When you’re renovating your home, the common advice is to focus on areas that return the most bang for your buck, should you ever sell. Kitchens usually fit the bill; prospective homebuyers love to see updated, comfortable and stylish kitchens.

What’s the kitchen of your small business?

What’s the area of your business marketing plan that can return the most for your investment? Whether you’re hoping for more money, exposure or customer retention, here are three areas that are sure to offer bang for your buck this year.

Branding

What to look for: Has your visual brand gotten off track because multiple vendors are working on public-facing marketing materials such as your website, graphic design and brochures? A look that heads in varying directions is a sure-fire way to confuse potential customers and to diminish your overall quality in their eyes.

How to fix it: Pick one logo, one set of colors and one visual scheme, and make sure that they dominate every single one of your public-facing elements. If you haven’t done a review of your collateral recently, this is a great time to gather every brochure, business card, Internet meme, etc. and make sure that they all convey the same look and feel.

Content

What to look for: Here, we’re talking blogging and social media, for the most part. Are these elements of your business marketing consistent and steady, chock full of high-value information? Are blog posts free of grammatical and spelling mistakes, and is social content on point and lively?

How to fix it: Writing can be a daunting task, but here’s one way to make it easier: Take the time to make a list of 12 elements that matter most to your business. Using those elements, create a yearly editorial calendar. Then, set aside a few hours each month to get down on paper a blog post that addresses the element of the month. If you need writing assistance, we have a team of Bellingham copywriters who can help!

Consumer engagement

What to look for: How would you describe the way your business interacts with customers? People can interact with the business in numerous ways — via social media, telephone, email and in-person visits — and each of these is crucial to maintaining good relationships. “If you want to stand out online today, you can’t just push out marketing messages,” says PR Consulting founder Patti Rowlson. “You have to be social and engaging. You have to build a community.”

How to fix it: This concept of community applies across the board. Most small businesses aren’t into high-pressure sales that can alienate customers. Instead, you work hard to build the feeling of family among your customers, where they feel like a part of your life, and you feel like a part of theirs. This year, focus on getting to know your customers, whether it’s the name of a person coming to the store or the needs of a person with whom you often interact online. When you know your people and what they need, communicating with them can be as simple as chatting with a friend.

Branding, content and consumer engagement are three areas of any small business that can make a big impact on success. If your Bellingham or Whatcom business needs assistance in any of these areas, just give us a call. We can help!

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