We live in an age of extremely stiff marketing competition, unparalleled complexity and constant change in the business world. Consequently, small & medium-sized businesses fall victim most of the time.
You probably have heard that, ‘you must prepare for war if you want peace’. To be successful in 2011, you need to find your way out of the crowd.
Every business has an Internet cycle, whether they admit it or not. The major challenge is, standing out and carving a niche from the saturated Internet market.
Below are 10 tips that will help you avoid failure and gain competitive edge in your business in 2011.
1. Constantly Publish Very High Quality Promotional Materials.
You may have been publishing some newsletters, white papers, special reports and so on. It’s time to broaden your reach.
The freedom on the Internet has created too much room for junks. You need to re-emphasize your expertise through your own publications by adding more value than others. Work on the overall quality of the materials using the top player in your niche as a model.
2. Upgrade your Marketing Plan.
Most business started this year with a marketing plan, but ‘3 months’ is enough to give your plan a face-lift. Take some time to think about what has worked in the last 3 months and what is not working. In most cases, you need to put in more effort where they are yielding good results.
Also, you need to focus more on repeat purchases. Customers that have purchased your products in the past are more likely to return to buy more.
3. Automate Manual Activities.
Today, technology has advanced to a level where most aspects of Internet marketing can be automated. Fortunately, they often cost very little. Perform a quick Internet search to get the most suitable for yourself.
4. Finish up Abandoned Projects.
Perhaps, it’s time you take a break from endless activities. Go through your archive after a long time. Re-read some of the projects you have abandoned. Flip through your old diaries. In short, try to remember some of your old ideas. It will surprise you how they can actually generate newer and better ideas for you.
5. Enter a New Territory.
You may need a coach to achieve this.
Look beyond your present level or places where you presently have influence. Come up with a totally different but viable niche and move in forcefully. For example, you may need to begin to promote female products because statistics has revealed that women are more active on the Internet than men.
Alternatively, find a way to satisfy rising Internet users like the Indians and Chinese. They have large populations in the world and are becoming very active on the Internet.
6. Perform a Research & Focus on Customers.
When last did you get feedback from a large part of your audience?
Set up an opinion poll on your site or invest in thorough research itself. The value of research is usually far-reaching. Sometimes, it does not bring immediate results, but oftentimes it repositions you and strengthens your grip on your market.
You need to focus on the needs of your customers. Give them all the information they need to know:
- How much your product costs.
- How reliable your product is.
- Its variety of packages, sizes, colors etc
- Payment options
- The products duration of use and whether it can be resold
7. Get into the New Age
You can’t do everything, but you must do what must be done.
Social media is evolving fast; search engines algorithms are changing; online video platforms are becoming more relevant; mobile communication has come to stay and Internet users are changing their habits.
Make the necessary changes to get into the Web 2.0 age. Leverage on the power of the big 4 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
8. Set Bigger Goals. Measure & Monitor your results.
The size of your goal will indirectly influence your level of thinking. A bigger goal will open up your mind to greater possibilities.
Set a bigger goal and go for it.
Goals become useless when they are not being measured and monitored. Remember, goals must be SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
9. Get the Media to Publicize You
The media has a way of boosting your reputation and bringing more clients.
Do not stop at churning out newsletters. Get interviewed by the press & make sure you were prepared for the Interview.
10. Improve on Your Infrastructure & Invest in Learning
You may still be using the infrastructures you began Internet business with. Revamp your infrastructures; move to better platforms.
Learn how to use newer tools if you have to – it’s worth it.
Get books or multimedia tutorials from experts to learn something new for your business.
Join professional bodies & attend conferences and seminars,
Lastly, check your own PR – your profile on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube. Check your ‘about’ page also. When was the last time you edited it? Create a professional image. Put in more professional and friendly tone into all your PR materials.
Further Reading on Internet Marketing