It’s never too early to think about and plan your next move and as the year 2013 winds down it shouldn’t mean a wind down for your business or your bottom line. Here are some trends and tips to start thinking about implementing for next year and 8 ways to be great(er) for your business in 2014.
Some people have a strong opposition to change, some are made slightly uncomfortable by it and some live by it. Changing your website if you have not done so in a while (6-8 months or more) demonstrates that you are trying to please the masses, constantly working to be better and staying on a competitive edge. Of course the response to change often ranges from hate to love, regardless; responding to reactions is crucial and confirms you are “listening”, effectively re-engaging your audience anew.
You already have a website and social media accounts set-up but do you also have your mobile site up and running smoothly? Having a well formatted and fully functioning mobile site established is as important as having a contact phone number, it proves your business really exists.
An e-mail campaign does you no good in business anymore unless you have something of value or relevance to offer. This does not have to be a large financial investment on your part and by being creative, often these “gifts” can be free of cost for the business. campaigns for give-aways, raffles and other “free” incentives that keep your audience engaged, interested and offers something “extra” of value.
By now we have all mastered incorporating social media into everyday business practices, but like trends things can change overnight. Not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to your professional use of social media as well. Switching things up, experimenting, and being open to new platforms will expand your reach and increase your overall presence. If you only have one Social Media channel, such as a Facebook for business or Google+, try a new platform or contribute to other relevant businesses social profiles to expand your presence and authority.
If your camera shy, find someone who isn’t and try putting together a video. It can be a tutorial, product review, tour, interview, or breaking news release, either way the demand for visual content is growing like weeds and it will likely be worth the effort. According to recent marketing statistics, an online shopper is 144% more likely to make a purchase after they have viewed a video about it.
Content let’s people know that your business is healthy and that you’re working every day. Have you ever been to a new business only to find it’s closed? Likely you will never try again, this is no different than the virtual image you project about your business, the internet is open 24-7, so it’s best not to let your virtual presence look “closed”. If you build it they will come, but if you don’t keep it maintenance, they will leave.
We can’t live without it in business; SEO can also make business owners go grey and their wallets a bit lighter. Every business needs not to just have a qualified person in charge of SEO, but they also need to constantly check the overall performance of SEO. Unfortunately there is a growing number of services and individuals more than willing to charge for this service and do virtually (and literally) nothing. Google alone changes it’s algorithm as often we are supposed to change our sheets, so don’t get too comfortable with methods that works today, they may not work tomorrow.
7.1 Tracking customers and your internet performance doesn’t mean you have to be like the NSA, it just means you have a hand on the pulse and feel the heartbeat of your company and customers. It’s startling to think about the all time effort and resources that go into SEO, yet over half of all business owners do not measure any results.
Even if your business does not operate on a global scale, acting locally still applies and community involvement is your key to success. For both local and global types of businesses being involved and supporting your community, your home-turf, not only demonstrates good business ethics but it is a direct connection to people. Those people are your current and potential customers and clients, partners and alliances.
If you have any contributions to this list, trends you see sprouting up or to share a success that is working for your business, please share it with us all!
Feature Image Credit: By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
8 Ways To Be Great (er) For Your Business in 2014.