How to succeed in 2016 in five easy steps

2016 goals, new year goals, new year business plans, 2016 promotional distributors, 2016 sign makers, succeed in 2016The New Year is upon us, which means it’s time to start preparing your yearly business marketing plans.

Understandably, for smaller companies, it may be difficult to make time for online marketing. So to make things easier for you, I’ve put together a list of top initiatives that can kick-start your 2016 business plan.

And if you start preparing now, you’ll likely be a few steps ahead of competitors and be ready to talk to your clients about their 2016 project needs.

Give your website a makeover

There’s no better time to give your website a facelift than at the beginning of the year. By simply adding a new template or theme, your website will have a fresh new look and show customers that you care about your online appearance.

Even something as simple as updating your banner can make your website look like new. But if you’re not quite ready for a new design, or recently did one then here are a few things you can do to keep your website looking fresh:

  • Make sure contact information, hours and location are current
  • Showcase themed or seasonal information and specials
  • Add new, high-quality photos of your work.

It’s also important that you consider how mobile friendly your site is, as 80% of Internet users search on their smartphone and 47% search on a tablet (source).

Don’t forget to use your social media to keep customers and prospects up-to-date on what you’re up to. Adding a social media news feed to your website will help you stay connected with your clientele without having to spend time writing lengthy articles.

Clean up your contact list

constant contact, mailing listYou’re busy taking orders and consulting clients, so chances are you rarely have the time to go through your mailing list.

However, the New Year means it’s time for new beginnings– so make it a 2016 goal to sift through your email list and weed out any bad data.

Do so by consolidating your contacts into one system and segmenting your contacts. By segmenting your contacts, you’ll have the ability to send targeted messages to the right group.

In fact, Lyris Inc found that 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced better deliverability and greater revenue.

In addition to cleaning your mailing list, you should also be working toward growing it. So make sure every past client you have is imported into your email platform or CRM.

Adding a lead capture form to your website or even asking past clients for referrals is a great way to boost your contacts.

Even if you have a stack of business cards from a trade show, you should input those as well as they are potential clients. While these contacts may not be ready to buy right away, adding them to your mailing list will give you the opportunity to nurture them until they are ready to buy.

Get visual

Chances are you’re a veteran when it comes to selling promo and/or signs. But in order to keep up with current trends, it’s going to require you to make a few changes.

promotionalproducts instagram

#promotionalproducts

While I always stress that business owners should focus their energy on 2-3 social media pages (mainly LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+), it doesn’t hurt to venture out.

For example, Instagram and Pinterest are two highly visual-dependent sites that are a great way for you to highlight your favorite products and ideas to spark your followers’ interest.

The great thing about social media is that there are websites that can do all the hard work for you.

Rather than posting on each site individually, you can use a free website, like Social Oomph, to post on every social media page for you with the click of a button.

For inspiration, look up #promotionalproducts or #signmakers on Instagram or Pinterest to see what those in your industry are up to.

Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be all business. Use social media to get social and post fun photos of your office, coworkers, or even pets.

Take advantage of video

Videos are a great way to showcase your creative products, humanize your business and provide industry tips and tricks for your customers. And with the advances of technology, you can now create a professional looking video from your smart phone or webcam.

If you think you don’t have anything interesting to put on video – you’re wrong. Going to Tradeshow? Bring your camera and highlight interesting products from vendors.

Do you have a satisfied client? With their permission, use them as a success story and highlight how your services/products boosted their business.

Another reason to invest in videos is the huge amount of SEO potential it holds by driving traffic to your website. But first you need to make sure you’re adding the correct keywords to your videos to drive the right type of traffic. Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches a specific term gets per month and use the most popular or sought after keywords that relate to your video. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Google Keyword Planner. 

google keyword planner, so for promotional distributors

Expand business by turning to eCommerceecommerce website, ecommerce promo industry, sell signs online, sell promo online

Buying behavior is changing, and so should your approach to selling.

Nowadays, customers want to the ability to select a product, customize it and purchase it right then and there.

So turning your website into an eCommerce site will give you a one up on distributors or sign makers who only have consultative based site.

But selling online doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your consultative side of your business.

In fact, you’ll be even stronger if your website is both consultative and eCommerce, as you’ll cater to more customers. The main point being: don’t limit your business by being afraid of selling online.

The promotional products and sign industry are two areas with huge potential. However, if you’re not taking advantage of the full range of online marketing options that are available, then you’re stunting your businesses growth.

Make 2016 the year where you implement everything that you’ve put off in the past.

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