10 Savvy Marketing Ideas for 2011

 savvy marketing for small businesses2011 should be a year of great opportunity as well as many challenges. Many of you are trying to keep your small businesses alive or starting new ones to replace lost incomes.

The good news is that you have never had such a positive array of marketing vehicles to help you succeed. Here are 10 savvy marketing ideas to help you promote your small business this year.

  1. Exploit social media by developing a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and other sites, focusing on the sites most appropriate for your business. Facebook is on fire this year so most businesses should have a presence there — either a fan page or group. We’ll talk more about this in future blog posts. The social media sites you select should mirror your marketing concentration.
  2. Define and expand your small business brand. If you don’t have a brand, develop one. In case you’re wondering, we specialize in savvy marketing for tiny businesses — the one you’re running from your kitchen table at home, a small shop or office, or the back of your van or truck.  To develop your brand, decide what you do best and what you want to be known for. Work your brand into everything you do and all of your marketing. Use your branding to set your business apart from your competition.
  3. Use video marketing as effectively as possible. There are a variety of ways to use video in your marketing. This topic is complicated so we will do a post on video marketing very soon. Stay tuned.
  4. If yours is a local business think mobile. How will customers find you from their cell phones? How will your site appear on those tiny screens? Will they find what they need — your location and possible phone number quickly without a lot of scrolling?
  5. Create a blog and post regularly — at least once a week — on topics of interest to your target market. Your blog can be written, audio, video, or hopefully a mixture of these content forms. You can include photos, other graphics and even photo slide shows as some of the big sites are doing.
  6. Provide great content — content marketing is hotter than ever! Keep an eye out for content in various formats that will appeal, educate and entertain your target market. We’ve carried several posts about content recently, but look out for much more as the year develops.
  7. Do keyword research to find the issues and products your target customers care about. This is one of my least favorite activities but I am conceding that you can’t succeed without doing keyword research to discover what your market wants.
  8. Concentrate on buyer keywords. Using the right keyword phrases, you’ll be able to connect with your audience just when they are ready to buy. I am working on a special feature on keyword research, so join our list or register for our RSS feed.
  9. Focus — don’t use a shotgun approach in your market. Develop a plan and stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can not be flexible when challenges arise. But you should avoid jumping on every band wagon that comes along, or listening to whomever shouts the loudest.
  10. Use the talent within your organization to exploit the areas where you are strongest. If your people are better at talking than writing, concentrate on audio media — such as blog talk radio or Ustream. If your team includes writing talent, concentrate your marketing efforts on article marketing, blog and forum posting, and press releases. If you have people who know what to do with a video camera, than concentrate your efforts on video. You need a little bit of everything, so focus on your strengths in house, but be prepared to outsource the things your staff can’t do well.

That list of savvy marketing ideas should keep you busy. Whatever you do,  keep learning. As I told you last time we are in the middle of a media revolution. Things are in a state of flux and if you snooze in this environment you will definitely lose. We promise to help you stay on top of all the changes, so visit often.

We’d love to get your thoughts on our 10 Savvy Marketing Ideas. So leave a comment. Tell us what you are doing in your business. Tell us what has worked, or not worked for you.

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