Congrats! You’ve made it a whole year with your new business. This is a huge accomplishment in the world of small business. According to Fundera, nearly 20% of small businesses fail in their first year to due lack of funding, mismanagement, and failed marketing initiatives. Now it’s time to give your brand some much-needed marketing updates.
You want a successful strategy. But it’s hard to pick a path. Do you have to be a master marketer?
No! You don’t.
Reflect on the last twelve months. Learn. And plan. By mastering online marketing, asking for feedback, and rethinking your products, you can have a stellar second year.
Your First Year Marketing Updates
Here you’ll find some of the best marketing strategies to win in year two. Once you master them, you’ll be ready for the strategies in our next article in this series.
Reinvent Your Website
Your website was likely one of the first marketing and advertising tools you created. But a lot has changed in the last year. And your website probably isn’t aligned with your goals.
Take a look at your site’s focus. Does it feature products that aren’t that important to you anymore? If the content is pitching products or using techniques that don’t resonate with your audience, fix it!
Check Out Those Blog Metrics
When you first started your blog, you watched the metrics with keen interest. Who’s visiting? How long do they stay? Where are they from?
As the novelty wore off, you checked less and less. But the one-year mark is a great time to revisit your blog’s metrics. See what posts get the most engagement, and plan topics around your audience.
Smooth Out Social Media
Take a look at your social media accounts. Where do you spend most of your time? Which accounts do your customers engage with most? Cut the rest.
You’re wasting time and energy on accounts that get the least engagement. Focus on one or two. If you’re afraid to drop a network altogether, post less and see if there’s any impact to your business.
Connect With Influencers
You didn’t have much to offer the experts in your field at the beginning. But since then, you’ve grown into a respected brand with quality products. Reach out to influencers (or become an influencer yourself) on social media.
Offer something of value that they can provide to their audience. When done right, a relationship with an influencer is a marketing shortcut. They can quickly promote you to an audience that trusts them.
Pay for Social Advertising
If you haven’t advertised on social media, now is a good time to try this marketing technique. Offer a discount. Announce a contest. Introduce a new product.
Social advertisements help you identify the right networks to find customers. You don’t need a large budget. Cap your daily spend at a few dollars.
Build That Email List
At the start, you probably listened to the advice to capture email addresses. But it’s hard at the beginning. Especially when web traffic is low. You all but gave up completely.
But it’s been a year now! Your site is getting more visitors. And more of those visitors trust your brand. Ask for those important direct lines of communication.
Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Once you have a list, use it. And don’t send boring newsletters discussing the happenings at your company. Every message needs great value.
You can set up a round of messages in advance and automate them based on user actions. If a reader clicks a link in the first message, you can alter what message they get next. Find an email marketing tool that works best for your business. Then use it.
Ask Employees for Ideas
You likely spent most of your first year focused on your initial ideas. Some went well. Some didn’t. It’s time for new ideas.
In the last year, you hired and developed some great people. Well, great employees have great ideas too! They’re more hands-on than you are and may surprise you with their insight.
Listen to Your Customers
You’ve been so busy in the last year. You’re pretty sure your customers love you. But even in the best relationships, there’s room for improvement.
Review customer concerns in online reviews. Send out surveys. Use your biggest fans as brand ambassadors.
To thank your customers for the last year, give something back. Think of something valuable to them that you would normally charge for. Then give it away.
It doesn’t have to require a major investment. Find something small that you couldn’t afford to give away a year ago. Your audience will love you for it!
Help Your Business Find a Voice
In the beginning, a lot of your business’s story is about you. But in time your business needs to find its own voice. At first, you’re probably doing all the marketing.
You’re posting on social media. You’re crafting the emails. But you can’t do it all forever. Come up with a strategy on how the brand, not you, will communicate with your customers. Then share it with your team.
Size Up the Competition
You released your products because you could offer better value than the competition. But like you, competitors make adjustments. Do some research and make sure your products still provide the best value.
Don’t forget to check out your competitors’ marketing techniques as well. What marketing updates have they made in the last year? Look at what they’re doing on social media. Join the conversations.
Rethink Your Product Strategy
When you create a product, you pitch what you believe are its best features. But sometimes customers love features that you didn’t think were important. Some customers find completely different uses for your products.
Now that you have a year of data, you know what customers like most about your products. You’ve also learned how to market a product. Do some marketing updates to reflect what you know. Adjust your materials to highlight the features your customers love most.
Release a New Product
Your initial offering might be looking a little stale to existing customers. Competitors may have leapfrogged you. Since you’ve been around for a year, you’ve identified new ways to help your market.
Whatever your reasons, releasing a new product can give your business the boost it needs. Tease your audience with an idea. If it engages them, it might be time to develop and release it.
Make These Techniques Work For You
Congrats on starting year two! Why not make the best of everything you learned in the last year? Make these marketing updates to build on your success. Start designing your new plan today!
Once you’ve mastered these marketing updates, you’re ready to try even better strategies. Check out the techniques in “It’s Been [2 Years]: What Marketing Should You Be Doing?” to take your business to a whole ‘nother level!