Planning your digital marketing strategy for 2014.

It starts now. It’s time to take the bull by the horns.
Its time to decide where you want your business to be by this time next year, and make it happen.
You have in front of you a blank canvas, just waiting for you to start.
Like all worthwhile projects, this requires a little introspective thought and planning.

What are the things that we worry about most?
Which areas do we need to invest more into, both time and money?
A recent American study in small to medium business identified that the greatest concern of business owners is finding new customers (42%) with keeping current customers a close second (33%).
Customers are king. Both the ones we already have, and those we are yet to meet.
So here are some tips to help you create a digital marketing strategy which is effective and adaptable.

Create a digital marketing strategy you can actually use.

Step 1. Let the moths out of your business wallet.
The only way you are going to get more customers is to advertise and communicate more. Most business owners put marketing at the very bottom of the list, but if your business needs more customers, then they need to know that you exist, and that only happens through marketing.

Have a flexible approach. Try new modern marketing methods like social media planning, online advertising, using video, and measure what works best for you.

Step 2. Communicate better with the customers you already have.
Often existing customers need additional items from a single supplier. Contact them and see if there is anything else you can help them with.

Modern technology provides myriad methods for communicating – use them, remembering to keep your business personality shining through.

Step 3. Look after the heart of your marketing – your website.
Where do potential customers go when they are looking for your type of business? Google, or other search engines.  When they find you, what do they find? Will your website impress them so much that they are compelled to call you? Or will they move on.

 Over 30% of businesses don’t have websites (staggering but true). So having a good looking, easy to use, and appealing website will put you ahead right there. Looking professional online is an absolute must. No argument.

Step 4. Don’t disappoint customers who look for your website on their mobile or tablet.
Over 50% of people who use their smartphones for searching online will visit websites from that same device. If they can’t read it, find out how to contact you, or where you are in a New York minute, they will go elsewhere. How many customers are you NOT getting because your site isn’t mobile responsive?

Condense the essence of your business for your mobile website. It should contain the basics which are easy to tap, like email, call, locations etc.

Step 5. Design your web to convert visitors into customers.
Give visitors to your site the information that they need, easily and intelligently. Make the experience so pleasant and smooth that your website and business becomes memorable.

Remember what your customers want rather than what you want to tell them. Use language and imagery that will connect with them, and make them identify with your business more closely than others in the industry.

Step 6. Tell the world at large with social media.
Choose the most appropriate social media platforms for your business and develop a consistent plan of delivering content. Just be sure to control the message that you want out there, and make your posting interesting and regular. Followers will expect to hear from you on a regular basis, with informing, educational and interesting titbits.

Make your customers aware of your social media channels, and respond to their questions quickly.

Step 7. Track and measure.
Put plans in place to identify where customers have come from. It doesn’t have to be hard.  If they have come from the website, you will have the data at your fingertips. If they haven’t, just ask.

Talk to your customers, find out what made them call you first.

It’s not rocket science, but it does require planning and discipline.
Today’s marketing requires more activity across multiple channels. The trick is to try the most appropriate methods wholeheartedly, see what works, and evolve.

The most important things to remember in the next 12 months with regard to your digital strategy?

Flexibility, adaptation and review.

If you would like assistance filling in your own blank canvas with a strategic digital marketing plan for 2014, contact us at WhiteSpace Digital.