Is It Time for a Marketing Makeover?Rieva Lesonsky
Before 2017 gets any further underway, take a good look at your business’s marketing materials. Is it time for a change? Ask yourself these five questions to see if your business needs a marketing makeover
- Is my business brand still relevant? If your business has been around for a while, your logo, tagline, and design elements (such as the fonts and colors you use in your marketing materials, business website or store signage) could be looking a bit old-fashioned. Captive for any website that was designed more than five years ago. Finally, have your business’s offerings changed since you developed your initial brand? Maybe your e-commerce website used to sell baby clothes, and now you’ve expanded to children’s clothes and clothes for expectant mothers. Assess whether your existing brand reflects what your business currently does and attracts the type of customer base you’re trying to reach.
- Is my website and other digital marketing mobile-friendly? Today, smartphones and tablets account for 51.3 percent of internet use. Whether customers are in their cars or on their sofas, they turn to their mobile devices more often than their laptops or desktops to search the Internet. That means your website, marketing emails and social media presence must be mobile-oriented. In fact, Google has begun experimenting with a mobile-first approach to search, and has announced that eventually, its algorithms will focus primarily on the mobile version of a website content when ranking it. For best results, your website should use responsive design, which means it automatically adjusts to the screen size and orientation of the device being used. This ensures that users can always navigate your site, no matter whether they’re on a laptop or a smartphone.
- Does my business have a social media presence? Whether you own an e-commerce business, a consulting firm or a restaurant, every kind of business today is expected to have some sort of presence on social media. If you launched a Facebook page for your business in 2013, but haven’t updated it since 2014, it’s time to get with the program. Find out what social media platforms your target customers use most often, and get active on those.
- Is my customer service up to par? We don’t always think of customer service as “marketing,” but today, service is a vital differentiator for small businesses. Customers have higher expectations than ever before—and if your business isn't living up to those expectations, you'll lose out to the competition. Make sure your employees and customer service reps are well-trained regarding your products and services, are genuinely friendly and caring, and have the tools they need to do a great job.
- Is my business website optimized for search engines? If you do a search for the product or service you sell, where does your business come up in the search results? If it’s not on the first page, you need some help. Good SEO is an important part of every small business’s marketing plan. Without it, potential customers may never find you. It’s worth investing in professional SEO help to get your business ranked higher and search engines. And if your business relies on a local customer base, don’t forget local SEO, which can attract more customers from your nearby area.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship.