Business Growth Series: A Game Plan for Growing your Business in 2014

Tips for Business Growth in 2014As a business owner, the end of the year likely stirs up a lot of activity. You may be planning for the upcoming tax season, or perhaps you’re using this time to reflect on your business performance over the past year. However, the end of the year allows for the unique opportunity to be truly present in your business.

As the end of the year approaches, you should be setting goals for 2014 and putting together a digital marketing plan that includes your website, social media, email marketing and search engine optimization to increase revenue.

Step 1: Set Goals to improve the online presence of your business.

Taking a look at your results from the past year will help you determine what goals to set for your business in the future. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get started:

  1. What am I currently doing to market my business?
  2. Where am I missing out on potential revenue?
  3. What aspects of my marketing plan are generating revenue? Which ones are not?
  4. Who is my ideal customer, and what methods am I using to reach them?
  5. How am I encouraging my ideal customers to take action with my business?
  6. How does my product or service help my ideal customer?

These questions will help you discover exactly what areas of your business need more attention and where you have room for improvement. Some goals you may want to consider are: increasing brand awareness, gaining more brand exposure and increasing revenue and conversion. Every business will have a unique situation based on their goals and results.

Use your goals to start putting together a digital marketing plan and overall marketing budget. You should allocate more of your budget towards the specific marketing strategies that have given you the best results, but you should also leave room to try some new strategies which may help you generate more revenue in the upcoming year.

Step 2: Create and implement a digital marketing plan

Digital marketing is not only effective; it’s also incredibly low in cost when compared to traditional marketing methods such as television and print advertisements.   When putting together your plan, we recommend placing emphasis on the following digital marketing techniques: website, social media, email marketing and search engine optimization.

Website

While many businesses have a website for their company, many of them do not take advantage of its full potential.  Your website is constantly working on your behalf twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Maintaining every aspect of a website is a must; to see the fruit of its return you must manage it to enhance the value of your products or services. At the very least, your website should provide your ideal customer with a pleasant user experience whether they are visiting on a mobile device or desktop computer, and should be equipped with tools that allow you to grow your email database, analyze results and track conversions.

Social Media

Social media gives you the unique opportunity to build relationships with your ideal customers. Think of your social media pages as your own personal brand cheerleaders. When you create good content that is of interest to your ideal customer, they are more likely to share, pin and retweet that content resulting in greater brand awareness for your business at little to no cost. Social media should be integrated throughout your entire digital marketing plan in order to reach its full potential.

Email Marketing

Like social media, email marketing is a tool that can be used to build relationships with your ideal customers. If you aren’t currently taking advantage of email marketing, you’re missing out on huge potential revenue. By putting a plan in place to collect email addresses and send campaigns to your ideal customers, you can use email marketing to direct traffic to your website and social media pages while also encouraging them to take action with your brand.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO ties directly in with your website.  Simply put, optimizing your website for search engines through the use of good content, backlinks, meta descriptions and keywords increases your chances of your ideal customer finding your website through search engines such as Google.  Having an annual SEO audit of your website will help you to better understand your website’s performance while fixing common issues that are discovered by our team.

Understanding how each of these digital marketing techniques benefits your business will help you to further plan and budget accordingly. It is difficult to become an expert in all aspects of your business, but having common knowledge of the different ways to improve your revenue stream is important.

When you are running your own business, wearing many hats is a norm on any given day and it is extremely difficult to manage everything all at once.  Most of our clients do not have enough time to manage it all. They focus on what they are best at and that is running the business. Not having much time to diligently focus on this on a daily basis can be overwhelming, stressful and time-consuming. Having a digital marketing plan in place will show the possibilities of generating revenue for your company. Whether it’s to improve website functionality, implement social media marketing or create an email campaign, it all relates back to making sure it’s fully optimized.

Check back next week for the second post in our business growth series which will focus on your website and how to improve it for 2014!

In the meantime, we want to hear from you about some of the goals you want to accomplish for the New Year. What is one thing you want to improve about your business’s digital marketing plan in 2014? Comment below with your answers!

Stephanie Patterson

Stephanie Patterson is the Vice President of Operations at ijenti. She enjoys interfacing with clients to design and manage marketing strategies that suit the unique needs of each business.

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