2014 is nearing its close. As we prepare to enter the final quarter of the year, it’s time to reflect on your company’s current standing. With an honest self-assessment, you can enter 2015 strongly with the right plans for improvement.
Every business has unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses — all of which you must assess as the year comes to a close. Here are five essential elements that offer benefits to almost any organization.
1. Improve in-store purchasing with POS software
Most businesses today have an e-commerce presence. Many e-commerce stores began as a mere supplement to their physical stores, but in today’s commercial arena, e-commerce is developing an ever greater share of the market.
Physical stores are falling behind. While this obviously means greater profits online, no one should make the mistake of neglecting the opportunity to modernize their brick-and-mortar store(s).
Physical shopping is far from dead; it simply needs to be updated to maximize sales. One of the best ways to do this, according to Vend POS, is using point-of-sale, or POS, software.
Companies looking to integrate their physical store and e-commerce activities are investing in high-quality POS software. It allows customers a greater in-store shopping experience by using data from their online purchases to optimize their in-person shopping.
POS software also allows for simultaneous inventory control in a company’s physical and online stores. It allows customers to redeem in-person rewards for their online purchases, and vice versa. The benefits are great for all customers, which bolsters brand loyalty.
2. Maintain an active blog
For firms of all sizes, a blog has become vital for attracting and retaining customers. Blogging allows businesses to interact with customers on a personal level through the screen. A blog also encourages participation in the form of responses to reader comments, questions, and concerns.
By providing helpful, useful content on your blog, your company will establish a sense of authority. By becoming a resource for informative content, your business can expect higher customer conversion rates.
People interested in your blog will spread information about your company through word of mouth. Blogging also allows you to create sharable content. This means your blog will enable your company to dominate social media with a minimal amount of work from you.
3. Invest in SEO
With changing Google search algorithms, some reactionaries are claiming SEO is dead. This is far from true.
SEO is still one of the most important facets of marketing a business, creating brand loyalty, and staying relevant in relation to one’s competition. The world of SEO simply looks different from the way it did a few years ago.
Businesses doing SEO the right way, however, will find the game hasn’t changed after all. Google’s new algorithms make black-hat SEO shortcuts more difficult; but for people who create relevant, informative content, little about SEO has changed.
SEO is another reason that maintaining a high-quality blog is all but essential for businesses today. Smart use of keywords, without overuse, boosts Google rankings.
In addition, SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies in the online world, and it’s damaging for a brand to lack this kind of online presence. Regardless of your industry, it’s more than likely your competitors are investing in SEO. If you neglect to do so, they will make your business irrelevant.
4. Don’t forget social media
Blogging and SEO both relate to your social media presence. But it’s just as important to prioritize social media head-on.
A cost-effective way to get the word out, social media presence gives your business a friendly face, and makes it more accessible to customers. Customer interaction is therefore easier.
Customers can send questions and feedback through social media profiles. Regardless of your response, they’ll feel more in touch with your firm, which is good for its image.
Social allows any company the opportunity to create its own image and personality. Humor, insightful content, and warmth on a social media page can all contribute to your brand’s shareability.
Consumers previously uninterested in your products or services may be converted by your social media presence, if you do it correctly. When customers share your content, you don’t have to lift a finger or spend a cent, yet you are creating effective advertising.
The accessibility and ease of using social media can benefit any business. Just be aware that good social media isn’t as easy to create as it might appear, which is why many businesses hire a firm to create quality social media content for them.
The shareability and relevance of the content pays for itself in consumer conversion.
5. Seek new strategies
A company can only grow by taking risks in its marketing. By pursuing strategies your competitors haven’t thought of yet, you have a better chance of leaping ahead in a world where innovation and novelty attract more customers than almost anything else.
Original marketing strategies both in the physical and e-commerce world will undoubtedly surface in the coming year … and your company ought to be one of the ones that creates them. Seek new people, technologies, and strategies as 2014 draws to a close.
As you look ahead in the final quarter of 2014 and into 2015, think about the new directions your business could take. Your forward-thinking orientation will lead to success in in the new year and beyond.