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With the New Year right around the corner, Economic Development Organizations should start thinking about what marketing strategies they’ll be using throughout 2013. Of course new marketing trends will surface in the future, but planning early for the coming year is essential to boost the bottom line and really make efforts count.
Sure, content is still king when it comes to marketing on the internet, but is it the only strategy to focus upon? There are actually a number of effective low-budget strategies that EDOs can use throughout 2013. These include focusing a lot more on social media, and making innovative changes to the way in which the business may have approached its marketing during previous years.
Here are four great tips to getting started for the year:
Have a meeting with the current team
Before the New Year even starts, have a meeting with the existing marketing team and get everyone heading in the same direction. This is the time to assess organizational goals and current strategies, and plan what the business needs to do in the next year. It is also a good time to touch base with other teams including sales, creative and management.
Take a look at what you’re already doing
In order to get started with a solid marketing scheme in the coming year, it is critical to examine all existing internal marketing and sales strategies and assets. Now is the time to gather up client facing content on the website, ranging from white papers and presentations to online videos and mobile apps. Take a look at what your EDO has been promoting in relation to your community brand, and consider whether or not this focus needs to shift.
What were last year’s social media efforts like?
One of the best ways to ignite a fresh start in any marketing scheme is to review what your EDO has been doing on the social media front for the past year. What strategies were employed to drive customer engagement throughout 2012? Were there relevant blog posts? How was Twitter and Facebook activity? Did your EDO utilize any other online social networks? Look into whether the company profile is posted in appropriate online directories – if not, perhaps hiring a company like MediaWhiz to help with such efforts might be worth considering.
Review SEO – yes it still matters!
Believe it or not, SEO (search engine optimization) efforts still matter! What keywords have driven traffic to your EDO’s website? Which of those terms have converted to leads? The end of the year is a great time to assess SEO efforts and tweak them. However, don’t forget to track changes and keep a close eye on resulting activities.
Considering budget limitations
Regardless of how many marketing meetings have been held or marketing plans mapped out, budget should also be considered during this planning phase. Most Economic Development Organizations have a promotional budget of $100,000 or less, so marketing can certainly be a challenge. Before any marketing money is spent, management should review what the competition appears to be spending in comparison. Is every promotional dollar being well spent? How many ways are there to promote the product or service without exceeding the budget? These are questions any marketing manager should be asking before engaging in a new strategy for the New Year.