Start Fast and Start Strong
new year is upon us. Time to start ramping things up for the upcoming year. Many small business sort of shut down during the holidays and put as much off until the new year as possible. For obvious reasons this can lead to slow starts during January. That is why it is so important to hit the ground running in January. If for no other reason, starting fast will give you that much of a head start over the competition.
This is not a time to spend too much time planning the entire year’s budget. This is the time to start some of the projects that were put off from last year. Naturally, one of the best ways to start off the year strong is with Marketing. As we all know, even the best marketing programs can take a while to start paying off, so the sooner you begin, the sooner you will be rewarded. Thus there are two forms of marketing that businesses should focus on early in the year: fast paced and deliberate.
Fast paced marketing is about maximizing your exposure as quickly as possible. Often times businesses focus on quantity over quality in this form of marketing. In a pay per click world this would be to get as many clicks as possible as opposed to researching the best possible keyword and building a campaign around that. In fact, some of the best marketing organizations turn to banner ads and even pop-ups instead of PPC this time of year. The whole idea here is to get as many people on your website as possible even if many of them are not buyers. I cannot emphasize the importance of maximum exposure right now. Many people will need your services at some point during the year, even if not right now. If they see you first, you are a step ahead of the competition when they decide to buy.
This strategy of course leads to the question of how to get this exposure. Strategies vary, but some of the best approaches are banner ads, social media blitzes, and even redirected traffic. This is the time to determine which route is best and then implements the necessary steps to make this happen. If you choose to work with a marketing firm, you should select a one that does not require 100% of the payment up front. Therefore reducing the risk at such an important time of the year.
Deliberate marketing is a longer process which involves more strategic decisions. In this phase you should focus on quality. These are the programs that take longer to get going and see results, but the results are much better over time. Deliberate marketing typical focuses on things such as discussion forums and blogs, where attracting the right people is the goal.
Again this is an approach that you want to start early as it may take several months to see results. Again if you are doing this yourself, now is the time. If you choose to work with a marketing consultant, select one that offers a package that combines both approaches to cover all of your bases.