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9 Marketing Tips for 2014 :

Marketing your business is a year-in-year-out task – there are no days off. And in order to drive in new business for 2014 there are some marketing tactics that need to be part of your plan. Marketing needs to add value to your business. It isn’t always about moving products. It is about building relationships with your customers. So here are nine marketing tips that will help you engage with your audience this year.

1. Have a Consistent Message

You probably have many platforms representing your business – in-store signage, a website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, etc. When your customers see your message across many different channels and platforms it becomes more believable. Imagine the frustration a customer would have seeing an email about a promotion but not finding it on your website or on your social media. Consistency counts.

2. Email Marketing

It’s not all about your website. Email marketing can be a very fruitful tool for your business. With today’s online marketing tools, the worry about being blacklisted by sending too many emails is greatly lessened. In fact, did you know that recipients of email marketing campaigns buy 28 percent more often than those who do not receive emails, and when they buy they purchase 44 percent more in product (via Small Business Yahoo!)?

3. SEO

You must get your SEO right, and that is done by creating valuable content on a regular basis so you rank for keyword searches. Focus on good link-building to get a good Google rank. SEO is also improved by keeping an updated blog, refreshing your online listings on directory websites, using data from Google Analytics, and writing quality content on your website.

4. Social Media Channels

One of the most direct ways to engage your customers is by being where they are – on social media. Think of it as community work in the online sphere, and the more effort you put in here the more you will get out of it. Provide content that truly connects with people, starts a conversation, or provides useful information they can share with others on your behalf. Explore the various social media options and make sure you’re at least on a couple of them, if not all of them.

5. Get Referrals

Sometimes you can get referrals just by asking for them often enough. Imagine if you asked 10 of your customers for a referral, half of them said yes, and one of those referrals becomes a new customer. You just increased your business by 10 percent by asking a small, targeted group. You won’t know what will happen if you don’t ask.

6. Be Mobile

Mobile devices are everywhere and nearly doing everything. If your business doesn’t look good on a mobile device you can lose or frustrate your customers. People are surfing the web and checking their email while on-the-go. Ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices.

7. Use Video

Create and release videos to engage with your customers. You can post them online via YouTube, Vimeo, or other sites. Post them on your social media channels and embed them on your site. YouTube accounts for 28 percent of all Google searches, 90 percent of online traffic views videos, and millions of videos are watched online every day. However, only 24 percent of major brands use online videos to market to their audience. 

8. Perform Competitor Analysis

Sometimes you need to take a step back and see what your competitors are up to. Make notes about the opportunities and the threats that come from them, and build them into your own business strategy. This will keep you from having tunnel vision about your own products.

9. Niche Websites Have an Impact

If you are a little fish in a big pond, sometimes it can be hard to be found. With all the pay-to-play tactics out there for search and social traffic, it can be difficult for some websites to be found. However, if you have a niche site that targets people with a specific interest, it can be easier to get in front of your customer. These sites are often more affordable to advertise than a broad site.

If you have questions about employing any of these nine marketing tactics, let us know.