by Debbie Arata
If you are like many small business professionals, the past few years have presented a wide variety of unprecedented challenges. Almost overnight, COVID-19 ramifications practically shut down in-store and in-office environments. Supply chain management and access became increasingly difficult. And additional production, marketing, delivery, logistics, and other obstacles almost instantly revealed themselves.
While the pandemic is still with us, it is evolving to a point where many on-location businesses are regaining momentum, distribution systems are beginning to pick up steam, and pre-pandemic business patterns are resurfacing. With aspects of the marketplace appearing to return to “normal,” a review of marketing trends indicate that some practices that were accentuated over the past couple of years are here to stay.
For example, research indicates that 90 percent of small businesses are increasing their digital marketing strategies and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And companies are expecting at least a 40% increase in online engagement leading to revenue growth compared to last year. Clearly, an increased online business focus, which became a virtual necessity when businesses were looking for more ways to connect with customers during the pandemic, will continue to expand.
While online marketing has been a cornerstone of small businesses for years, the pandemic spotlighted the critical need for it. So now is a great time to take a fresh look at your online marketing presence to make sure everything is where it needs to be as you prepare for 2023. Start by reviewing all of your online assets as if you are a new customer. Does your website clearly communicate the benefits of your products and services? Is your site easy to navigate? Does it have a logical flow that leads to a purchase opportunity? Do all of the links work? Can you seamlessly access your eCommerce and “contact us” sections?
Your website should also be a lead generation machine. Create inbound marketing opportunities with social media campaigns that speak directly to the audience you want to attract. Develop blog content and promote it through your email and social channels. Push out a company newsletter at least quarterly that updates your brand followers on your latest products and services, news about your team, and other interesting information. Look for ways to connect with your customers in a personal and meaningful way. And give them plenty of reasons to continue to visit your website.
Finally, like we always say at Spoke, think of all of your online marketing as a campaign, not just one-off communications and promotions. By creating cohesive themes and strategies that all work together, you can attract more qualified leads, grow your audience, and achieve meaningful sales results in 2023 – and beyond. Here’s to a healthy coming year, in every possible way.
Debbie Arata is Creative Director, Account Manager, at Spoke Marketing. Spoke Marketing (www.spokemarketing.com) provides fully-integrated marketing and sales programs that define and activate the customer buyer journey.