The New Year has come and gone. We all survived the Mayan apocalypse, and now it is time to really hunker down and get to the business of making money. While you should have a plan for 2013 already in motion, it is always good to consider some new ideas and review some old ones. In today’s business world the key is to innovate and not stagnate. Business plans shouldn’t be written in stone, and be flexible enough to meet the ever changing demands of today’s economy. Here are ten tips to market your brand in 2013.
- Review your website to be sure it is social media friendly. Do you have social media buttons on all of the pages? Do you have the right ones? Research which social media sites are giving you the best referrals and focus on them. MySpace was once the most popular social site, but today Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular ones to make business connections. Pinterest and Instagram (image based social sites) are growing in popularity, and by the end of the year they are projected to be major players in the social media scene.
- Post regularly. Two to three times a week is good, five times a week is better. Posting regularly is not only good for marketing, but nothing beats it for SEO. Post on your social sites, on your blog, update your website content when needed, and be sure all of your links work.
- Post something besides marketing and business news. People like to interact with you, and by posting interesting articles, images, and links they will respond and you can build a strong community of loyal readers and followers.
- Set yourself apart from your competition. Your readers know what you offer; now tell them why they should pick you. Play up the benefits of choosing you. Do you offer at-home delivery? How about free consultations? These are just two examples of what you could be marketing to set yourself apart from the crowd. Use specifics, everyone claims to have superior customer service, but use testimonials to prove this claim.
- Try out videos. No you don’t have to have a big production of 20 minutes. Actually studies show most viewers prefer short videos of two minutes or under. Make your videos entertaining and personal. People like to see who they are doing business with, and if you can add some humor to your message they will feel like they can connect with you more readily.
- Images speak more than words. Use them wisely in your brand marketing. Avoid stock images since they are seen all over the web. Take the pictures yourself, or hire a professional. Even candid shots are more effective than a stock image you can pull off the web.
- Know your competition. Research what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Knowing your competition is a basic concept of business and marketing. Take some time to visit their websites and social network pages.
- You don’t have to break the bank to fund brand marketing. Facebook offers pay per click advertising. Even a small budget will yield a big return since you only pay for visitors that click through to your Facebook page or website.
- Make your brand mobile friendly. Remember screens on mobile devices are smaller than PC’s so be sure your emails and website are both mobile friendly. This may mean making your call to action buttons larger, adding drop down menus, and reducing the width of your pages. Mobile users don’t use a mouse, they use their fingers to navigate so keep this important fact in mind when designing your marketing campaigns.
- Use email campaigns wisely. Don’t flood people’s email inboxes. Time the emails to come out spaced so that readers will actually take the time to read them. Most mobile users read their email on the fly, so make sure it is engaging and easy to read.
These are just ten tips to get you going in 2013 and keep your brand marketing on track. Brand and logo consistency is something that will never change, as well as offering the best products, services, and customer service you can. The New Year is full of potential, so get out there and make it the best year ever.