The beginning of a new year is a great time to assess how well your marketing performed last year and how you can up your game. If you’ve been following a small business marketing strategy, now is the time to take a look at how results stacked up to the plan. Some of your results fall a little short? Maybe it’s time to try new marketing tactics in the new year to freshen things up a bit. Here are a few to consider.

Paid ads

paid ads campaignIt’s no secret that trying to get the attention of your target audience is getting harder to do. Marketers are vying for the same audience, and to compete with your competitors in your industry, you may have to step it up a bit. One of the best ways to do that is through paid advertising. Many small business owners shy away from paid advertising like Google Ads because they’ve heard you can burn through a budget quickly with little results. That is true if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you work with a trusted marketing professional, you’ll find that paid ads can really pay off! With paid ads, you can target your message to the audience you want, people who are interested in your product or service. You can narrow it down by location, age range, interests, etc. You can even dictate when your ads show. You can also set a budget and monitor your progress, so you won’t exceed the budget if you monitor your campaigns. Paid ads also are one of the best ways to measure your results; Google Ads shows you exactly what happened with the money spent; who clicked through based on which search term, which ad attracted the most business, the page they landed on your site, and what their final actions were such as a purchase or inquiry for more information. If you’ve never tried Google Ads, this may be the year to give it a shot!

Video marketing

video marketingThere was a time when trying to do video marketing for your small business was cumbersome and expensive. Nowadays, it’s much easier to get your marketing message out through videos! If you haven’t started video marketing for your small business, consider these facts from Blogging Wizard:

  • 86% of businesses utilize video marketing
  • Video uploads have increased by almost 264% in the last 5 years
  • 32% of businesses use video marketing as a sales tool
  • 87% of marketers say videos provide a positive ROI

Like any other tactic, it’s best to start with a plan, including a budget, topic, target audience, and message.  Also, look for video marketing companies that specialize in working with small businesses and understand your unique challenges.  Familiarize yourself with video marketing and how it works, then start your new video marketing efforts in the new year!

Referral programs

referralsReferrals or word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most overlooked tactics by small business owners, yet it provides one of the highest ROI rates. Why? People trust people over companies they don’t know. People are more likely to do business with your small business if someone has referred them to you. So how do you get people (likely current clients) to refer people to you? Try starting a referral program! Referrals can happen naturally, but businesses use a dedicated referral system to increase awareness and sales predictably. They don’t need to be complicated; it can be as easy as giving the referrer a small “spiff” as a token of your gratitude for the referral. You can also create a more comprehensive system where both the referrer and the referred get discounts on future products or services. The choice is yours; the first step is simply to ask for referrals! Not sure exactly how to do that? HubSpot came up with some great ideas for how to ask for referrals!

SMS marketing

SMS marketingA relative newcomer to the world of marketing, SMS marketing is picking up steam quickly, and small businesses are starting to get on board with this tactic. SMS marketing is marketing by text. Choose a reputable SMS service provider who can set up campaigns for you. Keep in mind that SMS marketing is a permission-based tactic, so you’ll need to get the OK from your target audience to send them texts. You can add opt-in forms to your website, landing pages, and social media profiles today to start building your subscriber list. When done correctly, SMS marketing can be highly effective:

  • Text messages boast a 98% read rate, with 95% being read in the first 3 minutes.
  • 75% of customers are ok with receiving SMS messages from brands.
  • 89% of consumers would prefer to interact with businesses via text messaging rather than a phone call.

With a little planning and understanding of SMS marketing overall, text messaging can help you generate new business, grow existing business, and stay engaged with your target audience overall.

Now is the time to readdress your marketing efforts. Trying new marketing tactics in the new year can elevate your small business marketing results!

Patty Hughes
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