Ways to Improve Marketing

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It’s the start of another new year, and hopefully you, like many businesses, have seen an improvement in your bottom line as the economy begins to show signs of improvement. If you’re smart, though, you aren’t about to sit on the sidelines and passively wait for your customers and prospects to come to you as their own purse strings begin to loosen. Get busy and get proactive! Here are some things that can improve your marketing efforts and leave you in a better position come this time next year:

1. Assess & Analyze
business networking for marketing successWhat worked for you last year? What trends are you seeing, gaps in your customers needs that you can fill? It’s a very rare business that doesn’t have to change and adapt as customer demands change and technology progresses.

For most businesses, what worked beautifully 5 years ago isn’t going to work exactly the same way now. Don’t make broad assessments based on what you think, put it down in writing. Start a spreadsheet or chart exactly where your income was generated for the last few years. Add a column for incoming leads. Where did they come from and what did they request for services 5 years ago? How has that changed? If you do this, you will start seeing some trends. If you are wise, those trends will influence how you market and perhaps even your business mix.

2. Social Media, Social Media, Social Media
business networking for marketing successI’m still surprised by the number of businesses, both small and large, that don’t utilize social media. Either they’re completely absent, they’re not on the best platform for their business type, or they get bogged down in their business and let it languish. Make it your goal to improve your social media footprint this year!

What do I recommend? Put up several profiles, but carefully think about which ones will bring the most value to your business–these are the ones that your customers and peers are on. Now concentrate on keeping 2 or 3 of the most valuable social media platforms up to date. Post! Interact! Use pictures and links!

3. Network!
business networking for marketing successSocial Media is all about networking, making new connections and increasing your visibility, but don’t just hide behind your computer screen or claim you’re too busy to network in person. You’re liable to find yourself with plenty of time and nothing to do.

Not a social butterfly? That’s okay. Stop thinking about a room full of people, and concentrate on making one new connection instead. The truth is that meeting 1-3 new valuable connections is far more worthwhile than meeting 50 people at an event that will leave you confused, wondering who is who, and unable to follow up effectively. Oh yes, follow up. Crucial. It’s how you cement the new relationship, deepen it, and that’s where the real value of networking begins.