3 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions for Small Businesses

Planning your marketing strategy for the new year? Check out these three small business marketing resolutions for 2014 from our friends at BoostSuite, and you’ll see results in the form of traffic, leads and new customers.

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season thus far! This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. One of the main reasons why is because there’s a tremendous sense of hope when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

Hopes are high for 2014. This is especially true amongst the small business community. Every solopreneur is gearing up for the new year, making sure they’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s in “marketing.”

To help you achieve your marketing goals in 2014, I’m going to share three New Year’s marketing resolutions that you can easily add to your strategy to generate more results in the form of traffic, leads and customers.

1. Start a Blog, or Blog More Often

Blogging is quite possibly the best, easiest and most cost-effective way to add content to your website on a consistent basis. If you’re not getting visitors to your site and want to start attracting the right audience, blogging is a crucial addition to your strategy. Getting the right audience means more engagement in the form of comments, social shares, guest blogging opportunities (read: inbound links), leads and customers.

Build an editorial calendar based on your customers’ FAQs, your new products or services and their enhancements, company and/or industry news, and topics curated from other relevant sources. Post at least once a week. The more often the better, but make sure your posts are valuable, unique and interesting. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.

Once you get the hang of it, it should only take you about 30 minutes a week to write a good 500-600 word article, post it on your website, add a strong call to action, and promote it in your social channels and monthly newsletter. More on that in a second.

Keep in mind that one new page of content on a small business website or blog receives on average 55 new unique website visitors each month, forever. Think about that as opposed to paying for that same traffic via Google AdWords.

2. Start a Monthly Newsletter

You have customers and other people who visit your website and/or store who want to hear from you on a consistent basis. Email newsletters are one of the best tools for retaining your existing customers and engaging prospective customers.

Newsletters allow you to provide updates, send promotions, and generally keep in touch. You can easily add a newsletter signup form on your website. Check out the services of MailChimp and iContact. They’ll help you create your template, build your subscriber list and get started.

Think about all the brands you love the most. Now think about how many of them send a monthly newsletter. I would bet that most, if not all of them do. Win over your customers by keeping them engaged, and they’ll reward you with referrals and word-of-mouth advertisements.

3. Use Tools to Get Organized

The easiest way to streamline your marketing is to first make sure everything else in your business is organized. You can’t spend time writing high-quality articles and newsletters if you have a cluttered workspace. A clean workspace equates to a clean mind.

Use a tool like Shoeboxed to get organized in the new year. Eliminate all your paper clutter and spend more time on your marketing and other business tasks. Once you take care of organizing your desk, use BoostSuite to organize your content marketing.

BoostSuite will help you research keywords to find the best ones to write about in your blog posts and newsletters, identify and fix on-page SEO errors, optimize your website conversion funnel to get more leads and customers, and build your authority by working with thousands of other marketers just like you!

Aim High in 2014

Many New Year’s marketing resolutions never come to fruition because they’re too ambitious or difficult. When you set your goals for 2014, do yourself a favor and make sure they’re actually attainable.

There’s no better feeling than setting your mind towards something and then achieving it. It may take baby steps at first, but soon you’ll hit a running stride. Take risks! That’s what being a solopreneur or small business owner is all about. Without risk taking, the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps most small businesses going would cease to exist!

I hope that you add my recommended marketing resolutions to your list for the new year. If done correctly, you can make a significant impact in the amount of revenue your business generates. Do you have any other marketing resolutions you’re setting your sights on? Let us know in the comments.

Happy New Year! From the entire BoostSuite team, I wish you and your businesses success and prosperity in 2014.

About the Author

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

 

3 Holiday Promotion Ideas for Your Small Business

In this post, our friends at BoostSuite share three great holidays promotion ideas for your small business that can help you finish the year strong. Check it out!

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

Happy Holidays! I hope you’ve been nice this year and that you get everything that was on your list.

Maybe you’ve been a bit naughty and decided to wait until the last minute to start planning your small business’s holiday promotion? Don’t fret. You’re not alone. You still have some time, but you’ll have to get started right away.

To help, I’m going to share three effective holiday promotion ideas for your small business that won’t take you too long to implement.

I know this is a busy time of year for you so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so you can take action immediately!

1. Create a Landing Page and Provide Something Valuable

The holidays represent a great opportunity to deploy custom landing pages to build your customer/user/subscriber base. The page shouldn’t be extremely complicated. Don’t include superfluous info or clutter. It should simply describe the offer and contain a short contact form for visitors to submit.

I say “short” because the more information you ask for, the lower the likelihood your visitors will submit the form. Only ask for the information you need to get them in the door. Landing pages can combine lead forms with incentives like special deals, coupons and downloads. This makes them an ideal fit for the holidays, where consumers are intrigued by offers and willing to interact with you to get something extra.

