What Are Your New Year’s Marketing Resolutions?

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. We’re not really talking about eating less or exercising more, though. We’re talking about your business. What new marketing ideas can you implement to make 2017 your best year ever?

First, you need to view your marketing as an investment. The more time, effort and money you put in, the better returns you will get. If you solely look at marketing as just another “expense,” then it probably won’t work for you like it could.

Next, it’s time to consider taking things to the next level. It’s a technology-driven world and the next generation of consumers aren’t going to respond as well to old school marketing tactics. You may already have a website for your small business, but is it dated? Is the layout mobile-friendly? Is there a lot of dynamic content? How is your SEO? Make the steps to update and upgrade your site to the modern age if you haven’t already!

For better content on your site, start a blog. It will give you new content on a regular basis, and if done right, it will organically boost your SEO appeal and web traffic immensely. It’s also a great way to stay connected with your existing customer base.

Likewise, make the resolution to utilize social media to the fullest. Is your business represented on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+ and YouTube? Maybe you do have accounts, but are you using them to the fullest? Get active with more posts and you will see an incredible difference!

Encourage more reviews from your customers. Follow up with your customers to get helpful feedback about their experiences, and then ask them to write reviews about your business online. Review sites like Yelp!, Google and YP.com (along with industry-specific review sites like RepairPal or Angie’s List) are huge with today’s mobile consumers. Put those reviews directly on your website, write customer testimonial blogs and post every positive review on your social media pages.

These are just some marketing resolutions you can make for the New Year. For a free marketing consultation to discuss specific ways you can maximize your business, contact NextGear Marketing today.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you from NextGear Marketing!

Is Web Design Dead?

In the world of web design, things have definitely changed in the past few years. This is primarily because smartphones and tablets have evolved so much. Most consumers (and especially the younger ones) are getting all their information, news, entertainment and social networking on these smaller devices.

Websites used to have more elaborate designs based on strong branding and imagery. Today, those elements take a backseat to mobile responsiveness. A site must work on all different platforms (desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone) equally or it will not be as effective. The smaller the device is, the more simplified the design needs to be so that all the necessary information is easy to find on your site.

That’s why you see so many designs based on themes. Really, “theme” is a fancy word for “template.” However, in the marketing world, template is a bad word because it cheapens the perception. Today’s web themes are very well-designed and there are many to choose from no matter who your hosting provider is. They are automatically integrated to be mobile responsive. In fact, if you are building your own website using a do-it-yourself hosting service like GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly or WordPress, there are preview tabs that will show you how each page of your site looks on different devices.

So, is web design dead? Not necessarily. It’s still important to highlight your brand and have a cohesive marketing look that flows with the rest of your campaign. At the same time, function now outweighs form. If your site doesn’t present well on all devices and navigation is overly complicated, it will not be as effective. The best branding in the world will fall flat on a poorly presented site.

In addition to mobile responsiveness, today’s sites need content—from SEO tags on the back end to dynamic ongoing content in the form of blogs, calendars, news, social media posts and customer reviews. In other words, adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis will make a huge difference in people being able to find your site through organic searches.

Web design is not dead. It has just evolved along with technology. Branding is still important, but mobile responsiveness and dynamic content are now more important.

To learn more about dynamic web content for your website, contact NextGear Marketing for a free consultation today.