Small Business Marketing Checklist: Are You on Track for 2017?
With so many different components in your small business to manage, it can be challenging to stay on top of all of them. With regards to marketing, you need to ensure that your efforts to connect with and engage potential customers is ongoing and consistent.
Here are a few of the most important components of small business marketing that you need to continually monitor or update.
1. Is your website keeping up with your brand?
If you haven’t thought twice about your business’ logo since you first had it designed (or heaven forbid: designed it yourself), it’s time to take a fresh look at it.
Your logo should continue to reflect who you are as a brand, as well as the image you want to portray. Maybe 10 years ago you were a one-person show and you wanted a friendly, personable logo. But now perhaps you’ve grown your business and want to be taken more seriously. That should reflect in your logo, so find a graphic designer with experience designing logos with the ethos you’re looking for and get it updated.
I’m going to assume that you have a website because every small business needs one. But maybe like your logo, your website is no longer aligned with your business’ direction and it needs a refresh. Or maybe it was built on an old design platform and you’re ready to make it more DIY-friendly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when upgrading your website:
- It should be responsive, meaning it renders correctly on different types of devices
- It should connect to all the social media profiles you’re active on
- The home page should have a clear call to action on it
- Your audience, not your brand, should be the focal point of the copy
2. Are you using an email marketing system?
When it comes to your brand’s image, it’s the little things that make a difference. For example, if you’re still using a Gmail or Yahoo email address for your business communications, consider what sort of message that sends to your customers and contacts. It might say that you don’t take your business serious enough to invest a very modest amount in having a business email address. You may also seem unprofessional to those you are reaching out to, making prospecting a difficult task.
Once you decide to get an email address that matches your business domain name, make sure to update it everywhere, including your business cards, email signature, social media accounts, and any profiles you have online that list your contact information.
Aside from getting a professional email address, you should look into using an email marketing system like Infusionsoft. Many software platforms provide templates and easy to use design tools that make creating and sending out email campaigns easier. Email marketing software can also help you build your email list, automate messages to your clients, and provide deep analytics to help you optimize your email marketing efforts.
3. Are you keeping up with your social media profiles?
Consider this checklist a bit like spring cleaning. Now’s the time to spruce up your social media accounts and get rid of any that aren’t gaining you followers and clicks to your website. Maybe initially you signed up for six different social media accounts but now are really only using two. Rather than letting those other four accounts gather dust (and risk someone seeing your inactivity and assuming that you’re no longer in business), just delete them and focus your attention on the remaining two profiles that are actually getting you results.
Take a look at each profile and review what you’ve been publishing. Ideally, you want a mix of several types of content and shares, including:
- Your blog content
- Others’ blog content
- Retweets of other users’ updates
- Videos and photos
- Occasional promotions
- Direct conversation with other users
Now look at your analytics. Which types of shares or topics are garnering the most attention? Aim to incorporate more of these in the future. Also look at your publishing schedule and see which times of day you get the most activity around your shares, and make those your target times moving forward.
4. Are online reviews working in your favor?
If you’re a brand that customers can review on sites like Yelp, spend some time reading through your latest reviews. These reviews provide you with the opportunity to identify issues that might be turning customers off, such as a server at your restaurant who has snipped at more than one customer, as well as what things you’re doing right, like selling amazing food.
Be sure to respond to any and all reviews. If there is an issue, work to resolve it publicly with the reviewer so others can see that you make an effort to make your customers happy.
5. Are you using modern digital marketing tactics?
Now that you’ve dealt with the tactical, consider the bigger picture. What goals do you have with regards to marketing and sales for the next three months, six months, year, and five years? How can you align your marketing practices with those goals for best results?
Now’s a great time to review your digital marketing plan and ensure that it’s still in line with the direction you’re taking your company. Make changes as necessary (and it probably will be necessary).
If you feel like your website and branding is a big concern, then look at what you’re doing and what your competitors are doing. Perhaps you’re doing something right that they aren’t, or perhaps you’ll see that your website is in need of updating. The point is, find someone that is doing these things right and see what you can do to better yourself.
Marketing requires constant assessment and tweaking to ensure it’s still doing what you want it to do. Make sure that you carve out time every few months (at least once a year) to do just that. You shouldn’t necessarily start on all of these at once. Rather, focus your energy on one at a time and make sure you’re doing it right.
Kristian Rivera is a digital marketing specialist at Fit Small Business, a rapidly growing website for small businesses. When not helping other small business owners, Kristian manages a startup where he utilizes his experience in product management, digital marketing, analytics, and business development.
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