Regardless if you’re an industry veteran or a newcomer to the business world, you have a unique opportunity to provide your business with more exposure and, therefore, more work in the following year. The problem with this, however, lies in the fact that the majority of industries are quite competitive and already saturated with offers, some of which are objectively superior to that of your own. Still, not everything comes down to numbers and with smarter business promotion in 2020, you can easily triumph even against these odds. Here are several tips to help you out.
1. Set a marketing budget
The first thing you need to understand about promoting your business is the fact that it is never free. Sure, you can share your content on social media without any investment but the reach of these posts will be simply too modest to make a difference. Instead, you need to pay for high-end marketing and analytical tools, consult experts and sponsor your content. You need to pay influencers, invest in PPC (pay-per-click) marketing and engage in so many other paid marketing services.
For this very reason, you need to set a proper marketing budget in 2020. For businesses that already started out with their marketing in 2018 or 2019, the general rule is that they should appoint about 10 per cent of your gross annual revenue as their marketing budget. For a company in a highly competitive industry, this figure can sometimes even go between 20 and 50 per cent. As for companies who are just starting out (and therefore have no idea what their gross annual revenue is), making an educated guess is really the only sensible course of action.
2. Define your goals
The next thing you need to do is clearly define your marketing goals in order to know whether you’re actually moving in the right direction. For this to work, nonetheless, you need to figure out how to differentiate vanity metrics from those that are actually relevant for the growth and prosperity of your business. What’s even more important, these goals need to be set so that you can keep track of progress at any time, not just wait to reach them in order to know if you’re on the right track.
The best way to do so is to set so-called smart goals. Smart, here, is the acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This way, you’ll get the exact frame of reference as to where you are from achieving these goals. By clearly defining your goals, you’ll be able to avoid misinterpreting the data to your own liking. Other than this, by making the goals measurable and timely, you’ll be able to set short-term milestones, as well. This, in particular, is something that should allow you to introduce change and pivot in scenarios where things aren’t moving in the right direction.
3. Brand traits
One more thing that you need to do for your marketing in 2020 is to create a more powerful brand. To start this out, you need to pay more attention to your visuals. You see, your brand colour, logo and font used on your product packages speak as much about your brand as any content marketing campaign. This is why you need to insist on a stronger brand for your business. For instance, when going for the blog theme, you should try to use your original font (at least in headlines) and pick the theme that has your company colour is predominant.
Not all brand themes are visual and in order to cover this on all fronts, you also need to pay close attention to the vocabulary and audience that you’re addressing. For instance, oversimplifying the terminology that you use is one of the major pitfalls of your brand, provided that your audience is well-familiar with the industry. If not, however, the content that you use may miss the mark. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t and in order to avoid this problem altogether, you need to know your target demographic. So, in 2020 try to invest more in analytics.
4. Combine online and offline marketing
While a lot of people argue about whether you should go for online or offline marketing, the truth is that there’s no actual reason why you would have to choose between the two. In fact, these two methods are often the best when used in combination. By adding your website’s URL or your social media handles on your promotional merchandise, you can easily increase your digital footprint by quite the margin. Overall, the real challenge comes from trying to designate a suitable portion of your marketing budget for each of these aspects. This, however, is quite subjective and situation-dependent.
One of the greatest examples of how you can combine your digital marketing with an offline business promotion method like screen printing services is the fact that you can use your design patterns to make labels or decals. Apart from this, you need to keep in mind that brochures and flyers also fit this scheme quite nicely. For instance, an infographic can easily be turned into a brochure, seeing as how it already has a suitable format. All that is left for you to do is determine the size and split the lengthy infographic into several pages.
5. Audit your website
In 2020, you might have to revisit your website in order to get the most out of it. First of all, seeing as how there’s a major shift towards mobile and m-commerce, in general, the responsiveness of your website might have to be slightly improved. Now, it is possible to do the full audit of your website within 15 minutes. This, of course, would require some previous experience with these tasks and adequate tools on your side. However, at first, things might not go as easily as you would like them to.
Once you’re done with the audit, you might have to focus on the issue of the on-site optimization. What this means is that you need to make an active effort to organize your website in order to make it more search-engine-friendly. This often means adding various sorts of metadata tags and organizing your headlines and sub-headlines. It also requires checking all your links in the search of those that are broken that could drastically hurt your search engine rank.
6. Voice search SEO
Previously we’ve mentioned the importance of SEO, however, there’s a massive change on the horizon even in this field and it’s something that you’ll have to adjust to. You see, there’s an estimate that 2020 will be the first year in which more than 50 per cent of all internet users will use the voice search feature. Keep in mind that this changes quite a bit, seeing as how search engine SEO works in a different way than its traditional (text- and video-based) counterpart.
First of all, the algorithm has advanced so much that it takes the context and one’s physical location when it comes to voice and language recognition. Second, when it comes to keywords, when using voice search, people tend to be a lot more grammatical in the word format that they use. For instance, in traditional keywords, people are likely to omit articles and prepositions. With voice search, it takes virtually no effort to utter these additional short words, which makes the act of browsing the internet much closer to the actual, verbal communication.
7. Focus on your blog
The last thing you need to keep in mind is your blog and in order to get the most value out of it, you need to put a focus on consistency. In order to have a regular audience, you have to regularly come up with new content. The problem lies in the fact that this content needs to be written in the same voice and with the same quality of writing. Not only that but you also need to find new, related topics to write about in order to keep your audience interested and engaged.
This logistical problem mostly comes from the fact that it takes you about 3 hours and 57 minutes to write an average blog post, with some of the bigger formats taking 6+ hours. So, with all your other responsibilities, where do you find time for such a massive endeavour. Fortunately, there’s no rule that compels you to complete this on your own. You can hire a content writer or even find several contributors to collaborate with on a regular basis. Still, you need to at least read every post before you have it uploaded. Also, you need to have some guidelines that you aren’t afraid to enforce.
As you can see, the above-listed tips are more of a guide on how to prepare your marketing strategy in 2020 than anything else. Specific advice would require one to know all the circumstances of your current marketing activity and even possess an in-depth knowledge of your industry. On the other hand, knowing how to make a marketing budget and how to make your online and offline efforts work together is a universally applicable skill that should greatly benefit your business promotion efforts.