1. Sign up to Digital Brisbane. This is an easy one – get the latest digital, tech and startup news and advice daily in your Twitter and Facebook feeds, and sign up to our monthly eDM. Digital Brisbane runs free programs for SMEs, entrepreneurs, startups and even digital suppliers. So no matter which one you are, Digital Brisbane is your first stop for industry collaboration and digital development.
2. Refine your website content. Remember the purpose of your website. If you’ve accumulated a lot of unnecessary information on your pages over the past year (like events and news articles) it might be time to revisit your content. While it’s great to be adding relevant content to your website all the time, don’t lose sight of its goal and the value it’s adding to your customers. If customers come to your website and find out-of-date events, old articles and the same old home page content, it’s unlikely they’ll return. Keeping the home page fresh with new, relevant content will ensure they keep coming back.
3. Know your audience. While word-of-mouth has always been important to marketers, the digital space has amplified consumer messages and it’s more important than ever for businesses to get involved in these conversations. Start by finding out where your customers are (digitally). Before you sign up to every social platform, work out which are the most relevant to your audience – and if you’re not sure, simply ask. Social platforms have the power to segment customer groups by demographics and location (at the least) – so, find out the make-up of your audience, where they are, and start the conversation.
4. Come along to a Power-Up program. The Digital Brisbane Power-Up programs are digital workshops for small and medium businesses. Each session covers a different aspect of digital technology and explains how you can apply it to your business to help you run more effectively and efficiently. Keep an eye out for our Power-Up programs.
5. Develop a social strategy. Instead of chugging along with your social media, have your social strategy reflect your marketing and communication plan. Identify your target audiences, key deliverables and key messages, and then set goals. Remember when drafting your messages that a good ratio of direct to indirect marketing messages is about 1:5. Keep the language social and conversational and remember to include engaging content like photos, videos, polls and links.
6. Enrol in the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 courses. There’s no such thing as too much professional development – and it’s free?! Take the next step in your startup in 2019 and sign up to weekly lectures on the fundamentals of starting and building a new venture, including product development, B2C sales, start-up culture, pitching and funding.
7. Collaborate with like-minded business people. There’s a reason why collaboration is a strong driving force in startups; why we continue working from a physical workplace rather than signing in from home. The digital space is expanding and there’s more to know than ever before so don’t miss the train!
8. Do something different. Try something new in 2019. Start a blog, engage a new digital supplier, collaborate with a similar business and learn from each other. There’s no time like now for innovation and new ideas in business development.
9. Measure your success. Having the ability to track website performance, social analytics, keywords and Google AdWords allows us to measure marketing results instantly. We no longer have to wait for the phones to ring when a TV campaign goes live, or spend hours working out our ROI for advertising; it’s all there for you. Take advantage of the ability to see who’s clicking what on your social posts, the most-used search terms when looking for your business, and how long users are spending on your website. Use this to plan your future messages or campaigns and deliver relevant content to your customers.
10. Have fun! The digital space for businesses is more fun than ever. The advanced technology behind websites, apps, social plug-ins and mobile means we have many new channels and means to communicate. So don’t let your competitors take over. If you don’t stand out, you’re missing an opportunity in digital marketing. Take a risk in 2019 and put together a fun, interactive campaign. Engage your audience on a live tweet Q&A or invite them to post user-generated content. The cloud’s the limit.