Over the past few weeks, several people have commented to me that they have a feeling the economy here in Northeast Indiana doesn’t feel so bad anymore. They are right in this assumption. Unemployment has fallen primarily because the auto industry is doing fairly well, and this area is still reliant on manufacturing. While the housing market has not recovered, big construction projects like Parkview Hospital are keep workers employed who otherwise might have been building houses. With all this said, things aren’t really back to where they were in 2008, or before 2000., and they may not be again, or at least for a long time. Unemployment is still too high and personal income for those who are working has been falling.
So, the good news as we start a new year is that money is out there and people are spending it. The bad news is that they have less of it than before.
This means we need to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before if want to earn our “unfair” share of the pie.
The definition of advertising is whatever causes people to buy your product or service. In other words, they can’t buy from you, if they don’t know about you or understand how you product helps them fill a need.
This means that all business starts with advertising or promotion. A lot of businesses today simply don’t have the same amount of resources available for advertising as they did even a few years ago. Still, in this economy, where fewer consumer dollars are available you need to increase your share of sales in order to maintain business at the same level you had it before the recession started.. That normally would require increasing your advertising budget, but for most businesses today it means taking a smaller ad budget and making it work harder.
This won’t work with traditional advertising such as radio, TV and newspaper. The biggest returns on advertising investment today are on the internet.
Sure, you have a web site, but that’s not enough. Your site must have the information you need to tell your customers presented in a compelling manner. Your site must be on the first page of search engine results, or no one will visit it. You must build a relationship with your potential customers using social media so they will feel comfortable about doing business with you and not someone else.
So, as you think about what you can do to make 2012 a better year for your business, here are some New Year’s resolutions you should make and keep.
1. Review your website. If it’s old, or not very informative, bring it up to date. Add video and a blog.
2. Do a Google search of your business using common search engine terms a potential customer might use. If you don’t show up on the top of page one, contact a search engine optimization (SEO) company (such as ours) and get them working on your website immediately. You can take the cost of this out of your ad budget because the higher your business shows up in a search, the more likely potential customers will click on your site. If you’re on page two or worse, you’re getting a very low percentage of the action. Every position you move up will increase your website’s traffic, and if you have a good website, that will increase your business.
3. Get involved with Social Media such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Your competition has already started doing this. This is only going to become more important as the year’s roll on. Start now. No, right now. Again, if you don’t know how, get help.
No matter what business you’re in, websites, social media, videos, blogs, and social networks are taking over. Resolve today that your business will be a part of it in 2012.
Everyone here at King Marketing wishes you the very best in the coming year. Let’s turn every challenge into an opportunity so we can really have something to celebrate on December 31, 2012.