CFP®, CEPA®, CVGA®, at Heritage Investors, LLC, is a financial educator, wealth manager, author, and speaker. More at FinanciallySimple.com.
Now that you’ve reached Q4 in your business, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the initiatives you’ve pursued this year. But that’s not all. The fourth quarter is also the time when you should be preparing to make next year as good as it can possibly be. As an entrepreneur, you must always look ahead. Part of this is preparing a marketing plan to make next year your best year ever. But what can you do now to ensure that tomorrow yields the results you’ve always desired?
Marketing is all about creating exposure and developing trust within your community. However, it must also be a consistent and ongoing effort. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve seen clients who continued to market their businesses report record-breaking years in their organizations. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen clients who couldn’t continue marketing for various reasons struggle immensely just to survive.
With this in mind, I want to point out some marketing tactics that could help make next year the best your business has ever seen.
Online Marketing Is A Necessity
Since the start of the pandemic, people have been spending more time at home. In fact, a Gallup poll of full-time U.S. workers found that 45% of those surveyed worked from home at least part-time in September. Because of this, it has become more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence. To put it into perspective, U.S. e-commerce sales soared to $791.7 billion in 2020, up from $598 billion in 2019. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure your business is present in the online marketplace and working to actively increase your online ranking through customer reviews and honest business practices.
As part of these efforts, consider creating engaging social media videos. There is strong demand for content right now. However, there must be a connection, something viewers can relate to. As business owners, it’s important to tap into this. Creating engaging video content about you, your business, or the products and services you offer can be an effective way to connect with your prospective client base. The key is to be engaging, honest and direct. Know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it before you go online. One of the most important things to remember? Be yourself.
Get Measurable Results With Direct Response Targeted Marketing
Direct response targeted marketing (DRTM) is another effective way to market your business to its potential client pool. One of the best parts of DRTM is that it is easily tracked. This can give you confidence that your marketing efforts are working. Typically, DRTM utilizes an immediate call to action. This can be in the form of a coupon or code, or it could be a dedicated phone number like the ones you see on late-night television ads.
This method provides a measurable result with little waiting period, making it an attractive option for business owners. You can easily determine how effective your DRTM campaign is, eliminating the guesswork.
Additionally, direct response targeted marketing can be used across all mediums. And since the pandemic started, a third of surveyed consumers report spending more time reading direct mailers. Because so many businesses have moved their marketing efforts to Google, a path has been cleared for mailbox marketing. However, if you choose this tactic for your business, you must make them stand out. Spend enough money on the presentation that it reflects the quality of your business.
Marketing On A Tight Budget
But what about those who can’t afford expensive and time-consuming marketing strategies? If you find yourself in this position, you must continue to do something to let people know about your business. Fortunately, there are many effective and inexpensive ways to market your small business.
I’ve already pointed to the necessity of engaging with your consumers on social media. By using various social media platforms, you can market your business directly to your ideal clients while benefiting from each platform’s analytics. This enables you to see how your content is being seen and how often each type of content is engaged. With this information at your fingertips, you can modify and adjust your content to maximize your business’s social reach.
Email marketing is another affordable option for small-business owners. If you have a website, you could entice visitors to sign up for a free newsletter, detailing the latest deals and updates taking place within your business. Once you have their email, you can add them to various email funnels with the goal of converting them from a prospect to a lead, and from a lead to a client. Although the cost of email marketing is relatively low, you will have to put some thought and effort into creating your campaign. You’ll need to include enticing subject lines and a call to action in each email you send. Additionally, you’ll need to write multiple emails for a single campaign, as you’ll have to account for the open rate, which one Mailchimp analysis of email marketing campaigns found was around 21% on average.
Finally, you could do something as simple as host a social media contest or giveaway. Many times, these will require a series of actions such as liking or following your business’s official page, leaving a comment and tagging a friend. This can be a great way to introduce new prospects to your business while growing your social media presence.
Regardless of which marketing tactics you choose to employ in your business, you must begin creating next year’s marketing plan now. Taking the time to plan your marketing strategy can help position your business for a great new year, no matter what it brings.