New Year Resolutions for Small Businesses
January is a great time to make lifestyle changes and set goals for the next 12 months, but why limit yourself to making personal changes? When it comes to digital marketing, most businesses can make a few resolutions to improve their presence, increase their conversions, and get more customers in January and through the rest of the year. That’s why we’ve put together 5 new years resolutions that could help your business succeed in 2015.
Don’t Waste Data
Every business that trades online has a treasure-trove of useful information; email addresses, buying histories, physical locations, and data that lets you know who your customers are and what they want. Unfortunately, for a lot of businesses this information just sits on their servers and gets used when they need to send an order out.
This is the perfect time to start doing more with your data. Something as simple as a regular mail out for your most active customers could help to increase your conversions without having to find new customers or convince them of your reputation. Email offers with engaged customers help people to find the best deals for them and spend less time browsing both your site and your competitors’.
Before you use the information you hold, make sure that you have consent to send marketing messages (whether they’re email, text, or calls). You should also segment your data so that you can send relevant messages to the right customers – always send your best offers to your top 10% first to show that you value their custom. Irrelevant marketing messages are one of the top reasons why people consign emails to the junk folder or unsubscribe, so make sure that you’re sending people information that’s engaging, interesting, or valuable.
Be More Focused on Social Media
We all know that businesses need a social media presence, but unfortunately that’s not always defined or even completely thought through. Simply setting up a Facebook page and putting a product on there every so often isn’t going to get more customers or even engage existing ones. That’s why your business needs a social media strategy with an outline to show that content you post, what your aims are, who you want to engage, and what the benefits will be. This is the perfect time to sit down and review your social media presence before going any further. Your social media resolutions could help you to keep existing clients engaged and fuel word of mouth, so what are you waiting for?
Condense Your Online Advertising
Small business often means small budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of pay per click advertising (or PPC). Unfortunately, a lot of businesses set a very small daily budget and let the ads run through the entire year, which puts a severe limit on how much they can achieve at any time (while still spending a lot of money each year).
If you have a £3000 PPC budget for the year, you could spend £8.30 per day and gain a few clicks but it’s unlikely that you’ll see more than around 16 per day (being very generous) and conversions would be extremely low. Instead, plan your advertising around big events or peak times to make the most of your budget in a shorter period of time. Fitting that £3000 into 2 weeks, twice a year, will provide you with far more conversions for the same amount of money.
Talk to a PPC specialist to find out when how you can use your budget and what your options are.
Make Smart Design Decisions
One of the major mistakes small businesses make is settling for design that just looks pretty, but doesn’t follow their user’s requirements or SEO best practices. But you don’t need the same departments or budgets as bigger corporations to make data-driven design decisions. Looking at information such as Google’s In Page Analytics will let you know how people are interacting with your site, which banners are working for you, and what can be replaced with more high-traffic pages.
Making data-driven decisions rather than following personal preferences can have a huge impact on your conversions – it’s amazing what some simple adjustments can do.
Don’t Just Set Goals – Analyse Results
Good analysis takes time and knowledge, but it’s key to helping your business make the most of your marketing budgets. It’s tough to make consistent improvements if you don’t know the figures, and it’s even harder if you don’t know what you should be improving in the first place. Free tools like Google Analytics and ranking checks will help you to identify your most popular pages, most successful campaigns, and your weaknesses. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to us about setting up regular ROI reports and website healthchecks which come with analysis and advice on what you can improve.
And Stick to It!
92% of New Years Resolutions fail because people people set the wrong goals or don’t equip themselves with everything they need to achieve their ambitions. Luckily, most people are more disciplined at work, and businesses have frameworks to implement and continue making changes. But the basic premise is the same – make sure that your goals are achievable, and change your business environment to make sure that you can make the changes you need to achieve your goals. Good luck – and we look forward to seeing the improvements you make in 2015!