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Fall Is Here
Fall is a great time to revisit your marketing plan for the upcoming new year. We suggest you take part of a day to review your plan to determine what is working, what needs to change, and how you might accomplish it. We made a list that might make things a little easier for you.
Audit and Update Your Website
Your website is the foundation of all your marketing so if something isn’t correct it may not be as effective as it could be. Review the design, text photos, and technical (software that makes it work).
Take a moment to look through your website – is it easy to navigate? Is the content easy to read? Is the information correct? Do the pages load quickly? Is it responsive – does it display well on both your cell phone and your computer? Technical is a bit harder but that is ensuring the ‘software’ that runs the website, is up to date. If it is not up to date it could be making the site vulnerable to malware or other malicious attacks or simply causing the site to not work as it should.
All of these play into how search engines place your website, with mobile being what the search engines look at before desktop. (More on that a bit further down the list).
Check Your Local Listings
Search your company name on Google and see where you show up. Where are you showing up? Have you claimed them if they are claimable? Are they showing the correct information, and correct business hours? Is the logo correct? Are you using your Google Business Profile? Is it optimized?
Search Engine Optimization
Are you able to easily find your website? Check on both your phone and computer as they will return different results. Not everyone can be on the first page, and it takes a lot of effort with a whole package marketing plan to accomplish that (so yes, you guessed correctly, a lot of time and money if you hire someone to help). Being found on the internet is similar to being found physically, it is such an important component but requires a lot of things to happen in order for your business to be found. Can you simply use Paid Ads? Sure but those also require the same things to happen in order for your ad to show up and to keep your ad spend as low as possible.
Have you located all of your reviews? Are you responding to ALL your reviews (good and bad)? Each review should be responded to in a professional but familiar manner. Bad reviews are best handled immediately as it is a reflection of your company’s customer service (as far as a potential customer is concerned). Should you remove negative reviews? Absolutely not, it makes it appear as if you have something to hide (not trustworthy) however there are cases where it is ok to request removal. Consumers know that companies are not perfect and expect to see that reflected accordingly.
Does your email marketing need some help? Are you even using email marketing to stay with your customers? There are many options that allow you to stay utmost in your customer’s mind.
How is your social media doing? Which platforms is your company on? Are they the correct ones for your demographic or are you just on them because it is ‘required’? Do you have a plan laid out of what and when to post?
Some things you can do in your ‘spare’ time
Create seasonal content
People love seasonal content, especially around the holidays. Seasonal content drives ten times higher engagement and 22% higher online sales. Be sure to use it not only on your website but also in your other marketing as well.
Launch a Referral Program
Existing customers can be the best source of new customers. 83% of people say they trust recommendations from friends and family. 18% of referred customers are more likely to remain with the business. Launch a referral program contest to entice current customers to refer new ones. You can provide an incentive for each customer or the top three referrers receive a reward during a certain time period.
Participate in Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year)
Small Business Saturday highlights small businesses, (thank you American Express!) It is a great opportunity to attract new customers and take advantage of the Holiday shopping season. Run promotions in-store, and encourage people to shop locally with you.
Train your team on calling handling, now is a great time to refresh your team on the best way to properly handle customers and prospects as business picks up. Establish guidelines if not already in place, remind the team how to handle any complaints, and best call handling procedures.
If employees respond to email/online messages, review how to best handle responding to emails or direct messaging. Provide a timeline that you would like them to respond within, and remind employees how you might like them to handle those emails
Looking at your marketing plan and objectives allows you to see what goals are left for you to reach before the end of the year, where you need to pivot, and if any goals need adjusting. In the new year review goals quarterly or seasonally so you can stay on track, and ensure campaigns and strategies are working together to help your business succeed.
After auditing your current marketing you can:
- Start planning your 2024 marketing
- Update ad images for fall/winter, then spring and summer
- Use seasonal advertising slogans
- Start holiday advertising NOW
- Come up with a new marketing strategy if necessary
As life moves more and more online it is important to take a period of time to ensure that your company stays relevant and competitive. What are you waiting for?