At the start of the year it’s easy to get caught up in the hype around the ‘latest’ marketing trends and what we ‘should’ be doing to keep up.
Each new year brings the inevitable flood of articles predicting trends in social media and marketing and what you ‘need’ to be doing to stay on the cutting edge.
Yes, small to medium business owners need to know what’s going on – and some of these articles are a worthwhile read. But which ones?
Business owners are only too aware that time is a limited resource. Maybe you’re wondering if you need to do something new? Maybe you’re already so busy just keeping up with the day to day running of your business that implementing a new marketing strategy is a laughable prospect.
Either way, here’s my advice for 2017: Master the Basics.
Regardless of the year, consistently applying the basics of online marketing and running a website are significant challenges for time strapped SMEs.
And by ‘basics’ I mean the foundational things that don’t really change and upon which any successful marketing campaign is built.
Secure your Website
Let’s start at possibly the most important ‘basic’ to get right: security. Unless you’ve been ship-wrecked on a desert island for a bit, you’ll know online security is a thing these days. It was a key issue in the recent presidential election with Hilary Clinton’s email scandal. Serious breaches are almost daily news.
Despite the constant barrage of security disasters, many business owners seem oblivious to the real risks. As if being ‘small’ somehow makes you less of a target.
Let’s be clear – if your website is not secured, all your marketing efforts can go down the toilet overnight. It’s happening as you read this. If you have a self-hosted WordPress website chances are that it is being probed for vulnerabilities right now.
Quite recently, a vulnerability in WordPress resulted in hundreds of thousands of web pages being defaced. It was fixable and the reason those sites were breached was the absence of a sound security strategy.
Do you have one in place?
Keep your Information up to Date
The internet is a paradox. We are part of a publishing revolution; never before in the history of humanity has the means to communicate instantly to virtually the entire world been at the finger tips of virtually anyone.
Yet despite this new reality, communication between humans is often as confused and broken as it has ever been.
Poor and out of date information on websites drives you nuts. Why? Because you know there’s no need for it.
Updating a web page these days can often only take a matter of minutes. That’s what WordPress is all about; being part of the publishing revolution.
Before embarking on any marketing campaign, think about reading through every page of your website to make sure all the information is up to date.
Post Quality Content Regularly
Not only is your existing content important, fresh content is key. It’s that old saying, ‘content is king’.
The best kind of marketing is organic. People find your site valuable, so they link to it and tell others, Google notices and you climb up the search results.
Assuming you have a robust content distribution network, regularly writing content that is useful, enlightening and entertaining will generate an audience. Your audience will tell others and it will grow.
So simple, so very beautiful as Donald might say.
Do What you Do Do Well
Thanks Ned, good advice. Chances are, you’ve already had a shot at working some basic marketing strategies into your schedule.
Remember that meeting you had at the beginning of last year?
Maybe now’s a good time time to review, refine and quietly build on what you’re already doing – or what you decided to do but haven’t quite gotten around to.
Either way, be wary of the latest bright shiny things.
Assess your resources and set some SMART goals that are suited to your situation and see them through.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
– Jim Rohn