Small Business Internet Marketing Resolutions for 2011
Now that you’ve experienced major success with your Internet marketing endeavors in 2010 and your small business is breaking sales records, we can focus on how to maximize the value of all those new customer relationships. Wait, what’s that? You didn’t experience that kind of success last year?
OK, no problem, I bet you’re just making some common mistakes and we can address those with a few simple changes this year and get you right back on track. We’ll call this list your Small Business Internet Marketing Resolutions for 2011.
And, unlike those other resolution lists that are too broad and ambitious to actually achieve, we’ll make sure these are easy, actionable and add up to success.
1. Focus on Content
Resolve to spend at least as much time on the content and messaging for your website and advertising as you do on the design. Better yet: focus twice as much on the content and you’ll really have an advantage over the competition. Too many marketing departments and business owners get wrapped up solely in the design when it comes time to update, redesign or expand their website. Design is important, but it’s there to showcase your message and content.
2. Always Use Landing Pages
Stop sending all your traffic to your home page! The #1 mistake we see in Internet marketing is crafting a clever and specific ad or link and sending all the traffic to the home page. If you promise the user a special promotion, take them to a page about that promotion. If you have any clue who the audience will be when you place the ad, design the landing page specifically for that audience. Sending all your Internet marketing traffic to your home page—regardless of the source—is a disservice to your visitor. If you promise them something, take them directly to it or risk losing their attention immediately.
3. Build The List
This is the resolution you wished you would have kept years ago. Build your email and social media lists. The more potential and existing customers who opt into your list, the more seeds you have in the ground. Not everyone you meet or attract through marketing will instantly become a customer, but the majority of them will be open to subscribing to your list—provided you don’t abuse it. Make your newsletter subscription and social media joins more attractive and prominent on your site. Provide incentives to join and consistent value to those who do. This will close the gap between prospects and clients more effectively this year.
4. Reach Out More Regularly
Now that you’re going to build this list of prospective and current customers, make sure to provide them with valuable information on a regular basis. Tell them about your best successes on occasion, but make sure you’re offering them enough value to merit the attention they’re giving you. Send that newsletter out every month and update those social media profiles daily, or at least weekly with information they can’t get enough of.
5. Be a Resource
Your website can be so much more than a brochure. Your competitors are offering unique thought leadership, advice and other resources that are useful to your clients. As we mentioned above—not everybody who can hire you or buy from you is ready to do so today. Offer relevant and valuable resources to introduce your products and services to these prospects so that they know who you are when they are ready to make the investment.
6. Diversify Your Traffic Streams
You know the old investing adage of safety through diversification? The same can be said about your traffic sources. Reduce your risk of waking up one day with no traffic by investing in more ways to attract visitors to your website. The good news is that all that content and other assets you use for SEO or social media can be augmented to support pay-per-click or video advertising—and vice versa. Make the commitment to add new traffic sources in 2011.
Those are some key resolutions that every small business marketer should be making this year. That is, of course, unless you exercised these last year, in which case you’re likely experiencing the record-breaking sales growth and success we started this article by mentioning.
Feel free to expand on this list in the comments below.
Make it a remarkable and successful 2011!