Your 2015 Marketing To-Do List

Every small business owner has it: a to-do list of improvements that are “next up”—when there are extra funds in the marketing budget, when there’s time to find a good web designer or a mobile app developer…. As a small business, we at the Found Gen are in the same boat.

Keeping up with digital business trends is overwhelming. Best practices evolve at breakneck speed, and you might feel like all you can manage is to keep your e-commerce channels running smoothly. But certain basics of online content marketing are crucial to having a successful, effective web presence. Without them, your business will be lost in the dark corners of the Internet.

Whether you just got off the ground, or you just haven’t paid proper attention to your marketing strategies, here are three essential tactics you need to put top of list for 2015.

Build a subscriber email list and get in touch—regularly

Research verifies what many business owners have experienced: Email is the most effective digital channel for ROI. Email is a powerful, and relatively easily implemented, communication tool, no matter the industry.

Start simple: If you sell goods, you can use email to announce sales, promotions, brick-and-mortar openings and product launches. If you’re a service provider, use email newsletters to provide valuable information in the form of how-tos, regulatory updates, loyalty programs, reminders and news-related sales pushes.

And don’t be shy about asking people to subscribe. The more points of sign-up you have—homepage, slide-up banner, sidebar, checkout, Facebook, in store—the better your rate of acquisition.

Optimize your website for SEO

If you’ve done any digging into digital marketing, you’ve probably come across Search Engine Optimization. It’s a great way to increase business leads and a necessity for being competitive online today. Search engines each have their own formulas, called algorithms, for determining which web pages best match any given search.

By optimizing your content, you can make your site appear higher in search results. You could use free analytics tools, but this is a complex, constantly evolving area of digital marketing; if you have the budget, your company could truly benefit from professional assistance.

Devise a strategy for driving traffic

Beyond SEO, you should choose at least one of method of attracting people to your site. If your customer base includes younger generations, Instagram might be a natural fit. The free, photo-based social media platform is rapidly growing and the perfect way to build brand awareness among influential consumers.

If your business doesn’t lend itself to photography, consider blogging or videos. High-quality blog and video content related to your products, service or industry can help organically boost your site’s search engine ranking. Plus, they add a layer of depth to your site to engage potential customers.