The new year is upon us and with it comes the promise of new beginnings. If you make a practice of making business resolutions for yourself each year, be sure to check out this list of marketing resolutions you should make in 2019.

Create or update your marketing strategy

marketing strategyIt’s hard to take the time to stop and really create a comprehensive small business marketing plan, but not doing so can leave you with wasted dollars and diminished return on investment for your marketing efforts. Marketing strategy creation can be as comprehensive or as basic as you want it to be. There’s no need to create a voluminous strategy document that will simply sit on a shelf never to be executed. You can put your company’s marketing efforts on the right track by merely identifying the following points:

  • Your target audience
  • Your ideal client
  • Where your target audience resides online/where they go to get information
  • Your top competitors
  • Your unique value proposition
  • Your strengths
  • Your weaknesses
  • Your top keyword phrases

While there are certainly many more aspects you could drill down to in order to create a comprehensive marketing plan, even identifying the basics above will help focus your marketing efforts for 2019. Of course, you could also hire a small business marketing consultant to help you create a plan too!

Get a website (or update the one you have)

get a websiteRegardless of what kind of business you have, you need a website. It’s as simple as that. If your small business doesn’t have one, get one. Platforms such as WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace offer affordable and easy-to-use options for any business of any size. Need a reason why your company needs a website?  Constant Contact gives you ten reasons, including:

  • Your customers expect you to have a website
  • It helps you control the narrative of your business
  • Your competitors likely already have a website
  • Your business is now “open” 24/7

Read the full article for more reasons why you need a website. Already have one?  Great!  When was the last time you reviewed and refreshed it?  If it’s been awhile, 2019 is the year to do it! Many experts will tell you to update your site every two to three years at a minimum. However, you may need to redesign or refresh your website more often. Take a quick look at your website and see if there are pages that need to be updated, added or removed such as content, images, or links. Is your site content still relevant?  Engaging?  Interesting? Is it easy use and navigate?  It might be a good idea to get people from outside your company to give you honest feedback on your website so you can uncover areas of opportunity to improve.

Embrace voice search

voice searchWe’ve written about the emergence of voice search in past articles. If your company hasn’t yet reviewed your website content and functionality to ensure your site is optimized for voice search, 2019 is your year! A 2018 article by Forbes stated that one study illustrated that voice searches increased more than 35-fold between 2008 and 2016. In another article, more than 40%of adults used voice-based search on a daily basis in 2016. ComScore estimates that more than 50% of searches will be voice-based by 2020. That’s less than a year away! You don’t want to miss out on that search traffic, especially if you’re a local business.

Be strategic about content distribution

Most small business owners have finally embraced the concept of content marketing, even if they’re limited in content creation due to time or budget restraints. Many company websites have an onsite blog where subject matter experts share their expertise or showcase their company’s accolades and achievements. If your company has committed to content creation, fantastic!  Now take the effectiveness of that content to a new level by being strategic about content distribution. What does that mean? If your company creates a weekly blog post and puts it on your blog that resides on your website, that’s a fantastic start, but you can and should go further. To get more traction out of the content you’re creating, think about different formats your content can appear in to make it more shareable and consumable by those you’re trying to reach. Here are a few different types of content that you can create:

  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Lists
  • Free guides

Sure, these can all reside just on your website, but did you know, for example, that there are numerous websites where you can post your infographic? The same goes for ebooks. There are numerous free and paid sites where you can publish your eBook, including:

  • Amazon
  • NOOK
  • Google Play
  • iBooks Author

For videos, you can post to YouTube or Vimeo as your top two choices, but there are actually many more sites where you can post your videos as well. And of course, sharing any of your content on your social channels is always a great idea. Don’t let your awesome content go unnoticed!  Embrace content distribution to get it the attention it deserves.

Turn your marketing efforts over to a professional

outsource marketingNot every small business owner is able to spend money on using a marketing professional to handle their marketing efforts but if you can, it makes sense to have a marketing pro run your marketing for you. Why? A marketing professional will implement the tactics that work best for your target audience. They’ll also have the knowledge to know which marketing efforts will bring your company the greatest ROI. And of course, marketing is their area of expertise; they know the more effective tactics, the more reliable marketing tools, and which social platforms your prospects can be found on. They understand how to use and analyze tools such as Google Analytics, SEM Rush, Moz and Google Search Console. Their job IS marketing; it’s all they do. Turning your marketing efforts over to a professional will free your time up for the higher return activity of running and growing your business.

If you’re looking to grow your small business, these are important marketing resolutions you should make in 2019.

Patty Hughes
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