6 Small Business Marketing Tips for 2014 and Beyond

By Janine Popick

With the rush of the holiday season in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to think about how you can continue to grow and attract new customers in 2014. We’ll start with six small business marketing tips that can help your business thrive and prosper in the New Year and beyond.

6 Effective Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

1. Go Mobile

Over 1.2 billion people use mobile devices to access the Web. If that stat doesn’t convince you to make your marketing mobile friendly, how about this: 60 percent of mobile shoppers use their smartphones while in a store, and another 50 percent while on their way to a store. (Source: Deloitte Digital) In the email marketing world, email opens on mobile devices have risen 80 percent in just the last six months.

Everything is “going mobile,” so if your emails and website are not mobile compatible yet, put that near the top of your list. You can use a service like Dudamobile to help make your website mobile friendly in just minutes.

2. Post Video

Did you know more than 90 percent of online traffic goes to video content, and YouTube accounts for 28 percent of all Google searches—with more than 1 billion unique users visiting YouTube each month? People—89 million of them—watch a whopping 1.2 billion online videos in the U.S. every day. Yet, only 24 percent of national brands use online video to market to their consumers.

Video not only increases branding, it also will increase the likelihood of a consumer purchase. How are you using video today on your website or as a part of your customer experience? You can create simple short video snippets using an app like Vine, or create a snappy video that features customers using your product, or even a series of videos that have tips or how-tos to help your customers.

3. Send Email

Did you know that recipients of email marketing campaigns purchase 28 percent more often than those who do not, and they order 44 percent more? (Source: Small Business Yahoo) Email is the reigning champ when it comes to building relationships with your prospects and customers and letting you create and send targeted communications and offers accordingly. Plus, you can measure and track the effectiveness instantly.

4. Embrace Social Media

Remember all those reasons we discussed to make your website mobile friendly? Well, social media is no exception. People are three times more likely to share Pinterest pins, 66 percent more likely to retweet a Twitter tweet and 39 percent more likely to engage on Facebook while using a mobile device. (Source: Social Media Today). Make sure customers can share your products, blog posts and email campaigns by including social sharing links whenever possible.

5. Create Content

In a VerticalResponse survey, nearly 500 small business owners ranked finding and posting content to share on social media as the most time consuming of all the social media-related tasks.

How can you be more effective and maximize the content you already have? Take a larger piece of content, like a blog post, and create several smaller pieces from it that you can use across a variety of channels. You can take a popular post that has lots of stats in it and turn it into an infographic, or take an infographic and break it up into smaller chunks that we like to call infonuggets. Share these on image-centric social channels like Pinterest. When you do more with the content you already have, it’s a win-win.

6. Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In 2013, Google’s Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates wreaked havoc on websites all around the Internet and turned SEO into a frustrating beast. But some clear-cut, effective strategies have emerged.

These include creating valuable content on a regular basis, which will help your long-tail keywords. Use Google Authorship for any content you produce to help click-throughs from search engine results pages, and continuing to focus on good link building— that is, getting inbound links from relevant sites with authority and linking out to relevant sites with authority.

By incorporating any or all of these six tips, you can supercharge your business for 2014.

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of self-service email, social and event marketing solutions for small businesses. Connect with her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

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