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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Entrepreneurs should constantly push themselves to innovate and try new things. As they say, “Good is the enemy of best”—so even if you’re comfortable and think you’re getting by just fine, that type of complacency could be the thing that’s holding you back from true greatness.

It’s all about trial and error. That’s not to say you should go recklessly spend your budget on far-out, experimental ideas; you need to take calculated risks in order to see what works, what doesn’t, where you should allocate more of your marketing funds, and which expenses you should scale back on.

The marketing strategy that works for your brick-and-mortar Ma’ and Pop business will be wildly different than an eCommerce site targeted toward Millennial audiences, so consider your choices carefully. If you’re not sure about some of the channels available to you, read through the following list of ideas that you might consider implementing in 2020 to drive your company’s success.

  1. Search Engine Optimization

Whether your company is online or operates in a physical space, search engine optimization (SEO) should be a critical part of your marketing efforts. SEO refers to a variety of practices used to have your company’s website appear high on the search engine results page (SERP).

Think about it: nearly anytime anyone wants something, the first thing they’ll do is take out their phone or fire up their computer to find out where they can get it, either online or in-person. Studies show that the top three listings receive nearly all web traffic, so if your company matches a user’s search intent but appears very low on the page, or appears on subsequent pages, chances are that you won’t even be seen – which comes as a huge benefit to your competitors.

Start improving your SEO by building links from other sites back to your page, and creating a local listing on Google; then, improve your website’s architecture and indexability so Google’s bots can crawl it better.

  1. Boost in Branding

Branding refers to the image and emotion that comes to mind when a consumer thinks of your company, whether that’s the green Starbucks logo and its affiliation with delectable coffee, or Nike’s “Just do it” motto and inspirational attitude.

If you haven’t already, now might be the year to take the time to establish your brand’s identity. You can do this in both digital and physical domains. Online, make sure your social media accounts appear aesthetically polished and promotes your company’s culture. Then, get out there and hand out promotional products at events your target audience will attend—whether that’s branded beach totes at a recreational volleyball game or bottle opener keychains at the next tailgate.

  1. Content Marketing

Content is king, so if you haven’t invested time and resources into your company’s blog, now’s the time to do so. Content marketing can help your SEO efforts by giving you the opportunity to add strategized keywords to your post than can increase your organic presence.

It also helps you present yourself as an authority in your industry by covering relevant topics with impressive insight. You can write how-to manuals, official product reviews, and DIY tutorials that establish customer trust. Too busy to write content yourself? You might consider hiring a freelancer writer who can take on the grunt work for you.

If you don’t have the patience for users to find you, you can use paid media marketing channels that can take your company to them—but keep in mind these paid-for services are more expensive than organic traffic acquisition.

  1. Energized Email Campaigns

Once you have solid content, you can use your assets as lead magnets in your email marketing campaigns. You can offer your free eBook or PDF checklist in exchange for their email address; then, an organized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform can help you follow up with your leads in a timely matter.

Note: Be judicious when using email marketing, because you never want to come across as annoying spam. Never buy and blast expensive email lists; doing so is one of the worst online mistakes you can make.

  1. Increased Impressions

Finally, make it a goal in 2020 to increase your visibility around town and online. “Impressions” refer to the amount of times your company is seen, whether that may be a billboard ad, the logo on your promo items, or a social media comment. The more your brand is known and recognized, the better!

What marketing strategy works best for you? Let us know in the comments below.