Small Business Marketing: Tips for Your 2014 Strategy

business-people-shaking-handsAs we move from 2013 to 2014, there are some changes small business owners need to make to keep up with their competitors.  Take a look at these ideas to help lead your small business to another year of great success.

Think “Cloud” First

The number of systems, media and networks that together make marketing thrive will continue to grow – which means the Cloud needs to be an area of focus.  From social media to mobility, the marketing game has changed.  It’s essential to integrate these systems in order to reconcile data every day so small businesses can stay aligned with the speed of today’s audience and consumers.

Develop a Practical Marketing Budget

Many small business owners admit that they don’t spend a single penny on marketing.  Yet today’s small business owners say their top concerns are attraction and retention of customers.

Make 2014 the year you devote a larger budget to embark upon new marketing opportunities.  It’s time to adapt to today’s fast-changing marketing pace.  You don’t have to allocate a lot towards your marketing strategies, but you should make smart strategic investments that position your business where customers will research products and services that you offer.

Build a Straightforward Website

A website is the lifeblood of any business strategy from a digital perspective.  It’s the way your consumers can find and connect with your business.  Believe it or not, over half of small businesses have yet to build a website.  So take 2014 by the reins and make this year your time to build an effective website that clearly displays what you have to offer.

Manage Negative Reviews

Online customer reviews play an increasingly major role in motivating consumers’ purchasing behavior.  Comparable to word-of-mouth reviews, customers place a high level of trust in the accuracy of online reviews.  With the stakes so high, it is crucial for small businesses to develop strategies for locating and responding to online reviews.  Make it a goal to improve response time, especially to those that place their business in a negative light.  To maximize your success, you have to manage your online business reputation.

Build an Engaging Social Media Presence

Today’s consumers spent a lot of time interacting on social media with their family and friends – and with brands too.  Businesses, from retailers to restaurants, are building social media channels with success and generating loyalty and building trust with their current customers and prospects.

To fully develop and improve your 2014 social media marketing efforts, take into account a few things.  It’s important to decide which social media platforms work best for your business.  Once you determine your top choices, make an editorial calendar so you can plan out a steady flow of posts and remain engaged with your followers.  Make it a point to return all messages from consumers too.  Last but not least, don’t hesitate to share the information about your social media platforms with your customers and anyone you meet.  Tell them why it’s worth it for them to like or follow your business on social media.

As you break into 2014, you may feel eager to get your smal business marketing on track.  Once you see and begin to reap the benefits of your marketing dollars hard at work, you will feel more excited about your ability to retain and attract future customers.

How will your small business marketing efforts change in 2014?

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Originally published on: ResourceNation

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