The new year has brought new possibilities to small business owners across the nation. Technology in the 21st Century makes even the smallest budgets able to pack a punch and puts great advertising tools at our fingertips. Now with the holidays well behind us, let’s take a look at the top 6 Guru Level Marketing Tips for 2014!
6. Mobile Mobile Mobile
If you haven’t heard it already you’ll hear it from us – THE PC ERA IS OVER – Long Live Mobile! With smartphones being able to handle nearly as much as a computer its official, PCs are “so yesterday.” Many businesses are always on the move and mobile technology makes those trips back to the office a thing of the past. Software developers have helped a great deal with this by moving much of their programs to the cloud. Now you can easily access nearly everything you would from your PC from your phone or tablet and are able to work practically anywhere.
5. Get Social Already
Yes we’re beating a dead horse on this one but if you haven’t started using social media for marketing get to it! It’s not just enough to put up a Facebook page or post to Twitter now and then. Actually engage with the people who want to buy your products. Build up a fan base of loyalists who become free advertising for you in the real world. Run contests, offer promotions, do anything to get reviews and get people talking about your business and your products.
4. Forgot About Dre
If Dr. Dre’s career has proven anything it is that you can reinvent yourself at any time. In 2012 this famous hip hop artist of yesteryear became mainstream again with his line of spectacular headphones, Beats by Dre. What started as a joint venture with Jimmy Iovine, these premium consumer headphones exploded from amazing branding and excellent quality. In 2013 the line expanded into smartphones, speakers, car audio and more. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to put your heart behind something new and create a fantastic product.
3. Get Old School
With your competitors flocking to the Internet for the majority of their advertising, pricing on television, radio and newspaper ads have plummeted. This is a great time to gain extra exposure in these older mediums and run a strong branding campaign. If you’re ever going to invest in your brand, now is the time. Call up a local media buying agent and get the best rates. These professionals have the ins you need to make things happen at the best price available. Any fees you pay are totally worth it as you’ll gain prime exposure at an incredible discount through an agent.
2. Email Still Works
If you haven’t ever tried an email campaign, now is the time. BUT beware the most common mistake every small business makes – sending mass emails through your regular email system (e.g. Outlook). Nothing will get your IP address and website blacklisted faster than mass emailing people. In the old days this was fine but Congress has put a stop to that with a series of bills that make it illegal to send email this way. Your best bet is to use a service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to get the word out. These services verify the email addresses in your list, ensure they are “opt in,” check for cloud marking and handle any legalities you may encounter. Using a reliable email provider is the best, and only, way to put this tool to work for you.
1. Check In On The Competition
The number one thing you can do in 2014 is to stay ahead of your competitors. If the general public can see what specials they’re running, how they’re involved in social media and where they’re advertising, so can you. Find out what is working for them and do it better. Isolate their weaknesses and formulate a plan of attack. By revealing the soft underbelly of your competition you stand the best chance of dominating your local market.