It’s the beginning of a new decade and a great time to catch up with the latest marketing trends. We’ve taken a close look at the industry, from social media to search engine marketing, and compiled our list of 20 Do’s and 10 Don’ts for 2010.
DON’T: Post your hours of play at Mafia Wars or Farmville on your Facebook page.
DO: Decide once and for all if you are using Facebook professionally or personally.
DO: Evaluate the ROI for social media as you would any other form of marketing, considering the TIME you spend on it as a real cost.
DO: Generate links in your emails to track effectiveness. Clicks are a great way to measure interest in your content.
DO: Spend as much time growing your list as you do getting the email out each month.
DON’T: Base the success of your email campaigns on open rates – they can be VERY inaccurate due to how they are measured and changes in Microsoft Outlook.
DON’T: Think you are getting a “great deal” by using freelancers and unemployed individuals for critical marketing initiatives.
DO: Think long term about the consistency of your marketing, messaging and brand, and look for vendors who can provide it.
DO: Put a style guide and formal plan in place, and determine who will ensure continuity as the freelancers get back to work.
DO: Use research to understand your customers and their habits so you can communicate with them in creative ways.
DO: Look beyond search engines to other ways that customers might find your services, such as forums with participants from your target market.
DON’T: Spend a ton of money PUSHING advertising out to the masses, when you can PULL in customers who are already searching at a fraction of the price.
DON’T: Underestimate your competitors.
DO: Continue to look for innovative ways to use new technologies and get ahead of the curve. For example, will mobile devices affect the way you do business?
DO: Use free clipping services such as Google Alerts to follow industry news and keep an eye on your competition.
DO: Make time to evaluate the comparative ROI of your marketing initiatives.
DON’T: Allow budget cuts to affect marketing programs that demonstrate a clear ROI.
DO: Cut way back on programs that do NOT show effective ROI…How’s the phone book treating you?
DO: Look at each of your online needs separately to see if there are hosted solutions available with better functionality at a lower price.
DO: Compare apples to apples when evaluating internet vendors, being sure to prioritize and separate your WANTS from your NEEDS.
DON’T: Get roped into a “fully integrated solution”. That’s so 2005.
DON’T: Think your search engine optimization is ever “done”. Search engines are continually changing.
DO: Target your SEO geographically. One of the biggest changes search engines have made in the past year is to focus searches geographically. Don’t miss out on valuable local or national search results.
DO: Think beyond Google AdWords. Examine your customer base to see if there are other NEW online advertising avenues might be good for your business (ex: Bing).
DON’T: Carry forward the “do-it-yourself to save money” attitude from 2009.
DO: Focus on your core business instead of trying to learn new programs and technologies with your business serving as the guinea pig.
DO: Look for experts who can help manage your campaigns with experience and accountability.
DON’T: Change your existing website without understanding the ramifications it might have to your existing traffic.
DO: Understand how online marketing companies work. Many of them “mirror” websites and use other practices that can actually hurt your rankings.
DO: Review your website statistics, and set some baselines and goals before making any changes.