Spring means a new quarter and new opportunities for your small business. Here’s how to refresh your marketing strategy for the season of growth.
For many people, spring signifies new beginnings. It’s also a chance to refresh and declutter their homes and lives. Your small business marketing may also benefit from a little spring cleaning.
For small business marketers, spring marks the end of Q1 and the start of Q2. So, now is the perfect time to evaluate your online branding and messaging. Take the opportunity to make improvements so you can reach even more of your potential customers in Q2 and beyond.
The online and social world moves quickly. Nearly every week, search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook make subtle changes that affect your visibility. To effectively manage your online brand, seasonal check-ins are essential.
This spring cleaning process prompts you to review and refine your business website, social media profiles, email subscriber list, and any other online mentions. However, maintaining consistent branding and voice across all platforms is usually the most effective strategy. Ask yourself the following questions before you focus on specific assets.
- Who are your intended audiences? Online media is more targeted and personal than traditional mass media. Blog posts, social media content, and social video usually adopt a familiar, conversational tone that makes audience members feel like you are individually addressing them. To do this effectively, you need to identify your target audience or your ideal customer. Try HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to create audience personas. You may have more than one target audience, but be as specific as possible.
- Is your visual branding consistent across all platforms online and offline? Often small businesses lack consistency in their visual branding. Today’s consumer expects to see an attractive and consistent image online and offline. For practical tips, be sure to read our blog post “How To Refresh Your Marketing Visuals For Spring.”
- Is your brand persona authentic, engaging, and trustworthy? Keep your website and social media accounts secure and free of spammy practicing. As a small business, you need to inspire trust.
- Are you presenting your unique selling proposition, best features, and benefits to your intended audience? Whether you offer a product or service, remind yourself why your brand is special.
How to Spring Clean Your Small Business Profiles
Declutter Your Website and Dial in Your Content
Your website is your most valuable asset as a small business owner. Instead of relying on traditional media, you can speak directly to your customer. All too often, small business owners hire a website designer then allow that website to stay static like an old-school brochure.
Evaluate your website using the following criteria:
- User experience: Are you providing a positive user experience? Is your website easy to read and also easy to navigate? Consider asking a couple of brutally honest friends or customers to look at your site with fresh eyes and to offer feedback about their experience.
- Technical issues: Technical issues like slow load time or broken links contribute to poor user experience, poor image, and the loss of business. Fortunately, there are free resources that you can use to check for technical issues. Google’s Page Speed Insights tool informs you of changes you can make to improve your website’s speed. GTMetrix is another free tool to check for technical issues that slow your load time.
- Mobile-friendly: If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it is time for a redesign. According to Google, more than half of all searches are done with phones. Also, three out of four consumerssearch for products or services they need.
In addition to the technical and user interface, take a look at your content. Now is the time to take a look at your “buyer personas” or your target audiences.
- Does your content speak to your intended audience? Consider the questions your customers ask, their pain points, and the problems you can help them solve. Make a list of those topics if you want to generate new content ideas. Also use that list as the basis for keyword or phrase research. Answer The Public is a helpful free tool to help you generate topic ideas for blog posts, articles, frequently asked questions, social videos, or tutorials.
- Do you use attractive, engaging photographs and images? Don’t overlook your visual content. Consider using Shutterstock’s design and photo editing tool to optimize images for your website and social media.
- Does anything contribute to an untrustworthy feel? Today’s web users are on guard against scams and spammy sales tactics. Sometimes honest small business owners unwittingly send a spam message by using outdated tactics, poor writing, and poor design choices.
- Look at your Google Analytics to see whether your audience demographics, location, and interests match your intended audience.
Update and Upgrade Your Social Media Profiles
You may be too busy running your business to notice, but social media platforms change constantly. Start your spring cleaning by thoroughly reviewing your profile on every social media platform you use. Look for the following:
- Read your entire profile looking for typos, outdated information, or dead links. Correct any issues you find.
- Consider whether your profile images or avatars represent you or your brand in your best light.
- Read your profile biography out loud. Does it flow conversationally? Does it speak to your target audience?
- Make sure you are using your profile real estate to the fullest. For example, make sure your profile link sends the visitor to the right landing page on your website. Check for new profile features that you may have overlooked. For example, many brands don’t make use of the “Our Story” section of their Facebook page. However, this section is a prime opportunity to engage with your customers.
- Look at your social media analytics to see whether the audience you reach matches your ideal audiences. If not, brainstorm content that may better meet the interests and needs of your desired customers.
Revisit Your Other Online Profiles
Next look at any other profiles such as Google My Business, Yelp, and any directories. Use the same criteria you used when looking at your social media profiles. Also, take the time to read any customer reviews with an open mind. Consider ways you can further refine your branding to enhance both your online and offline reputation.
Your small business website and social media presence are a work in progress. As the online world shifts, some of your design choices, content, or branding may grow less effective. By spring cleaning, you can refresh and upgrade your presence to better attract and engage your customers.