2013 Marketing Resolutions

There is no doubt that December can be an overwhelmingly busy month –with the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s, family gatherings and more, chances are you let your Marketing and Advertising plan fall to the wayside.  In this week’s post, it is our plan to help you with your 2013 Marketing Resolution.   Whether you want to simplify, revamp or retain your current customer base, we’ve compiled the best and most realistic marketing tactics you can implement this year.

SOCIAL MARKETING SMARTER, NOT HARDER

Here at DOW Electronics, we have several social media and online accounts, which can be tough to manage, especially if you cannot or do not want to sit in front of a computer all day. It’s been around for a while, but HootSuite is an easy, and free, fix to this problem.  HootSuite allows you to set up one program and add all your social media feeds, so you can post, respond to messages and answer customer questions all from the same site, freeing up substantial time.  You can also schedule messages in advance, so you can set your posts the night before, for after hours or even on the weekends, allowing you to spend less time worrying about finding time to post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

CONTENT IS KING

It’s been said before, but it has never been more important.  Everyone, including your client base, is constantly bombarded with information, especially now in the digital age.  If the content you are putting in the market is not relevant to your audience, you will be passed over without a second look.  This not only means giving your clients the information they need, like training videos or tutorials, but also updating old or obsolete job aids and training items to be current.  Check your website to make sure everything is up-to-date, and do the same for any social media or business profiles. Old material looks unprofessional and like you’ve stopped caring, so updating your materials will not only be a benefit to your customers, but will also show them you are the professional they can turn to.

GO MOBILE AND GET LISTED

Almost everyone has a smart phone or tablet these days, so if you haven’t thought about supporting mobile access to your website, you should be.  This is the perfect opportunity to reach new customers in your area as people are foregoing traditional ways of communications (land line phones and dial-up internet), and switching to a smart phone or wireless device for everything.  Consider new families that move to your area – how will they find you if they have yet to set up internet or phone lines to call around?  Of course, they will turn to the instant connection on their device, and if you aren’t there for them to review, again, you will be passed over, and won’t even know it.

One site that will help your mobile marketing and online profiles is GetListed.org.  Getlisted.org was launched in 2009, and allows small business owners to regulate their online presence.  This easy to use, and free, online tool lets you claim your business listings on Google, Yahoo, Yelp!, FourSquare and more, thus increasing your search engine optimization.  You can also update business information and photos, creating a complete profile, which is more likely to be looked at.  So, now when those new families are moving in and searching for a cable or internet provider on their smart phone or wireless device, your business information is included, no matter what search engine or social media site they are using.

EMAIL MARKETING

One of the best ways to constantly reach your current or potential client base is email, but when was the last time you updated and cleaned up your email list?  Take the time to clear out the outdated information so you are only putting resources towards those who you know want your information.  Also, create an opt-in form on your website to draw in any potential clients, and maintain contact with past or current clients. Additionally, use email for more than just promotional and sales emails – company updates, press releases and community news will not only give your business personality, but will also show you are looking at the bigger picture within your organization.

Now that you have some ideas for your 2013 Marketing Resolution, it’s time to put them in place!  Start digging around and see what you can start changing now, and schedule the rest to be completed within the next couple of months, that way you are ahead of the curve and updated before 2014 rolls around!  Which of these tips will be the easiest for your business to implement?  The hardest?  Let us know what you need help with, or your feedback – we’d love to hear it!

Are you ready to get listed?

We look to the internet for everything from movie listings to shopping  and everything in between, so it only makes sense that if you own a business you should be listed online. In the past I have written about claiming your Google places listing, but I wanted to bring to your attention a website that will help you bring your business presence to a multitude of online directories. It’s called getlisted.org, and it’s not only really simple to use and free, but it’s a great tool for establishing an online presence for your business and increasing the search engine optimization of your website.

All you have to do is type your business name and zip code into the fields on their home page and click “Check My Listings.”

getlisted.org search

Screen capture; credit: Jessica Grybek / Dow Electronics

After you click that little button, the website pulls your address and business information and goes to work checking about a dozen different websites for your business (you may have to correct this information a bit– the address that generated for us was wrong). It tells you whether or not you are listed there, if the details match the ones they’ve got , and gives you a link to claim the listings that you haven’t claimed!

Screen capture; credit: Jessica Grybek/ Dow Electronics

I mentioned that you may need to correct your business information if the website pulls the wrong information. To do this, just click the “Accuracy” tab on the left of the screen and fields will appear on the right side where you can correct your information (both outlined in red).

Once you have corrected your information, click the “Re-scan Using this Info” button and the website will do a new search. When we corrected our address, we got much better results.

From here, you can click the buttons to the right of each listing to go to each website and claim your listing. If you’ve already claimed a listing, you can click the link to be taken to the website and make updates, or if the website isn’t sure whether or not you’ve claimed your listing you can head over to make sure!

By clicking the other tabs beneath the Accuracy tab, you can see your business’s full listing on each site, reviews from those sites, and a To-Do list to let you know which listings have been claimed, which haven’t, and what they are missing.  The site isn’t really offering you anything you couldn’t do on your own, but it makes the process way easier for you– one-stop shops are something I’m a big fan of :). Think of it like a dashboard for your online directory listings. With getlisted.org, you can just go down the list to make sure that your business is optimized on the web and anyone who looks for you will have no trouble finding you.

As you can see, I have a lot of work to do claiming our listings out there on the world-wide web, and I suggest you get started as well! Let me know what you think in the comments below.