As we reach the halfway point of 2014, I think it is good to reflect on some of the things I have discovered and learned in 2014 and what I need to focus on the rest or the year.
Some Observations On Various Marketing Topics
Build simple, functional apps. If you can give your clients an app that is easy to use, with no instructions you will have a winner on your hands. The hardest part is getting the word out about your app for people to download.
Blogging is the key to making social media work as well as content markting. It is the glue that holds things together. Continue to stay focused on writing about information pertinent to your readers. If you stray from your core ideas, your readers will to. Create a following and don’t be so concerned about huge numbers of followers.
People are still trying to define this concept. For me it is content that is written for a particular audience and posted on a regular basis. The only way content marketing works is if it is done on a consistent basis. There is no such thing as producing only quality content. If this is your goal, I am sure you end up with 1 or 2 articles a month. If you post regularly, 3-5 days a week, you will have good days and bad days. Overall, your writing will get better.
Twitter is news and more news. I engage some, but I do not go crazy. It is more of a communication channel for me. Company profiles are becoming more acceptable. Sharing pictures is also a key to sustaining growth. Have a presence, but don’t spend hours and hours trying to reach people. People are reading tweets quickly and moving on. Marketers should follow suit and do the same.
Facebook continues to bring in great analytics and new updates to pages. Facebook is still a place for friends. Also, group communication thrives here for schools, churches and organizations. I read some of the posts that my friends write about and I use it as a place to screen contacts. Be careful what you post here.
Branding is coming back in a big way. I think social media, content marketing and other terms will revert back to branding. How can we make our brands more relevant in a world of distactions and so much information. I will be looking at branding a lot for the rest of 2014.
Google has implemented some new changes in the past few weeks for companies. Google is forcing companies to have one id for GooglePlus, YouTube, GooglePlaces, GoogleMaps. Check out GoogleMyBusiness.com and learn more. Also, Google Authorship is taking off again, I am noticing better organic search in the past month. I have made some changes, but I think Google is making even more changes.
Make sure your websites are up to date. Old, out of date sites are quickly becoming obsolete. If you have a site over a year old that hasn’t been updated, you might want to consider starting over if you are serious about people finding you. In addition, it appears domain names may be relevent as far as search results go. Following this last item a little closer.
Managing Social Media
I still contend that the best people to use social media are executives. Executives need to be closer to clients and people enjoy following executives who are active on social media sites.
Are still great places to reconnect with clients and find new clients. Bring your business card. Make sure you have printed materials. Make sure you really check out the tradeshow agenda closely. Floor times are getting squeezed. Also, consider presenting. Presenting companies usually have more of a following than representatives in a booth.
Daily updates are the way to go if you want to stay connected with your contacts. Also, when you make a change to your profile that information is communicated to your connections. Followers to our company page are growing at a very slow rate, but the right people are finding our company there.
Online Client Inquiries
Here is a metric that I use on a regular basis. People are hopefully doing their research and finding our company online. I like to receive 10 – 13 inquiries a day. 90% of the people who post questions to our website will conduct business with us.
This topic is still relatively new. I look for some new type of CRM system to come on the market which will help capture data in a more efficient manner. For now, I focus on certain data that I find useful about clients and I continue to stay in touch with the market.
This area is really the key to a successful marketing promotion. This is vital for continued sucess in the future. Don’t underestimate the power of great service to clients.
A Few More Personal Thoughts…
Use your vacation time and spend it with your family. Do something completely out of the ordinary. Enjoy the time you have away from work.
Put Your Smartphone on the Shelf
Put your smartphone away for a day. Try it and see if you can go a whole day without looking at it.
Develop Some New Ideas this Summer
Read a book this summer or visit a local company or area of town and try to develop some new ideas for your business.
Make time to work out stress. We spend too much time in front of computer screens and sitting. Get out, go for a walk. Find time to workout and sweat.
What type of observations have you made from your work in 2014?
Please share your observations and thoughts. I would be curious how others feel about these particular topics. Thanks again for reading this long blog post!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net