busier than ever trying to wear every hat that they can. Not only are they the CEO, they act as the GM, CFO, CMO and nearly every other title under the sun. Even if the sale does not pan out, a thank you note will be remembered. Also, take notes during your conversation! If you can get their birthday, send them a piece of mail. Those who are able to subtly and consistently market, whether it is as unassuming as a birthday or holiday card, tend to be remembered and thought of when prompted of the industry and those within it. Planting those seeds of well wishes, pleasant thoughts and helpful tidbits will go a long way in the end.

5. Don’t Forget to Sow and Replant Your Seeds

Now that you are regularly reminding your clients of your presence within your field, be sure to remind them every now and again that you, too, need business. A simple “You may not need my services, but if you think of someone please pass along my information” really can provide ROI. Repeat the above steps as necessary to continue to grow and develop as a small business!