Be sure to set up a redirect to a thank-you page where you thank them for their information and include social sharing features. Ask these new converts to like the page or tweet it using your special holiday promotion hashtag to alert other similar people.

2. Launch a Loyalty Program

This time of year is a great opportunity to get customer information and build loyalty amongst your customers. Don’t make things about your company, make it about your customers. Give them as many loyalty options as possible.

Each customer is different. Some don’t want to be called, some don’t want to be emailed, some would rather interact via social media outlets. You have to understand your customers and communicate with them on their terms. I recommend a free gift with purchase over a discount, since you’re not setting your goods at a lower price in people’s minds. Try offering something for signing up and just being in your club.

The Starbucks Card app encourages repeat buying; it allows people with 24 drink purchases to achieve Gold level. But anyone using the app benefits from free downloads and a free drink on their birthday.

3. Run a Contest on Social Media

One of my favorite forms of the social media contest is the caption contest. Post a funny picture of someone/something at your office then ask followers to write the best caption for your photo and offer some sort of reward for the winner.

This is a super-easy one, as the winner doesn’t actually have to be chosen by you. You can leave it up to your audience to choose the winner through likes or retweets!

Additionally, contests can drive users to “Like” your page, setting up an additional communication channel to reach them in the future. People who like your page will see your content via paid or organic posts, and you can reach friends of people who like your page with ad targeting.

Get Started Creating Your Holiday Promotion Today!

You still have a couple weeks to take advantage of the holiday buying spirit. Don’t let your competitors steal all of your holiday prospects and business! Be a busy little elf and build your promotion strong for maximum effectiveness.

Try offering something valuable with a custom landing page, running a loyalty program, or sponsoring a social media contest. Have you done any of these in the past? What was your experience with them?

Do you have any other holiday promotion ideas that small businesses can easily implement? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Now’s Your Chance to Register a Domain Name that Truly Represents Your Business

You can enhance your current web presence and expose your small business to countless more customers by registering a new domain name extension. Find out how in this post from our friends at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping.

Let’s face it: you’re likely at least a little unhappy with your website’s name. Like many business owners, you might have registered a less-than-ideal .com or .net because your first choice was taken. Instead of TopClassChairs.com you had to settle for GreatSeatsforYourLivingRoom.com because it was the closest domain name available.

Now, your customers sort of get the idea, and you came up with an OK compromise – but it was just that, a compromise. You didn’t get what you wanted, and your business might even have suffered for it when potential customers couldn’t find you online.

What if we told you that was changing? Starting now, you can enhance your current web presence and expose your business to countless more customers around the Web?

Say hello to new domain name extensions!

Say Hello to What?

For years every website has had one of a few domain extensions: .com, .net, .org, or a domain name ending like .it if you happen to register a domain in Italy. When websites were new and everybody and their grandma didn’t own at least three domain names, this worked just fine.

But the supply of short, easy-to-remember domain names began to run dry. ICANN, the association that governs Internet naming conventions, recognized this and recently announced the release of hundreds of new domain extensions. These domain extensions (the part that goes after the “.”) are Internet game-changers. With all these new choices available, we’re about to see an explosion of websites with targeted extensions like .lawyer, .barcelona, and .cafe.

So if you decide you want to expand your web presence, you now have some real options. TopClassChairs.furniture, maybe, or TopClassChairs.shop tells anyone clicking on the link exactly what they’re in for.

Here are some more examples:

Business: Anything related to a vertical or industry. Includes .app, .shop, .ventures, and .lawyer.

Local: For websites that are specific in some way to geographical regions, like a state agency or even a travel agency. Includes .tokyo, .irish, and .africa.

Community: Any group, community, or other gathering of people who want to congregate. Includes .fitness, .tennis, and .club.

Generic: There are tons of extensions that don’t fall under a specific group. Includes .fun, .free, .ninja, and .win.

And that’s just the beginning! There are many, many more to come.

How to Get Started

Interested in learning more? We can do a little better than that. We know your business needs to get out there to the masses, and a great domain name is the first step of many. If you’re tired of sending prospects to a dull domain name, head on over to the GoDaddy Extensions Page.

There you can see a huge list of the new extensions, pick your favorites, and even pre-register them before they actually launch. Soon you’ll no longer be contending with a long, boring or hard-to-recall domain name.

Your customers are trying to find you on the Web. GoDaddy has your back.

This guest post is courtesy of GoDaddy® contributing writer Jennifer Dunn. As the Web’s top platform for small businesses, GoDaddy can help you easily start, confidently grow, and successfully run your own venture.